A couple of months ago my chickens were consistently making a very loud commotion almost every night. They roost in a pine tree at night and fly down in the morning. So the first few nights they were making all this noise and I ran outside to check if they were all right. I live in a little town in Colorado, so it was snowy and freezing. What I found was a few of the chickens on the ground, running for cover. The rest were up in the tree still, clucking their little heads off. The ground was snowy and there were no prints whatsoever on the ground, so I was baffled. The chickens were terrified, and in the middle of winter in the middle of town I had no idea what was scaring them so badly. This continued for a week or so, and a couple nights/evenings the chickens were so well hidden it took me an hour to find them. One night I was out hanging the laundry near the pine tree and they freaked out like they had been doing. I ran over and just as I reached the tree a bird flew down out of the tree and instead of landing on the ground like a chicken, which I thought it was, it skimmed the ground and swooped up again to land on the roof of the building across the street. It was an owl! A huge grey one. That would explain the no tracks. I chased it off the building, but it then reappeared perched on the telephone wire (it was hilarious just balancing there) and then took another go at the chicken's tree. It landed high up in the tree, near the top. I had to get my chickens out of the tree, which a few of them refused to leave. So I was forced to climb up into the pine tree and take every chicken down one by one. I moved them into the henhouse at night and I haven't seen the owl since. So my question: Did it really want to eat my chickens and simply forgot about them once they were safe and sound in the henhouse, or was it simply territorial? And will I ever be able to let my flock roost in the tree again? Or even in the tree next to it? I feel like they'd be safer from foxes and skunks up there, but what about owls and raccoons? Which is safer? What should I do?