Screaming Hawks

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ChickInDelight, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. ChickInDelight

    ChickInDelight Never an Empty Nest

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    Apr 27, 2011
    Browntown, VA
    I wake to screaming hawks each day. They generally hit my treetops in the afternoon and/or evening too. I once counted 8 in the air at one time and was told they were chicken hawks.

    So why do my free-ranging ducks and chickens seem completely unaffected? Why have I never seen a hawk dive at my girls?

    On overcast days, hawks really seem to gather around my home.

    My yard has many very large old trees, but sometimes, the chickens are out in the open. I am assuming the hawks are hunting mice in the fields in front of and behind my home. I am in Northern Virginia where I believe red-tail hawks are common.
     
  2. AndersonFolk

    AndersonFolk Out Of The Brooder

    I'd be willing to say they were chicken hawks or blue darters. Most of the migration is happing right now, or they wouldn't be traveling in groups.
     
  3. ChickInDelight

    ChickInDelight Never an Empty Nest

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    Browntown, VA
    Why do they seem not to be diving for my birds...

    And why don't my birds have any natural fear reaction? [​IMG]
     
  4. AndersonFolk

    AndersonFolk Out Of The Brooder

    No sure why, because the couple dozen I had swarming around our house dive bombed the girls a few times. We just kept them pinned up a few days until the coast was clear. The hawks flying around our house were almost blue, white'ish grey under side with a stripe on the under side of its wing. They traveled in groups of 3 - 6
     
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.
    Could be you have enough other wildlife around for them to eat so they don't have to go after your chickens. We live in a very rural area and have hawks all over the place, but they have never bothered my chickens. I think because there are lots of open fields around that are easier for them to hunt in. We have a huge grove of trees around our building site, plus lots of places for the chickens to take cover if threatened. It's probably too much work. If your hawks have been around for a long time and have never gone after your chickens they could be used to them and don't see them as a threat.
     
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    There's no such breed as a "chicken hawk," rather, that's simply an immature hawk of just about any breed. The term often refers to the fact that young hawks see chickens as prey and will go for them,whilst the mature ones know chickens aren't necessarily easy to catch. At least not the grown ones; young birds are lighter, not as predator-wise, and can be easy targets.

    But the mature hawks generally have established hunting grounds with much lighter and more populous mice, rabbits and ground-dwelling birds. Chickens are ground dwellers, but get pretty heavy to lift.

    Not to say mature hawks won't give a swoop and a grab try for chickens....

    Oh, and turkey buzzards look an awful lot like huge hawks, they circle overhead in the same manner, but they are only interested in dead things. They're carrion eaters. Maybe the OP's chickens KNOW they aren't in danger from turkey buzzards. Or maybe they just aren't canny enough to think they're in danger.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011
  7. barbieszoo

    barbieszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My 2 silkies and 2 seramas certainly are aware and scared if they see a shadow of any kind go overhead, be it airplane, crow, songbird, vulture, or hawk. They either freeze in place or make a run for cover. They are in enclosed covered areas where they are safe from hawks unless I am out there with them, and in the case of the seramas, actually holding them on my lap. But they know overhead shadows mean danger. I am surprised yours aren't bothered by them, especially so many! I know I'd be scared! Glad they aren't after your chickens!
     
  8. ChickInDelight

    ChickInDelight Never an Empty Nest

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    Thanks, gryeyes! I had no idea what a chicken hawk is - even though one is on my avatar.

    I also think there must be tons of food here to eat. I also saw a beautiful red fox while I was out walking recently - not at all far from my house.

    The farm chickens are free-ranging now too in addition to mine. This is an old farm - 1760, so perhaps there is a lovely balance. This piece of Virginia has lots of woods, ponds, and fields.

    I do notice the hawks seem to be flying lower around the house when it is overcast and high in the sky on sunshiney days.
     

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