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#71105 - 11/24/07 05:39 PM Re: Hawk Predator
Rogo16 Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 439
Loc: Arizona
My flock has roamed free for over 10 years. I've only lost one bird, a bantam years ago, to a hawk. I quit keeping bantams.

A good guardian dog is worth a lot. Mine is great! Nothing messes with HER flock!
_________________________
Rogo

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#71106 - 11/25/07 04:42 AM Re: Hawk Predator
Upback Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 06/04/07
Posts: 457
Loc: Maine
It's so nice to hear of free-ranging flocks that are not being gobbled up by various predators, other than us!
Free-ranging does not always equal certain death. smile


Right, shooting a hawk is illegal, I would never think of it - but if you had a guard dog, or donkey, could you get in trouble if they put a hurtin' on a red-tail that was on your chicken? I know most guard animals are mostly for coyotes, but I wonder if such a thing would actually happen, and if it did, if you'd be liable? Stupid question?

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#71107 - 11/25/07 09:02 AM Re: Hawk Predator
C. G. McCary Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 613
Loc: Alabama
You can be held accountable for a lot of things your dog does to someone else or something else, but NOT if it did something to a hawk.

The difference probably lies with your "intent." You would intentionally be shooting the hawk to kill it or say you set a booby trap (or poison) but in the case of the dog, it is your dog's intent, not yours.

[Note: you are talking somehwhat about apples and oranges when you speak of "liability" (a civil concept) and "guilty" (a criminal concept). You get sued by a Plaintiff for "liability" who wants money. You get arrested by law enforcement, charged (indicted) and tried. If found "guilty," then you get jail and/or fine.

With the hawk shooting, we are worried about being arrested, charged and found guilty by a jury of our peers and NOT being sued by somebody for damages. With most criminal acts, not all, "intent" is a necessary element, and this is a criminal defense attorney's ally: e.g. I once defended a guy who had a shoot out with police in a crowded parking lot. My guy shot an officer in the leg during the shoot-out before being shot himself. Since there were 50 witnesses to the shootout and my guy was wounded & taken at the scene, it was not a "who done it" defense. Instead, at trial, I argued that my guy was a former 101st Airbourne Ranger and could shoot the eye out of a dove from a half a mile. Had he "intended" to kill the police officer, then he could have; he just intended to wound him. It worked. The jury acquitted my guy of the more serious "attempted murder" charge and found him guilty of a lesser crime, assault. It saved him years more in prison.]

On the "civil" end of it, in the legal community, we call being "liable" for someone else's actions, "vicarious liability." It often times hinges on what you should have known or was the someone else acting for you (Is an employer liable for the actions of its employee? The answer is a fact one for the jury: they decide was the worker acting in the scope of his employment? or should the employer have known? Other examples of you being "liable" is when you co-sign for another's debt. So as a civil action, then, NOT applicable to the hawk situation.

Enough legal lesson. Sorry moderators.

I've known other folks who told me they have seen their guardian dog chase off a hawk from their chickens. CHRIS

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#71108 - 11/25/07 01:04 PM Re: Hawk Predator
Rob2 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 03/28/03
Posts: 3068
Loc: Pennsylvania
My son works for the Pa Game Commish at a farm which produces ringneck pheasants. they held back around 4,000 breeders this year and they are likely going to run short. Hawks are killing an average of 100 per day, 2 immature Bald Eagles are now joining in the fun. The mature eagles dont come to prey until the lakes are frozen over. They have some deterrents but looks as they arent working real well!
It is legal to shoot a hawk in Pa. is you SEE it attacking your propery. I regularly have hawks patrolling my land and they sometimes sit in trees near the chicken barn. I have sat there with a loaded gun but only 1 time did I actually see the hawk make an attemt for 1 of my animals.

I've known a few Rangers and Air borne(101st & 82nd) guys, I doubt if one could shoot to wound, thats just not a part of training.Training amounts to shooting for center of mass, wounding is TV stuff.thats a good one you pulled on the good guys. Too bad,if its true.

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#71109 - 11/25/07 03:56 PM Re: Hawk Predator
Upback Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 06/04/07
Posts: 457
Loc: Maine
It was just a silly off-handed question on my part, kind of an "I wonder what if..." question.

I did not think that guard animals would typically deter predators from the sky, but if so, sounds like those guys raising pheasants in Pa. could use some! It's funny how some of us rarely if ever loose a bird to a hawk, but elsewhere there are birds being raised ( albeit on a grand scale ) and losses are incurred daily. Is it something about the sheer number of pheasants? The fact that they are pheasants, not chickens? Something about the area and maybe a lack of other game for the hawks, lack of places to hide for the pheasants? I wonder.

When we get electric fencing for our pasture, I've thought of having some sort of guard animal, I was thinking maybe a donkey since we have only lost birds to coyotes, and a donkey can consume pasture as well. But for now I'm glad we at least have a large, plastic Great Horned Owl watching over the flock! Maybe it helps.

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#71110 - 11/25/07 07:06 PM Re: Hawk Predator
Rogo16 Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 439
Loc: Arizona
Where I live, it's legal to shoot ANYTHING harassing the livestock, protected or not.

Humans aren't that lucky. If you shoot someone molesting your child, it's murder.

