Will a Swallow Tail Kite eat a chicken?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by BayouPoules, May 25, 2011.

  1. BayouPoules

    BayouPoules Chillin' With My Peeps

    We have always had them here,. we call them split Tailed kites,..with no problems,.. but I just had a pair in the yard swooping only 15-20 feet over my head and they took no notice of my running and hollering and waving at them. It's 90 degrees out there so all the young ones are under cover but some of the hens were out,.. DD thinks maybe it saw the black water hose and thought it was a snake,. their favorite meal,.. and she may be correct,. but has anyone ever had one take a chicken?
     
  2. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    They are predators but are probably more interested in your fuzzybutts vs big hens, but then again there's more eating on a big bird. A good roo will help alert, guard, & fight and guineas will help alert to danger. Make sure there is cover available that birds can hide in or under (ie. loose brush pile)
     
  3. BirdNut

    BirdNut Overrun With Chickens

    13,971
    11
    261
    Sep 13, 2010
    Suprise, Arizona
    I don't think it should be enough of a concern to start putting tarps and nets all over the coop, like a Red-tailed hawk for example, but shooing them away is probably a good idea just in case of attack, and like the above post, have hide-outs available. I doubt that a Kite like that could kill and eat a fully-matured Large Fowl chicken, becuase Kites are fairly small, preferring to mainly feed on small rodents and reptiles, but you should keep any bantams supervised and well guarded.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2011
  4. lishah2000

    lishah2000 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't think they are a real threat. I think they go after small prey and they are pretty small and light birds.

    I have some that fly over often. While they do spend a lot of time flying over the property, they don't seem the least bit interested in the chickens or ducks. The chickens act like they are a threat, like everything that flies, but the ducks just watch them.
     
  5. BayouPoules

    BayouPoules Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well I feel a little better,.. I really didn't want another thing to watch out for,.. [​IMG] we are always on hawk alert,..
    but until today,. I never even thought about the kites,.. we just love watching them and they eat snakes and rats so thats cool,. but these were down in my yard really looking,.. and all my hollering didn't bother them,..
    the flock free range all day,.. with lots of cover,. but there are still open places,..



    I wonder if anyone has ever seen them take a chicken,..
     
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,863
    3,915
    441
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    This is what I found: DIET: The Swallow-tailed Kite usually eats insects, but will also take small birds and nestlings, reptiles, and amphibians. Their prey may be gleaned from the tree tops as the bird flies slowly over the canopy. Insects may be taken in midair and eaten while the kite is flying

    I found it here:http://www.peregrinefund.org/explore_raptors/kites/swallowt.html
     
  7. kimntep

    kimntep Chillin' With My Peeps

    423
    3
    113
    Dec 30, 2010
    Ocala, Florida
    We have two huge kites that live in our rural area. Hubs says to keep Little Man out of their path (a little bantam roo just 14 weeks or so), but so far I've had no problems when they are free ranging for hours. We do have lots of big trees, so probably since they like the shade, the kites don't have as much of a chance as they would in a more open area. Still, I don't trust them entirely! Come to think of it, maybe they are hanging around because of our rat problem???
     
  8. Speceider

    Speceider Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,169
    79
    161
    Apr 4, 2011
    "two huge kites"

    What is a HUGE KITE?

    Clint
     
  9. BayouPoules

    BayouPoules Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Kites are raptors with long wings which spend a great deal of time soaring,. We have Swallow tailed and Mississippi kites here,.. the Mississippi kites eat a lot of the birds at our feeders,..

    the Swallow Tails, we always see with snakes,.. they have a wingspan of about 4 ft.,.. and they are beautiful!
     
  10. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    23,342
    1,238
    448
    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    We have Kites here as well. My rooster alerts the hens and they head for cover. The Kites have never tried to go after the hens, nor the pullets I have for that matter.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by