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#68387 - 08/27/07 06:00 AM We have a hawk hanging out
Susie Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1902
Loc: Arkansas
Literally just hanging out. So far. eek

I have to quit going outside without my glasses on. My husband and I were sitting on the patio yesterday morning and he said, "Oh, one of the chickens is up on the fence and about to jump out to the pasture." Well, we have a few regular "escape artists" so it wasn't any big deal to hear this. And, in fact, I had seen this same scene several times in the past couple of weeks with that bird on the back fence. All the sudden, he says, "It's not a chicken! It's a hawk!" Needless to say, I put two and two together and realized it has been a hawk hanging out back there and I blew it off, thinking it was a chicken. He appears to be young, as he isn't very large yet. I watched him for a few minutes and he was just sitting there on the fence post, preening. My birds have apparently become used to him enough that they weren't reacting with the alarm call. A few of them had stretched out necks, watching him, but that was about it. Ugh!

This morning he was in a tree in my front yard. I expect to see him back on that fence post any minute now, as I realized in retrospect, he is there many mornings.

I'm not wanting to start a "shoot a hawk" argument, so I'm not even going to go there. I'm just bringing this up because I found it interesting. I'm sure he sits there thinking my birds are bigger than him - for now, anyway. I'm just really shocked that he is a regular visitor with no damage so far, and my chickens are used to him. Strange! Maybe not so strange, logically, but definitely something I have never seen happen before! LOL!

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#68388 - 08/27/07 09:01 AM Re: We have a hawk hanging out
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
It will soon be Hawk migration season and we will all (in the northern states) be seeing more hawks. Some are hard to identify in juvenile, in male and female plumage, first year, mature plumage. They hunt as they go, sometimes staying for a while at different locations. We have quite a few that nest in our area and so we see them most every day, somewhere between the farm and town. So few people keep chickens any more, that they do a good job of hunting varmints. But I am the only one, I know of that does not free range my birds any longer. Pheasants and Wild Turkeys seem to be holding their own, very good hatches this year.

Here, Red Tailed Hawks have never bothered our chickens, in other places in the country, they will. During migration, large hawks have landed on posts in my yard, even on the netting over outside pens--very bold (hungry) but they do not stay, are on their way South! Hope your hawk is a "temporary", Susie, and will move on without having a chicken dinner!! CJR

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#68389 - 08/27/07 03:59 PM Re: We have a hawk hanging out
Rogo16 Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 439
Loc: Arizona
Wild birds are full grown when they leave the nest, altho they may fill out more.
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Rogo

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#68390 - 08/28/07 05:18 AM Re: We have a hawk hanging out
Susie Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1902
Loc: Arkansas
Quote:
Originally posted by Rogo16:
Wild birds are full grown when they leave the nest, altho they may fill out more.
Yes, he's not very filled out and appears to be a juvenile. I actually thought he was one of our buttercups, and the size isn't much different. But he stretched out his wings and that's when my husband realized it was not a chicken afterall. smile

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#68391 - 08/28/07 06:03 PM Re: We have a hawk hanging out
Rogo16 Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 439
Loc: Arizona
You need a good dog to guard your stock. My dog doesn't let anything near my stock.
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Rogo

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#68392 - 08/28/07 07:34 PM Re: We have a hawk hanging out
C. G. McCary Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 613
Loc: Alabama
Susie: There are many kinds of hawks and a lot of those do not prey on chickens. I see Red tailed hawks, Red Shouldered hawks, Broad winged hawks, Cooper's hawks, Sharp-shinned hawks as well as American Kestrels all the time here (listed from largest to smallest in size). These are probably your possibilities in Arkansas too.

Probably, the Red tailed is the biggest threat to poultry. Your visitor is probably one of the others. The others never seem interested in my chickens. There are probably instances of Red Shouldered & Broad wings taking poultry but I have not heard about it.