What a country!
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Rogo

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#71111 - 11/26/07 09:37 AM Re: Hawk Predator
C. G. McCary Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 613
Loc: Alabama
Upback: I've wondered the same thing about how some people lose chickens to hawks a lot and then others like me, never do. I see them flying around all the time and I think, "wow that is a big hawk, he could take one of my birds." Then, I see the hawk with a squirrel eating it. A squirrel is fast and can't be that easy to catch.

Just my opinion, but I think a hawk develops a taste for say squirrel or chicken and likes it, learns to hunt it, etc. OR if they are real hungry, anything is game. This is not unlike captive pet snakes, if fed a bird, often times, will not go back to eating mice. Some captive snakes get used to eating white mice and will not eat say a brown mouse unless real hungry. For instance, I've seen a real hungry Hognose Snake, which is supposed to ONLY eat frogs and toads, eat a small [hopper] mouse.

The juvenile Cooper's hawk I've seen harassing my flock was probably hungry and trying to learn what it could hunt. Since I live in the city and there aren't chickens around (or haven't been for a long time), then the hawks and the Great Horned Owls have not come to see chicken as a meal (they just don't know how good chicken is). So, I think it is more a matter of luck. Again, just my opinion. CHRIS

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#71112 - 11/26/07 02:07 PM Re: Hawk Predator
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
What is this about migrating? Those hawks that were here during the summer are STILL here! Oh well...we got a great harvest of pecans thanks to the eating of squirrels. They haven't harrassed our birds at all other than screeching outside of the backdoor...At least they've stopped dive-bombing us as well. A lady here said that there was a nest nearby during the summer...oh joy...I get to go through it next year. Hopefully when meals get less abundant during the winter they won't see my birds as an easy meal!

Rogo16, I completely agree. Either way, if the guy/girl is caught in the act of doing something horrible to ANY child I would be going after them no questions asked.

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#71113 - 11/26/07 07:24 PM Re: Hawk Predator
Rob2 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 03/28/03
Posts: 3068
Loc: Pennsylvania
A predator animal(or human) prefers to take paths of least resistance. They are not great thinkers but they are pretty keen on where the easy chow(mark) is. If there are 85,000 pheasants all cooped up in 100 acres, they are gonna take note.
If a young hawk discovers an easy meal on some farm, he's going to hang out in the neigborhood, that will attract some os his peers, and so it goes.. It works the same for all predator types.

I dont know about the migration habits of hawks, there is a big deal made of their return here in Pa., Hawk mountain and all, but there are plenty of them year round here too. The Eagles dont go anywhere. There are I think, 4 nests, within 20 miles of my farm.

Ground based terrorist varmints are the worst enemy.

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#71114 - 12/01/07 09:05 PM Re: Hawk Predator
C. G. McCary Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 613
Loc: Alabama
All hawks migrate to some extent. Some like the Swainsons Hawk migrate from BC or Alberta all the way to Argentina. This hawk migration numbers in the many thousands (in Veracruz daily counts in September number ten to twelve thousand). In the 1970s, biologists counted nearly 900,000 arriving in a bottleneck in Panama & on into Venezuela & Colombia. This is well documented.

Some hawks (depending on the species) may stop in Oklahoma and winter over; however, how'd you know whether it is the same hawk or if some were staying a few weeks & moving on replaced by others? In the spring-time, the hawks migrate & radiate northward & stake out territories to build nests and raise their young.

In the United States, it is illegal to shoot hawks under the Federal Migratory Bird Act/ Treaty:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode16/usc_sec_16_00000703----000-.html

The 50 States do not have to have separate laws to protect migrating birds because the Federal Law and Treaty would override any State law anyway.

Here are the Hawks covered by the Federal Law:

Hawk, Asiatic Sparrow, Accipiter gularis
Broad-winged, Buteo platypterus
Cooper's, Accipiter cooperii
Ferruginous, Buteo regalis
Gray, Buteo nitidus
Harris', Parabuteo unicinctus
Hawaiian, Buteo solitarius
Red-shouldered, Buteo lineatus
Red-tailed, Buteo jamaicensis
Rough-legged, Buteo lagopus
Sharp-shinned, Accipiter striatus
Short-tailed, Buteo brachyurus
Swainson's, Buteo swainsoni
White-tailed, Buteo albicaudatus
Zone-tailed, Buteo albonotatus


Here is a complete list of all the birds covered by the Act (scroll down to eagles,hawks, owls, all of them are covered):

http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/intrnltr/mbta/mbtandx.html

In 1998, the allowed fines were raised from $5,000 to $15,000 by the U.S. Congress (scroll down to bottom of site):

http://www.fws.gov/laws/lawsdigest/migtrea.html

No State in the U.S. is exempt from this Federal Law. There is also no need for a State to enact its own law (and most do not). However, I know, someone's got to catch you.

Thank goodness this law does not apply to opossums. While I was typing the above (10:00 p.m.), I heard my chickens going crazy, and I heard one cry out like something had her. A opossum had got into the run (and not on the high open coop but broke into the run and a separate pen within the run & the coop in it-- where I had my old rooster and one hen for his company). I grabbed my 22 & flashlight, ran outside and killed the opossum in the coop while he had my hen by the head. Looks like he cut her up pretty bad (all in about 30 seconds). Damn opossum, he broke through the wire and all. I'll post on emergency room.

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