Weird Hawk Behavior...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Camelot Farms, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. Camelot Farms

    Camelot Farms Chickenista

    Well this is a 1st. I was in the kitchen a few moments ago and heard chaos under the window. The flock hangs out there in the mornings. I look out and everyone is sort of looking freaked out but no one is moving. So I know the neighbors dog isnt making a raid. I chalk it up to one of the roosters getting too friendly with one of the hens that 'belong' to another roo. No sooner do I yank my head back in the window than all heck breaks loose again. I stick my head back out the window and (I swear this part is true) nearly get my face taken off by a redtailed hawk!! Our house is built into a hill so the kitchen window is about 10-15 feet off the ground. As I turn to avoid the collision, I see that the hawk is chasing one of my full grown hens. The hen is a SLW. Good sized and healthy so no easy prey.

    The hawk must have been perched in the tree that grows outside the kitchen window causing the chaos.

    What I thought was weird is that ALL of my chickens are full sized. There is no way that this hawk was making off with one of them. AND the fields around us are overflowing with rodents this time of year. What was it thinking to come right to the house and stalk one of my girls? And all 4 cats were wandering around within a few yards of the flock. =/

    Geeesh!

    Edited for spelling cause I dont type well after stressful events [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  2. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    17,191
    2,129
    421
    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    Over the winter last year, I lost two Barred Rocks, a Minorca, and an EE to a young red-tailed hawk. There were a couple of other birds that went missing too, but I am not absotively posolutely on where they went. These birds were all mature hens, and I found their partly-consumed bodies near a fence, partly under a log, and in other places where there was some cover. From this I conclude that a hawk will take prey that is too big to carry off, and will feed on the ground if it has to. This particular hawk is a cheeky bugger. I know hawks are migratory - you don't suppose this is the same one?!!
     
  3. Camelot Farms

    Camelot Farms Chickenista

    [​IMG]

    Keep your predators at your own place!

    [​IMG]

    I never in a million years worried about hawks here except when my pullets are ranging. Geesh! Another thing to worry about. [​IMG]
     
  4. Mervin

    Mervin Chillin' With My Peeps

    621
    5
    121
    Jan 25, 2010
    Central Pennsyltucky
    They don't always carry stuff off. I've seen them dismember squirrels and rabbits right at the kill site. In fact, I've seen them do that more than I've seen them carry anything off.
     
  5. shesaredroan

    shesaredroan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Wow.......glad you still have your face!!!!
    You may be dealing with a young hawk?!?! Several years ago I was in the hen house and heard/felt a LOUD bang, I thought someone was standing outside the henhouse and hit the wall really HARD. I ran around the end of the coop just in time to see a young hawk wheeling and making another dive into my flock of mature birds. He didn't catch any of my girls, but I'll bet he/she ended up with a nasty headacke.
    Wish I'd seen him/her slamming into the side of the coop, LOL....... older, more experienced hawks don't make that mistake.
    My hawk problems are usually in the spring and fall. Some years I have crows nesting on my place and they are a BIG help with the hawks!!!! If a hawk comes around the crow's nesting area they all go after the hawk and chase/harass it until it moves on. I love crows!!
    This year, after several hawk attacks on my chicklets/henlets, I put up some bird netting over my runs. That has really helped, but means I can't let my flock free range all day. They stay in their coop/run all day and I let them out an hour or two before dark, but I either stay out with them or keep a sharp eye/ear out for trouble.
    When I was a kid and watched cartoons on Saturday morning I remember Foghorn Leghorn always worrying about the chicken hawk, back then I thought it was funny. Little did I know years later I'd be just like him. (maybe life is just one long cartoon?!?!) LOL
     
  6. BayouPoules

    BayouPoules Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm thinking he got tired of rodents and a chicken meal was worth the try. Glad everyone's OK.
     
  7. Lbrad7

    Lbrad7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2010
    Ringgold, GA
    Dont think for a minute that a hawk the size of a Red Tail would be intimidated in the least by any of your chickens, no matter how mature they are. I have lost a lot of chickens over the years to Red Tails and unless its a very young/small bird they always eat it right on the spot of the kill. No matter what the level of local prey, there isn't anything in the fields that is more visible and easy to take as one of your hens.

    Good luck to you! Glad you were able to intervine.
     
  8. mdbokc

    mdbokc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2009
    Oklahoma County, OK
    Lost 2 full grown Golden Comets to hawks in a matter of three days. They carried them off each time and left behind a few feathers.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  9. Camelot Farms

    Camelot Farms Chickenista

    Dang! I thought I had enough problems with the dang raccoon and now I have hawk issues. Egads!

    I am still amazed that it was so close to the house. Crazy bird.
     
  10. Break an Egg

    Break an Egg Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,234
    11
    203
    Mar 17, 2008
    San Antonio
    I have a huge cottonwood tree in my backyard that the hawks love to perch on. Unfortunately, this means that I have hawks coming to my backyard. I have lost a full grown EE to a hawk and she was about 5lbs. I would get some mylar baloons and put them all over. They seem to be afraid of them.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by