The hawk returns...

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by LGOberean, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    Just before the turn of the new year, back on December 29, to be precise, I posted here in the BDC about a hawk in my hen house. I nicknamed him Ol' Cooper Hawk. Here's the link if anyone wants the backstory to this present post...

    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/ol-cooper-hawk.793220/

    My wife slept in late this morning, and then asked if I would take her out to brunch. I readily agreed, and we ate out at our favorite cafe and came back. I had a biscuit and a half I didn't eat, plus a bit of hash browns (actually, they were more like hash "whites"), so though I had already given the chickens some feed this morning, I headed out the door with Bella (our Beagle + Cocker Spaniel mix) to give the hens our leftovers. (My wife had saved a few bits of bacon for Bella.)

    I opened the back door and Bella bolted out and headed to the chicken wire. At first, I saw nothing unusual about that. But the chickens were putting up a terrible fuss, and so was Bella. She went to the gate between the hurricane fence and the metal storage shed and when I came to inspect, there was a hawk with his fresh kill, one of our hens!

    I immediately reached for the holster on my belt and drew my...cell phone! :eek: Yeah, weird, I know. I feel like I am a misplaced country boy in the city, and though I'm 64 years old and in many ways technologically challenged, my first instinct was to grab my phone! :oops::rolleyes: But how else am I going to call my wife to get her to come out and help me corral the dog while I take pics of the scene before me? ;)

    Once my wife came out to help me corral Bella, I opened the gate and stepped inside, and the hawk squared off at me and spread his wings wide to scare me off. All I had out there with me (besides a cell phone :rolleyes:) was a pocket knife and the biscuits. My wife handed me a rock and I threw it at the hawk (not at its head or torso, but at the ground just in front of it), and it flew away. At first, he flew only to the wooden fence between us and our neighbors. As I stepped in further, it flew into our pecan tree in the middle of our yard. When I moved to intercept, it flew to the telephone pole a couple of houses down. This guy clearly wanted to reclaim his kill.

    I went out again about an hour later, as my wife was back inside plucking and gutting the unfortunate hen. (BTW, cleaned the chicken weighed 3.2 lbs. She was one of our best layers.) As I stepped outside, the hawk was circling, then re-alighted onto his previous perch (the telephone pole) because Bella and I were out there. While I watched him, suddenly *another* hawk circled the yard, then alighted on a limb in the pecan tree, maybe 20 feet almost directly above me.

    His mistake. Though I would not discharge a firearm in the city limits for anything other than home invasion, I had my BB gun in hand. It's just my Daisy Red Ryder 1938B, firing a .177 cal. BB with a muzzle velocity of 350 fps, if that. So I shot the one above me (hawk #2) in the tail, and he flew away. About an hour ago, I went out again to check on the situation and the hawk had flown down near the chicken run. But when it saw me, he flew to the nearby power lines. That was in range for me to tag it with my BB gun. Again, no harm done, hawk #1 just flew out to his previous perch on the telephone pole. (This little Red Ryder has a range of less than 200 yards.)

    Okay, story told. Now all that remains is to post the pics along with it... 02-09-2018 - Hawk kill - 2.jpg
    02-09-2018 - Hawk kill - 4.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
  2. Nickadermis

    Nickadermis Friend of Leo's

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    Tenacious little critters!

    My stepmom has rabbits, well my stepmom, the hawks and the owls have rabbits. We do pretty good unless she forgets to put them away at night or she turns them out in the yard too soon in the mornings.
     
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  3. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    They are beautiful birds, and I don't begrudge them the need to eat. I just wish they'd focus their attention on pigeons or grackles. :(
     
  4. Bones

    Bones Telefied Ad Free Member

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    ... ahh forget it, you're gonna do what you're gonna do. I'll just ignore your future posts.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
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  5. LeftFinger

    LeftFinger Friend of Leo's

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    Your Title grabbed me cause there is only one Hawk

     
  6. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    I had rabbits when I was a boy. But they didn't run loose in the yard. I had a hutch up off the ground, like this...

    [​IMG]

    ...and a cage on the ground, sort of like this...

    [​IMG]
     
  7. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

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    The first thing you grabbed was a cell phone? And you call yourself a Texan :lol:
    I would have thought you’d have pulled on the first hawk, then called your wife to clean two birds:eek:
     
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  8. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

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    We had rabbit and pigeon cages just like that. My grandfather raised both.
     
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  9. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    :lol: Sounds right when you say it! :lol: My only defense is, as I said before, I wasn't going to discharge a firearm within the city limits.
     
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  10. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

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    It’s all just kidding around, I know you can’t fire a gun in the city.
     
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  11. william tele

    william tele Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I'm not wanting to chastise anyone for trying to protect their livestock...but an accidental shot, even with 350 fps, 5 grain BB can take out hawk if you hit it right. It's really not something you want to take a chance on. I don't know what they do to you in Texas but it's even illegal to posses a feather...let alone kill one. I thought there would be Predation Laws but didn't find any.

