Massive hawk situation

HeatherEmme

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 4, 2013
148
11
83
We JUST put the chicks out in their coop/run today for the first time ever about 2 hours ago. DH just called to tell me that there are TEN hawks circling low overhead.

I've only ever seen 3 together tops! I asked him to send a pic. I'll upload if possible . Looks like free range is OUT period. I'm floored by the immediate response.
 

brahmabreeder

Songster
7 Years
Feb 22, 2012
2,516
123
211
Northeast Ohio
I doubt it. Not saying anyone is lying but it is doubtful. From my understanding hawks are very territorial. The most I've seen at once were two and it was mating season so I'm assuming they were male and female. This is a red tailed hawk and what I have flying around.
 

HeatherEmme

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 4, 2013
148
11
83
Then what, Oh Great Bird Expert, would you say my husband saw? They weren't vultures and they weren't eagles or owls, and were much too large to have been ravens or crows.

They flew low enough that he was able to get a good enough look at them so I'm pretty sure he wasn't wrong about that. He didn't say they were congregating or hanging out like BFF's but that they circled a bit and eventually flew off while a few remained to fly over head a few more times.

I realize hawks may be territorial which is why I found it so interesting, interesting enough to share that post with BYC, that there were SO many.
 

brahmabreeder

Songster
7 Years
Feb 22, 2012
2,516
123
211
Northeast Ohio
Then what, Oh Great Bird Expert, would you say my husband saw? They weren't vultures and they weren't eagles or owls, and were much too large to have been ravens or crows.

They flew low enough that he was able to get a good enough look at them so I'm pretty sure he wasn't wrong about that. He didn't say they were congregating or hanging out like BFF's but that they circled a bit and eventually flew off while a few remained to fly over head a few more times.

I realize hawks may be territorial which is why I found it so interesting, interesting enough to share that post with BYC, that there were SO many.
I'm not saying that he didn't see hawks. I was just trying to point out that they tend to be territorial and that in MY area that would never happen. Just applying what happens here to your situation...

I agree with chickengeorgeto that it could be buzzards as it's not uncommon for me to see many of them flying around. I ahev seen as many as ten at one time.
 

annav410

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 7, 2013
224
16
96
Broomfield, Colorado
I just wanted to add that a picture might help. In my area, hawks will hunt in mated pairs at times but usually alone. I have also seen (rarely) later in the season, a parent out with a juvenile. I am thinking it could be turkey vultures. They hunt in a larger group and can be confused as hawks at times.

In either case, I would think they pose a threat to your youngsters.
 

HeatherEmme

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 4, 2013
148
11
83
Like I said in the original post, we normally see no more than two. On very rare occasions we've seen three. This is the reason DH called in the middle of the work day astounded. They were not buzzards as we've seen plenty of those and can tell the difference. My best guess is that several hunting 'couples' or 'singles' responded to the chirps of my chickens and responded accordingly. Perhaps even flying into another's territory. They quickly went their separate ways so I'm thinking that's the case here. We're in the country and everywhere you go there are hawks. Lots of farms and fields. Perfect hunting grounds.
 

4 the Birds

Songster
9 Years
Oct 15, 2010
1,490
104
163
Westfield, Indiana
I just wanted to add that a picture might help. In my area, hawks will hunt in mated pairs at times but usually alone. I have also seen (rarely) later in the season, a parent out with a juvenile. I am thinking it could be turkey vultures. They hunt in a larger group and can be confused as hawks at times.

In either case, I would think they pose a threat to your youngsters.
+1

Turkey vultures.. We have them as well as hawks. Vultures typically circle up high together in small groups. Our dogs spot them pretty easy and chase/bark. The roos also get nervous and sound the alarm when the Vultures are around. Vultures are great at spotting road kill but they are not much of a threat to your chickens.
 

Mattemma

Crowing
10 Years
Aug 12, 2009
5,314
93
291
I had over 10 one time,but they were really high up.Right now I just have a nester,and a trespasser.
 

yoyosma

In the Brooder
8 Years
Oct 13, 2011
54
2
39
Whidbey Island
We have a ton of raptors out here- we've seen 8 bald eagles at a time; also, eagles, red-tailed hawks, marsh hawks, and ospreys all sharing the same patch of sky over our house (and over our chickens and ducks!). I know some of those species are territorial, but it's a big marsh we look out at, with a salt water bay nearby, and I guess there's enough habitat and food for them all.
I hesitate to share this, for fear of jinxing its success; but, for the year I've had chickens (14) and almost 2 years with 5 ducks, I've used monofilament (fishing line) strung around the lawn between 4' bamboo or fiberglass posts. I move them around when I mow the lawn, and I think that the fact that they're hard to see- as opposed to netting the whole area- and not always in the same place, confuses the raptors. At any rate, haven't had any attacks (knock wood!) in an area where lots of people do lose birds to eagles, in particular. (A friend lost all of her ducks to an eagle who ducked in through a small gap in the bird netting over their run, repeatedly- they saw the eagle do this, unfortunately on its last fly-in.)
We have electric poultry netting around the perimeter of our large lawn; I let the birds out in the AM and put them in at night, so they're out there all day- and believe me, the raptors know that they are there! (Sometimes, neighbors call us to warn us that the eagles are scoping out our birds!) There are not any trees nearby for the raptors to sit in and ponder, which might help.
My husband's not so fond of this method when he encounters a newly-moved fishing line, in the dark; but so far it's working to protect the chicks and ducks.
Anyone else tried this?
 

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