The Sharp-shinned, Cooper's & Kestrels aren't large enough to take a standard sized chicken. The Cooper's hawk (L: 14-20")could be a threat to Bantams. The Sharp-shinned (10-14") probably couldn't take a bantam. [Both the Cooper's and Sharp-shinned prey on birds. The largest birds I've seen the Cooper's hawks here take are those non-indigenous Collared Doves that have invaded from Africa via the Bahamas to Florida. The Collared Doves are a little bit bigger than a Mourning Dove (so about 12" in length]. I know a Kestrel (10") is not a threat. Females of these hawk species are larger than the males (and thus the range in size that I give).

If you can take a pic & post, even if just a silouette, I can probably tell you what it is. Thxs, Chris

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#68393 - 08/28/07 07:35 PM Re: We have a hawk hanging out
Susie Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1902
Loc: Arkansas
What would your dog do if a hawk was sitting on the fence?

I figure I'm pretty lucky to have a dog who won't kill my chickens. That's probably as good as it gets with the fur-baby choices I've ever made. LOL! I actually have only ever had one hawk incident (not where I currently live) many years ago and once had an opossum who was stealing eggs, but otherwise have been very lucky in not having predator problems. (knocking on wood as I type wink )

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#68394 - 08/28/07 07:37 PM Re: We have a hawk hanging out
Susie Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1902
Loc: Arkansas
Thanks, Chris. I'll see if I can get a pic of him. I see lots of red-tailed hawks around this area, but I'm not sure if that's what this guy is or not. I know, from when he was sitting there so long over the weekend, he had a lot of white on his chest and belly, but without my glasses on, that's about as good as it gets in terms of a description so far.

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#68395 - 08/28/07 07:44 PM Re: We have a hawk hanging out
C. G. McCary Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 613
Loc: Alabama
I have noticed my chickens watching the occasional Red tailed soaring overhead (I see them looking up so I do too).

Although I have never had a hawk to bother my birds, I notice that my chickens, especially the head girl (an Australorp) make a peculiar "growling noise" and keep their eye up on the soaring hawk. I always wonder, "How do the chickens know the Red tailed is a potential threat?" They haven't been attacked (to my knowledge) by a hawk so is this some inherent quality or what? Chris

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#68396 - 08/28/07 10:20 PM Re: We have a hawk hanging out
Joachim Dippold Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1823
Loc: Austria
Good Morning Chris,

Quote:
I always wonder, "How do the chickens know the Red tailed is a potential threat?"
Well, you (probably) have the answer already:

Quote:
If you can take a pic & post, even if just a silouette, I can probably tell you what it is. Thxs, Chris
;-)
Chickens see good and hear good, so itīs the shape ("flight-picture") and sound that indentifies the different birds - I think, Iīm no expert! As for the "growling noise", there are different alarm sounds for aerial predators and for ground predators, watch your birds closly, they will show you many interesting things.

Hello Susie,

Quote:
I'm just bringing this up because I found it interesting.
Thanks for sharing, yep, we too have similar experiences. We have a Stone Marten (Martes foina) living right in the same barn where our cockerels-coop is, Iīve seen him twice last month and I have seen him before, also. Over here we call this behaviour "Burgfrieden", sorry, no translation, hereīs a link: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burgfrieden

We also have a pair of Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) in the trees of the run, they come since we have chickens and decided to make our garden/run their territory. They fight away other flying predators, this is very cool to watch, we can see those flying predators fight right above our heads, very close, and very impressive!;-)

We also have Erinaceidaes overwintering in our hay/straw, those barbed little fellows always "steal" and eat the eggs from our Pins when they lay in the garden or when they go broody out there;-)

We also have foxes in the woods right beside us, and I have seen young foxes so I know they breed. We also have wild pigs in those woods, and a pair of buzzards. I love to watch the buzzards, they are very impressive flyers, I like them;-) I have been following them so I know where their nest is, they had a "chick" this summer and I was happy enough to watch them learning to fly, this was a beautiful experience.

