rooster vocalization(s) in reponse to hawks calling flock to cover

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by centrarchid, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    A juvenile red/- tailed hawk, tried to put moves on combined free ranging Cackle Gang which is now combined with two subadult games and two full adult dominique roosters.

    Chickens were foraging in the 1/2 acre patch of regrowth dominated by fescue, briars and goldenrod. All but stems died back. Perimeter near feeding station dominated by briars and two thick stands of sweet sumac. A red-tail could take an individual chicken in ligher stuff if not molested by other chickens or other factors. The cover provided by heavy briars and sweet sumac is likely too heavy for the hawk to penetrate and would deny it a way to fly out, even vertically. It would have to walk at least 30 feet to reach clear launch point.

    Most of the birds were scattered out in the lighter growth when the hawk landed on power line above feeder station. Both dominique roosters were at feeding station and likely attracted hawk''s initial attention because of their being so exposed. The doms made the alarm for hawk as usual but made another vocalization shortly thereafter not unlike a ground predator call that seemed to call balance of flock to location of roosters which was closer to hawk, not further . The roosters were calling from the heavy briars. The hawk was looking nervously down at chickens running basically in its direction although only 15 feet below. Too many targets I guess. Chickens did this at aslow run and clearly were aware of the hawks location as I could see them looking up. As the last of the chickens got into deep cover, my chicken butt licking German short haired pointer pup came galloping around house with probable interest in eating more chicken feed. Hawk saw pup and flew off.


    I am going plant more of the heavy stuff in coming years to provide better cover.
     
  2. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

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    Probably confused that hawk just a tad with the hens running toward him. [​IMG]
     
  3. Count Orloff

    Count Orloff Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 26, 2010
    Delaware, OH
    I love the way you built up that scenario. Very good narrative and I'm glad your chickens are OK!
     

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