Kestrel hawks

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by gypsy50, Jun 18, 2018.

  1. gypsy50

    gypsy50 Hatching

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    Jun 18, 2018
    Hello I have several bird housed on my covered porch and the past week or so we have had a Kestrel hawk has been landing on the birdhouses and putting his head into the house I believe looking for baby birds or eggs. Is there anything I can do to scare it away? I have had bird houses on my covered porch for years and never had anything like this happen.
     

  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    It likely will require the parental birds to drive kestrel away. I have seen a male American Kestrel systematically harvest barn swallows from multiple nests just before they fledged. Owing to frequency of takes he was provisioning his offspring. The swallow chicks were a load for him and the adult swallows worked really hard but unsuccessfully to drive him off.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
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  3. redranger209

    redranger209 Songster

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    Let nature take its course. The predator only gets prey 10% of the time, it’s probably really hungry, and if it doesn’t take chicks it’ll take parents.
     
  4. This is just another example of a predator going for the low-hanging fruit as it were. Just don't let your chickens or chicks become low hanging fruit or else the local chicken hawks will teach you a new hobby, knitting.

    Predators are always on the look out for new and dependable sources of protein. Remember this when someone tells you, "Why I've done X, Y, or Z for the last 4 or 5 years and I've never had a (insert the name of predator or pest) do this before."
     
  5. happyfrenchman

    happyfrenchman Songster

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    That is horrifically goulish.... That is the kind of thing that makes me say I would SSS if you can manage it. (I know... nature is natural.... blah blah) .... I would blast it to the next life. But that would be a tiny target.... (maybe get a badminton racket). How close can you get to it? Shotgun with birdshot would do it.
     

  6. redranger209

    redranger209 Songster

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    Don’t. If you capture it you can give it to a falconer, kestrels are one of the two birds kids can start falconry with.
     
  7. happyfrenchman

    happyfrenchman Songster

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    You don't know me too well obviously. LOL. I am an ex pigeon guy...... I would no sooner give it to a falconer, than I would .... lets just say, that is not an option I would consider.
     
  8. I'm with you, I watched a show about metal detecting a WWII battle field in the former East Germany. Despite all the shrapnel etc laying around and the odd rifle, sub-machine gun or steel helmet, the most numerous metal object was the metal bands off of the feet of racing pigeons. Just goes to show how efficient, or depending on your point of view, savage kestrels, and other falcons are to pigeons.
     
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  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    OP's location not given, but kestrel discussed may be an American Kestrel (falcon) which is not suited for hunting pigeons or even doves. Even the European Kestrel will have trouble going after pigeons. A larger falcon more likely to have been used to hunt pigeons in war time. Coopers and Sharp-shinned Hawks here can not catch adult pigeons in open air, must use ambush on those which not likely if pigeon flying point to point.
     
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  10. happyfrenchman

    happyfrenchman Songster

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    Yes. Kestrels are way too small to threaten pigeons, (As would be a Sharp Shinned...) I just would never do anything to help set some young person on that dark path.... Peregrines were always an assumed problem although you would never see one, the chase would be far out and probably high up. But the Coopers were constantly swooping through to keep everything interesting. That is interesting about the bird bands. I know they used to shoot at the birds if they saw them, but if they used falcons, that would be a predecessor to todays Electronic Counter Measures. CA I would not say a Coopers could not grab a bird out of the air because I have seen it happen. They are amazing aviators. I have seen them do some crazy things in pursuit of the rollers.
     

  11. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    I have seen Coopers catch pigeons out of the air, but the pigeon was always near landing or take off around aviary / barn. Pigeons in trimmed out level flight are faster than Coopers Hawks by a considerable amount. Only the larger falcons can pursue pigeons (adult pigeons in good health) flying trimmed out flight in open air. Coopers Hawks working pigeon flocks here work hard to catch pigeons in close proximity to nesting area and once in a while getting jump on a feeding flock.

    Some really interesting stuff with pigeon flock of about 1,000 birds living in bridge crossing Missouri River at Jefferson City that I cross at least twice daily. Owls are bigger takers of adult pigeons while the Coopers get fledglings that can not fly as well or are still in the nest.
     
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