Peregrine Falcon attack?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by heedley, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. heedley

    heedley New Egg

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    Jan 11, 2012
    San Diego
    I lost a silkie pullet a few days ago to some kind of bird of prey. I just assumed it was a Cooper's Hawk, although I only caught a glimpse of it peripherally as it flew away. I've never seen a hawk near my property before, and now I've learned that there is a family of Peregrines nesting about 1/4 mile from here. The silkie's neck was snapped, with no other trauma or puncture wounds, and I've read that falcons kill by severing the spinal column. So the peregrine is our culprit? Any raptor experts care to weigh in?
     
  2. smarsh

    smarsh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2009
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    it would only be speculation, but a peregrine could kill a chicken. However, they generally kill only air born birds. I have watched peregrine kills and attempts several times and if the prey is not in flight, they try to put it there. They won't attack a duck on the water but will dive and try to get it to fly. I have seen them scare shore birds up and then give chase. and i have seen one try to make a pheasant fly with several dive bombs. later it was seen on a pheasant but i didn't see the kill.
     
  3. heedley

    heedley New Egg

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    Jan 11, 2012
    San Diego
    And do you think a hawk would kill with a clean neck break? The chicken was untouched other than that. I think it was our resident crows that kept the predator from eating the chicken.
     
  4. Chickety Charcoal

    Chickety Charcoal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    DId the BOP feed on the kill? It would rarely bother to make the effort without getting food in return. You would at least see feathers scattered around from the dive/impact if nothing else.
     
  5. owenv

    owenv New Egg

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    Jan 10, 2013
    My chicken was attacked today as well. Did yours lie on its back? I'm assuming that it will die. its vey sad.
     
  6. hollys chooks

    hollys chooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have seen a peregrine falcon take a feral dove from the ground in my backyard. It flew down and hit the dove hard, either stunning or killing it on impact. Then it got a hold of it and flew off with it. It all happened very quickly.
    Peregrines aren't that big so perhaps a chicken was that much bigger to make it difficult to carry and with the crow weighing in the Peregrine just gave up and left it.
     
  7. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 9, 2013
    I am SO SORRY that your chicken was killed! Peregrine Falcons live all year where you are. They are aerial divers and can reach speeds up to 238 mph while diving to grab it's prey. Like all birds of prey they are quick killers as they would have to be to catch other birds and such. The Peregrine Falcon length is 14.2 - 19.3 in. and the wingspan is 39.4 - 43.3 in. The Cooper's Hawk length is 14.6 - 15.4 in. and the wingspan is 24.4 - 35.4 in. I hope this helps and that you don't lose another chicken! Also if they are nesting they will be looking for more food for the hatchlings than normal.

    Grace
     
  8. Peaches Lee

    Peaches Lee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just last night while I was beginning my chores a Peregrine was in my barn and would not leave. No doubt he was after the pigeons, but it made me very nervous about my chickens (but everything makes me nervous when it comes to their safety). The pigeons were freaked right out and the falcon was flying all over the place, he was quite tiny however. It was dusk at my place when I began my night chores and I really don't know if that's when they feed or what? Sorry about your Silkie. Do you have any Bald Eagles in your area? or Red Tailed Hawk?
     
  9. owenv

    owenv New Egg

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    Jan 10, 2013
    Our neighbor is an expert on identifying birds and he caught a glimpse of the bird and told us it was a falcon. I know they are common in the Hudson valley here.
     

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