Saw a hawk attack in person the other day

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by price403, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. price403

    price403 In the Brooder

    Aug 17, 2010
    Ivydale, WV
    Sunday morning I got out of the shower, dressed and walked into the bedroom. I looked out the window just in time to see and hear one of my Easter Eggers erupt in a cloud of feathers. The thump sounded like someone dropped a brick on the ground. It was loud enough to hear through the window and the hen was over 15 feet from the window. It was a redtail hawk. Since it is legal to protect livestock from predation in WV, I went for the 12 gauge. In the 5 seconds it took me to grab the shotgun and go back to the window the hawk saw me and flew off. I ran outside to shoot it but it was already over the ridge. A couple crows started harassing it and it left the area.
    I've seen this same hawk a few times before. It hunts frogs in the small ditch behind my house in the spring and hunts mice in the field that will be an orchard next year all summer. It normally leaves my animals alone. I have chickens, rabbits and dogs running loose in the yard almost all day. I hate to kill it but my hens are a source of food and income for me. I'll protect what I own.
    The hen is fine but she didn't lay for 3 days afterwards. She only had a few puncture wounds where the talons sunk in her head and neck right behind the skull. If I hadn't been right there she would have been killed. I was amazed at the speed and force of the hawk's attack. Feathers literally flew 3 feet in the air when it hit the chicken. By the way I almost mistook the hawk for another EE hen since they were both feathered in similar colors and patterns.
    Now every time I hear an alarm call from my flock I run out with the shotgun. Hopefully I don't have to deal with this problem again...

  2. chkn

    chkn Songster

    Jun 27, 2010
    Yeah, my senses perk up when the jays and mocking birds start up. It's either a cat or a hawk. Poor thing sure took a beating.
  3. domino7

    domino7 Songster

    Jan 4, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    I have been blown away by how ferocious and determined hawks can be. One day, after hearing a ruckous I looked out the window to see the chickens racing in and out of the shrubbery. Like you, it took me a minute to realize that my EE hen had a funny looking tail. Yes, it was a hawk, on the ground, chasing my chickens in and out of cover.

    Last spring my wife was attacked by a hawk which she never saw coming. It hit her on the top of the head, knocking her down. At the time she was just walking down the sidewalk in the city. All we could think is that it was protecting a nest. It actually came in for a second strike, but she was able to fend it off with the bag she was carrying.
  4. Kaceyx73

    Kaceyx73 Chirping

    Dec 14, 2010
    Big reason for having my girls in a fully enclosed pen while growing up wasn't fear of hawks... but peregrine falcons. We have some nesting in the woods nearby, and not uncommon to see fly over. Luckily, pigeons, doves, and wood ducks are his preferred food. Bad news, if he got after a bantam or small breed, they would have absolutely no defense. Had them strike doves at the bird feeders 15 ft from me. Not a pretty sight. You here a loud poof, see a cloud of feathers, and he's already flying off with dinner. Guess thats what happens when you hit something at 180mph. Most medium to large breeds are too big, plus falcons want their prey to fly, so he doesn't hit the ground.

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