    Put up some big Crow decoys and move them around. It might do it...good luck.
     
  12. Nickadermis

    Nickadermis Friend of Leo's

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    Yip, ours are off the ground like your first pic. They have a runway down to the ground and they have a yard about 30' square divided for males and females that they run around in during the day. I think there are 7 or 8 rabbits at the moment. our chickenhouse will hold about 30 hens but is under repair at the moment. My neighbor raises chickens so I have eggs and chicken readily available so no rush to fix the chicken house.

    We have about fifty hawks per chicken around here so what you are going though is normal for us. When I was a kid and the chickens were more than just an extravagance the hawks were kept in check. Today we just raise more chickens. The hawks really do help with keeping the rodents down as well so we sort of coexist as long they don't get too carried away.
     
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  13. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    Thanks for your input. It challenged me to be better informed. So, I've been reading the Texas Parks & Wildlife "Threatened, Endangered and Protected Animals" page, and other online pages like it, since reading your post.

    Let me reiterate: these two hawks flew away after I tagged them with a BB. They were not harmed. And while it was on the ground right in front of me, with the dead hen at its feet, I had the opportunity to kill the hawk that killed my hen, and didn't.

    This is not the first time we have had an encounter with a hawk and our chickens. I actually found one in my chicken coup, with a hen trapped in there with it. Again, the link I provided in my OP leads to the thread that tells that story. And this is not the first time we've lost a chicken to a hawk here in the city. And after all this, it is still not my wish to kill the hawks.

    Here is our situation. We live within the city limits, and are allowed by city ordinance to have six hens, but no roosters. We closed off the back part of our property as a chicken run. The chickens do not range free in the yard, just in the 50 ft run, and their coup is back in the run. My wife and I have already talked today about covering over a part of the chicken run as a more long term solution to this hawk problem.

    I lived as a boy on our family farm, but our experiences down on the farm were in a different location (way out in the country versus within city limits) and a different time (decades ago). I may find the differences frustrating and maybe even some of the regulations questionable, but I will inform myself and abide by the law.
     
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  14. birddog01

    birddog01 Tele-Afflicted

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    I deal with them too. Search for "gamebird netting" and cover your runs.
    get the 1" square not the 2" and the hawks won't get in and the chickens won't get out. I have it over our chickens and on my quail flight pens. Our place near here has deals on odd sizes and remnants. Cutlers supply.
     
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  15. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    We have 12 layers in a nice coop out near our garden. He have Hawks, they are beautiful (I think) and they've never bothered our birds.

    Dumb question; can you cover your run? 6 x 8' dog kennel panels cost about $50 here (on sale).....can you place two of them over your run to protect your chickens from air assault? Cheap bird netting like the stuff that gardeners place over strawberries will work but if a hawk lands hard into that stuff it's going to be horrible. Assuming that your run isn't gigantic I'd cover it with kennel panels. We bought 5 kennel panels (one with a door) to create the run for our coop. It's tidy.
     
  16. william tele

    william tele Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Larry, I don't want you to think I was trying to scold or criticize for trying to run those hawks off. I understood that you had no intention of killing them. I guess I was just trying to make the point that even the minuscule power of that BB gun could accidentally kill something like a hawk if it hit just right.

    Didn't mean to shame you. Heck, we've got woodpeckers around here that drum on my gutters and soffit that I'd be tempted to take out...but they're pretty and protected...so I just go out and wave my arms.:p
     
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  17. FenderGyrl

    FenderGyrl Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah,
    Those Chicken Hawks can be downright devious I Tell Ya !!! :twisted:
     
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  18. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    I didn't take it as chastisement. Like I said, it challenged me because I didn't know the specific wording of federal laws, so I accepted the challenge to inform myself of the facts.

    As for a BB accidentally killing a hawk, well, I suppose it's possible. I just tend to think of those things as not much of a threat. I've been shot by them before, accidentally, and once even out of meanness. It stings, and may even leave a welt, but that's it. The only thing I've ever killed with a BB gun is a mouse. I was up late decades ago and saw a mouse in the apartment. I picked up my son's BB gun and shot it from like 10 feet away. That stopped the mouse in its tracks, but I finished it off by moving in even closer and shooting it at point blank range.

    And thanks to birddog01 and John for suggestions on covering materials. As I said, my wife and I are discussing that idea already, so I'll look into the materials suggested.

    Oh, and John, I agree they're beautiful birds. In my previous thread about the hawk in our hen house, I said that I love seeing a hawk on the wing, but a hawk in the hen house, not so much. I should add to that, a hawk with one of my best layers as its fresh kill, not so much.
     
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  19. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I knew that was coming!
     
  20. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

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    I thought this thread was going to be about THE hawk - the winter coming in off Lake Michigan in Chicago. :confused::)
     
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