5 miles near us in the neighbour village there is a falconer living with his birds in an old castle, he lets his hawks and owls and all those other beautiful predators hunt over our property of course. He told us from cats beeing carried home by his birds as a prey, but so far we havenīt lost a single chicken to any of the predators that live near us or even with us.

Surprisingly we NEVER monitored this:
Quote:
My birds have apparently become used to him enough that they weren't reacting with the alarm call.
Honestly, our birds warn EVERY time when the falcons fly into "their" tree which stands right beside the coop. They "know" this pair of falcons since a few years now, but they really warn every single time. So your observation is very interesting to me, thanks for sharing!

Gotta run, best greetings,

Joachim

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#68397 - 08/28/07 10:48 PM Re: We have a hawk hanging out
Rogo16 Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 439
Loc: Arizona
=== What would your dog do if a hawk was sitting on the fence?
===


Being on acreage, the dog wouldn't see that far away! If she did, she take off barking and chasing. If she happened to catch it, oh well, no more hawk! The dog's good at her job!
_________________________
Rogo

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#68398 - 08/28/07 11:23 PM Re: We have a hawk hanging out
Foehn Offline
Administrator
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1968
Loc: New Zealand
Quote:
They haven't been attacked (to my knowledge) by a hawk so is this some inherent quality or what? Chris
I'm certain it is inherent. My hens have never seen a hawk but they certainly react with that "growling" noise if a large bird flys over. Most we get here is seagulls and the hens react to them too. Had one on the roof of my house recently eating a crust of bread it had spotted on someone's lawn. Hens were hysterical, but of course it is no threat to them.
We don't have a lot of problems with birds of prey. We have a native kestrel that is the bane of pidgeon racers here, and an Australian Harrier Hawk which can cause some trouble in the countryside, but they mainly feast on frogs or road kill, so they are more or less oportunistic.

We have Australian magpies too and anywhere they are, a hawk will not stray, as they gang up and chase the hawks away. Magpies can be a bit of a nuisense during breeding season though as they will dive bomb people if they pass near a nest.

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#68399 - 08/28/07 11:51 PM Re: We have a hawk hanging out
Joachim Dippold Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1823
Loc: Austria
Hello Foehn,

Quote:
Most we get here is seagulls and the hens react to them too.
Now THIS is surprising to me!

Our birds do not warn from House Martin (Delichon urbica) or Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) aka. "wild ducks" for example, but they warn when they see a falcon. Since the falcon is between the 2 fromer in size it cannot be the size only that helps the chickens differ the predators from harmless birds, uh? Just thinking out loud and wondering...;-)

Interesting thread, best greetings,

Joachim

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#68400 - 08/29/07 03:13 AM Re: We have a hawk hanging out
RuffEnuff Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 01/27/06
Posts: 1148
Loc: Australia
my dog chases the hawks. he runs around barking at them and that does not make for good hunting for them,but he is getting old now and will only do it when i call hawk.


i keep birds in until 9am in the morning. if one is hunting i try to keep them in so it cannot get a taste of chicken. i like my birds to witness a hawk attack so they do not become complacent. all hawks are a danger that the birds must learn.

windy dark drizzling days are the worst for hawks hanging around. never let a hawk learn to attack birds otherwise they will hang around until you have no choice to kill them.

when there is no sound that often means danger....no native birds or poultry making everyday sounds.

i clap my hands when i think there is a hawk around until i see him fly and then chase it off.

just a few tips.
k.

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#68401 - 08/29/07 06:04 AM Re: We have a hawk hanging out
Upback Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 06/04/07
Posts: 457
Loc: Maine
My birds have learned to pay attention to the alarm sounds of the crows, it's pretty neat. They start looking toward the skies when they hear the crows chasing some hawk and they are ready to make a dash for the coop if needed.

