Will a Hawk return to a flock?

Phantom_k9

Songster
Oct 29, 2019
242
207
116
North Texas
My Coop
My Coop
Late this evening, I was going outside today to check on our scissor beak when I saw a medium sized, barred hawk (idk species) fly into a near by tree. Four of our birds (including our roo) were out in the field grazing. About 10 seconds later, I see the bird swooping down towards the birds. I was close enough to close the distance and scare the hawk away (there was about 10 feet between him and the flock). However, I know a hawk will return to a kill, but since he didn't get a bird would he still be interested? I have school during the day so I can't sit outside and babysit the birds, so I'm curious if the hawk is likely to return to try his luck again.
I plan to buy a fake owl ASAP tomorrow morning to put outside overlooking the field as well, I've heard they are a good deterrent.

Side note, our roo didn't really do a whole lot. He made a soft growl noise (which i think is what he is supposed to do), and he just stood there with the other birds looking around. I'm fairly confident he saw the incoming raptor, just not sure if he planned to do anything about it. I've seen another of our roos (who we gave away) duke it out with a hawk that had landed, just not sure if our new guy is up to being the flocks protector. With that other attack, as far as I know the hawk didn't come back (at least for a while), but I could have just missed the other instances...

Thanks in advance for any input!
 
Aug 11, 2020
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Are you able to keep the chickens in the coop? If not, maybe try letting them free range in a covered place (with trees, roof, etc).
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
13 Years
Nov 18, 2007
25,636
17,730
771
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
I have lost some birds to hawks in the past. Now I have very large covered pens, electric wires around my coops and pens and concrete under the gates all due to losses from predators in the past. Lessons learned the hard way. The hawk knows the birds are there and will lurk looking for an opportunity. I had a hawk swoop down and kill a bird right in front of me. You were lucky. It will keep coming back and if it scores it will still keep trying. A hawk will take a cockerel or roo too if given the chance. Since you free range you will loose a bird sooner or later. I'm sure you may not always be there to ward it off when the hawk strikes. Good luck...
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,354
17,661
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
I have had repeated experiences involving interactions between chickens and hawks that involved no one being eaten. Species and relative sizes are important. If chickens totally nieve, then they may not know to react quickly. If chickens familiar with particular hawk and its intentions, then they also may react minimally.

Species ID for hawk needed for this discussion to proceed in a meaningful direction.
 

DuckDuckSook

Songster
Jan 20, 2020
146
301
146
Southeastern PA
My Coop
My Coop
We have been having issues with hawks. They definitely come back. I lost one chicken 2 weeks ago when the hawk got in through a hole in the netting on top of the run. It was still in there when I went down yelling at it. I had to shush it out with a stick. I don't think it wanted to leave its kill. The other chickens were scared to death huddled in a corner of the coop. Fast forward to last week, I was outside cleaning and had the chickens free ranging within our sheep pen. A hawk again came and tried to get a chicken. Luckily, my daughter who was out with me started yelling and then I chased it away. Many feathers lost and the chickens were scared again, but no one was killed or hurt. Then, just this week, I was outside with two of my daughters cleaning out the sheep shed and had just put the chickens back in their run after cleaning out the coop (they had only been out for 8 minutes and were followed around by my kids the entire time), when a hawk landed on a branch not even 10 feet from us. The hawks are very brazen and very determined so now I have no plans on letting my chickens free range and I am making plans to expand their run. The hawks are always lurking, watching, and waiting for an opportunity. We had no problems with this in the spring, summer, or fall. However, I think they are hungry since it is winter and now they know the chickens are there. Good luck! Let us know if the fake owl helps at all. I was thinking of getting one myself but I have no idea if it is worth it.
 

Phantom_k9

Songster
Oct 29, 2019
242
207
116
North Texas
My Coop
My Coop
I have had repeated experiences involving interactions between chickens and hawks that involved no one being eaten. Species and relative sizes are important. If chickens totally nieve, then they may not know to react quickly. If chickens familiar with particular hawk and its intentions, then they also may react minimally.

Species ID for hawk needed for this discussion to proceed in a meaningful direction.
unfortunately I have no idea what kind of hawk this was. It looked like a medium sized, barred brown / white hawk. My guesses are a Red Shoulder, Broad Wing, or some species of Falcon. I didn't get any pictures so i'm going off memory. I can cross off the Red Tail and Coopers just because this bird didn't look like either, which I suppose is a good thing.
We have lost a bird to a hawk before. We kept our birds in the coop for a week before letting them back out in the yard. We've had other run ins with hawks before that, but from what I could tell our other roo was able to fight them off. We lost a bird to a hawk after we got rid of said roo.
If there would be an ideal attack, it would be one where the hawk has a near miss and allows our roo to figure out that these guys don't mess around...
We've also gotten a fake owl, and plan to exchange it for some crow decoys latter on.
 

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