Preditor watch

Elkhart, IA(Zone 5a)

Look who's checking out my chicks! :( It makes a high pitch whistle sound and my yard looks like I don't raise chickens. They scatter and hide in the bushes and flower beds. I've got a feeling that I'll be losing some of my babies. :( Anyone know what this bird is?

Thumbnail by IowaAnn
Richmond, TX

Cool picture. I don't know which hawk it is. How big is it?

Lodi, CA(Zone 9b)

Wow.. it's pretty, even though it's a threat.. I hope all is okay.

Conroe, TX

Yep, looks like a hawk. You might want to try putting something in the yard that blows in the wind. We have put up a thin metal pole with a piece of lightweight fabric on it that blows around (sort of like a large flag). The thin metal is easy to hammer into the ground and pull up and move to another location.. They tend not to come around if there is something moving in the yard, but move it every so often so it isn't in the same place.

Ferndale, WA

When I enlarge the picture it's a bit fuzzy, but it looks more like an osprey to me. Do you have any water, lake, river, large creek nearby? Just my opinion when I see the colors...Hay

Elkhart, IA(Zone 5a)

Hay,
yes, we have a spring fed creek in our back yard. I've noticed that the other birds take after him when he comes around. They fly around him and attack his back when he's flying...seems strange to see little birds attacking a big bird but he leaves the area so what ever they are doing it must be working. So far, no missing chickens. : )

I'll have to try the pole idea and maybe use some kind of shiny material. Possibly use a plant hook pole and attach some milar (sp)?

Ferndale, WA

The reason the small birds are attacking is because they have babies in nests in the area. The Osprey feeds on anything that lives in the creek, and fledgling birds. Those colors are really consistent with the Osprey, and when he perches he looks like a large hawk...that is a wonderful pic you got...Hay

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

It looks like a redtailed hawk to me, because of the belly band. We have an osprey nest across from our dock and they don't sit that way; also their heads are mostly white with a black stripe across the eyes. An osprey wouldn't be interested in chicks; they like fish.

When smaller birds attack larger predators like that it's called "mobbing." We run geese with our chickens and that seems to discourage hawks.

Elkhart, IA(Zone 5a)

Amazingly our little rooster (bantam named Zorro LOL!) gives out a warning call and all the chickens disappear in the brush. I always wondered what roosters were good for other than the obvious. :)

Richmond, TX

I have two accidental roosters and their only value is as you mention: they are very alert and warn the hens of threats from above.
I agree that it is a hawk of some sort - too stocky for an osprey, I think.

Essex Junction, VT

I have 2 geese that I got to protect my ducks. But one day I came home and my ducks and geese were all in their little pond. I said hey what's going on , then noticed off to the right behind my peach tree a hawk was eating one of my ducks Hatter. It was kind of surreal to see the ducks all acting like everything was OK. This was my lowest pecking order duck.

another time I got to see my ducks in action. (on windy days I have sometimes a dozen hawk sightings , once there was 4 hawks together during migration- i mostly see red tail, and sharp shin and broad wing. ) so anyway, my two males Diamond and Big Red protected the best (beloved) duck Gracie by surrounding her while my other male Spock drove away the low on the pecking order duck Alice. He drove her away from the group so she would be the one picked off. This didn't happen because I was standing there, but it could explain what happened to Hatter and why they didn't seem to care.

I didn't know that having ducks was going to make me really get to id hawks which was something I was always interested in. there is alot of good websites with hawk calls that I review to figure out what I just saw. I read and agree that the best help you could get to prevent hawk attacks is to do things to make crows and ravens hang around (plant some corn for them etc) . Crows once were warning my ducks about something when a hawk dive bombed like 50mph on this crow who got out of the way at the last second. I think that hawk has a nest near my duck pond. Osprey and marsh (harrier) hawk have wings that look like they are hinged. I rather lose one duck to a hawk than have a mink come into the yard that takes everything. Heres one I trapped this spring. He only hurt Gracie a little bit.

Thumbnail by sillenye
(Zone 5b)

Around here the raptor population seems to have exploded. It's very common to see them flying around the fields most of the day. I've noticed a lot more rabbits this year too, at any given time there are several in the back yard, always in the fields, and even a lot hit by cars. I have a very good rooster that is constantly on watch for raptors, he sounds the alarm and they all run for trees and bushes. Then I run around the yard yelling at them in the sky LOL.

I had two hateful roosters in the past and said never again. Never say never. I got back a huge BCM rooster that I bought from greenfire last winter. After 3 weeks of isolation (where he picked off most of his leg feathering) he's been out with the hens for over a week now. He doesn't like to be touched but is respectful of my space.I hold him every day and walk around with him, I put his head down he keeps it there until I put him on the ground. I love the way he feeds the hens and calls them when he finds something yummy. I rarely see him eat, he's too busy making sure the girls eat. I sure hope this lasts. He's almost 7 months old. He doesn't mind the two rabbits that are always in the back yard either.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

Sounds like you lucked out with that rooster! We keep geese in with our chickens and they seem to deter hawks. Whenever we have the geese (a pair, although right now there's also an adolescent gosling) in a different area we seem to lose a chicken to hawks, and that stops when we put them back together again.

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