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#68402 - 09/04/07 01:32 PM Re: We have a hawk hanging out
Ozark Rose Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 11/17/05
Posts: 325
Loc: Arkansas
Susie, this time of year young eagles are getting their dark feathers around here and will not bother the chickens. Hope you can get a picture for us to see. Falcons are my worst winged enemy.

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#68403 - 09/14/07 01:44 PM Re: We have a hawk hanging out
C. G. McCary Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 613
Loc: Alabama
When I went home for lunch yesterday, I heard a commotion in the chicken run. I looked out the window and saw a juvenile Cooper's Hawk actually on the ground in the run. When I ran outside, my rooster was running at him, and he flew up on the fence post. He was looking down at my Old English Bantam hen and her two young ones. They were hollering & hiding. I, along with my trusted but blind bloodhound, shooed the hawk away.

Well today, again, at lunch, the same Cooper's hawk showed up in the heavy rain (good news from remnants of Humberto). I run the same hawk off again. All the chickens were riled up, but my Buckeye rooster and my big hens were not afraid of him. My little OEG bantam is clearly his target (or the two young ones). I think the Cooper's Hawk probably hasn't caught one of the three because he is just a juvenile and not an experienced hunter.

Maybe your hawk, Susie, was a Cooper's Hawk. The juvenile has a streaked white breast, brown back, slender in build and about the size of a small crow. He is clearly wanting chicken for lunch. I just think the young hawk couldn't lift a grown std size hen out of the run without a confrontation from all the other big birds. He's trying to catch one of the smaller ones if it ventures from the flock! CHRIS

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#68404 - 09/15/07 07:38 AM Re: We have a hawk hanging out
Susie Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1902
Loc: Arkansas
Scary, Chris!

Well, I don't know for sure what mine is, but for now, he's hanging around from a bit of a distance. I think my husband managed to scare him off, but I am keeping a watchful eye. Red-tailed hawks are very common around here. I'm not sure about the Cooper's, and much of the time I see them at quite a distance so who knows what type.

Thankfully, when we have young chicks here, they have a way to access the barn and then be outside in a fenced enclosure with a roof overhead. But still, this deal unnerved me a bit. We have been so lucky (knock on wood) with the predator situation over the years. We live in a house now where neighbors just 1/2 mile or less down the road have said they haven't had success in keeping chickens due to predators. We're lucky and careful, and maybe they weren't, but I'm always keeping an eye out for a problem, that's for sure.

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#68405 - 09/17/07 02:09 PM Re: We have a hawk hanging out
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
Hey Susie,

We have the same problem right now. The birds will not leave our house. We were told that there was a nest nearby, but that does not explain why there are six birds hanging around our house! Also, apparently our birds are a little more bold.

We have a dog-poo pen that is only six feet wide and is connected right to the back porch of the house. We have a red-shouldered or red-tailed hawk that will sit on the fence post nearest to the house. Then, when you walk outside (not being able to see him because of the view of the house) he will fly right over your head.

If they have decided to stay up front for the day you better watch out! My dad was working in my car and bent over. As I heard the call of the hawk I looked over and the bird snatched a squirrel off of the branch and flew inches above my car, only 2 feet away from me and only centimeters from where my dad came back out of the car! We haven't named them yet, but they don't bother our chickens at all. I do sometimes worry about the shih tzu puppy we have...Therefore, she is in our arms at all times when we go outside!

Hopefully yours won't go this far! Oh, and running at them with a broom in hand does NOT help the situation!

Mikaela

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#68406 - 09/17/07 07:35 PM Re: We have a hawk hanging out
Susie Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1902
Loc: Arkansas
Wow, Mikaela! You actually saw it snatch a squirrel? Yikes! Now I have to hope for no squirrel casualties either, as I only have a couple of those in the yard and I depend on them to help me clean up the nasty black walnuts. LOL!
Maybe it's the time of year. There is plenty of hawk bait in the pastures that surround me. They better stay out of my yard. Ugh.

