My flock consists of one rooster, two chicks, and seven laying hens of various breeds. This morning I was sitting in the run feeding them an old melon. After about 5 minutes a wild bird made one sharp call from the woods about 100 yards away. The rooster immediately oriented toward that sound and gave an alarm call. Every bird in my flock stopped eating, looked in the same direction as the rooster, and froze. The two chicks moved under some brush, sat down and went silent. Everyone remained still and silent for another 30-40 seconds. Then, slowly most resumed moving around except for the rooster who remained on high alert. About 3 minutes later a hen in the corner of the run began making that typical buk-buk-buk-buk-buh-GAWK call. As soon as she began making the call the rooster moved toward her and chimed in on the last note with one squawk of his own. Soon every hen was joining in...most only making the GAWK at the end of the call but a few also doing the full buk-buk-buk-buh-GAWK. It was total cacophony as every hen GAWKed in her own rhythm. The whole flock did this while milling around, and even the hen who'd been inside the coop came out and joined in. It went on for 20-30 seconds and then suddenly stopped. There was no more vocalization at all. The hen who began this whole thing is the top hen, after the rooster, of course. I think the whole thing stopped when she stopped, but I'm not sure. So, anyone have any insights on this behavior? Are they counting heads after the danger to make sure everyone is still around? About once a day I hear this from them, always at random times and I never see what sets it off. I'm fascinated by it and wondering if others have observed something similar.