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#68407 - 09/18/07 03:28 AM Re: We have a hawk hanging out
RuffEnuff Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 01/27/06
Posts: 1148
Loc: Australia
i see mine fly off with screaming chickens. when i don't have a gun they laugh at me, even when i clap my hands. when i have gun...they are no where to be seen. i feel like a guard watching my flock. locking them up tight at night.

i have got so used to listening to the warning signs that even if i am in a large city i jump at other birds warning calls. i am scanning the skys, watching the trees.

today i keep thinking i need a less stressful life. but because i am alert i see alot others don't see.

if i found a hawk eating one of my birds would i run for the gun first or the camera? well i haven't got a hawk eating its prey in my collection yet so it would be the camera. but they are taking at least a chick a day at the moment and i am getting very weary.

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#68408 - 09/18/07 07:07 AM Re: We have a hawk hanging out
Upback Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 06/04/07
Posts: 457
Loc: Maine
I always feel a bit silly running out of the house doing my best crow impersonation when I happen to see the hawks flying around. I don't know if does any good, but I want them to know that these chickens are guarded.

We regularly see bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, broad-winged hawks, marsh hawks, merlins and kestrels. So far so good. I sure wish I could see one of them scoop up a squirrel - that is so neat! It's a fine line between love and hate. I absolutely love seeing these birds, love to hear them screeching in the sky, love them eating rodents - but don't even think about flying off with a chicken!!

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#68409 - 09/18/07 08:43 PM Re: We have a hawk hanging out
HD Chick Offline
Chicken

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 137
Loc: Wyoming
Wow amazing stories! They are beautiful creatures- in the neighbor's yard!
We also have 4 this year which means next year 5 or 6
dread!
Keep a gun loaded by the door too, but mostly my dogs actually go crazy with barking which brings me out to join

I did read on this topic 2 years ago about Tin Foil Streamer's, birds of all sorts don't like these, they work well with the starlings, I believe they work really well with owls but don't know about that first hand.
but you will need a little wind which is def not a problem in our state

Good Luck and Stay Low

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#68410 - 09/19/07 02:13 PM Re: We have a hawk hanging out
Lost Lumberjacks Offline
Chick

Registered: 07/21/07
Posts: 16
Loc: Michigan
Our neighbor down the road actually seen a hawk pick up his little dog. The hawk was only able to carry it a hundred feet or so, and then the hawk dropped it. I don't know if it was to heavy or what, but regardless, the dog was killed. In Michigan it is illegal to shoot hawks, eagles, or owls, even if they are doing damage to livestock. Of coarse many people believe in the three S's Todd

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#68411 - 09/19/07 02:37 PM Re: We have a hawk hanging out
C. G. McCary Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 613
Loc: Alabama
There's been much debate on the topic of shooting birds of prey. I am not trying to offend anyone or start an argument. Again, I will say that it is a violation of federal law to kill a bird of prey (Federal Migratory Bird Act) unless you have a specific permit to do so.

Also,some states have their own laws protecting birds of prey [allowing the possibility of being prosecuted in one or both a state and/or federal court]. Some species fall under the federal Endangered Species Act too. Ignorance of these laws is not a legal defense.

Enforcement of these laws, of course, is up to each local state or federal authority. I am sure, like some other laws, enforcement is selective and varies widely depending on the local authority's desires, whims, culture and ideas. CHRIS

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#68412 - 09/20/07 05:17 AM Re: We have a hawk hanging out
Upback Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 06/04/07
Posts: 457
Loc: Maine
Yes, and it's even illegal to have anything from one of these protected birds.

I once found a whole, dead golden eagle in the Gates of the Mountains area in Montana. No marks on it at all from what I could see, not like it was shot out of the sky. It's been about 10 years and I still have the two long feathers I pulled from one wing. I might not do the same thing today, but that was then and that's what I did for a "keepsake" from this beautiful bird. It's crossed my mind that someday, somewhere those two feathers might put me in jail. I have them in a glass bottle in a "feather bouquet" along with some hawk and wild turkey feathers I've found.

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