An Unwelcome Resident

A couple of weeks ago, we looked outside and saw a hawk perched upon one of the posts for the fence around our fruit frees.  We thought it was kinda weird but now he/she and a buddy have set up permanent residence.  There’s almost always one sitting on one of those posts and one either on another post or on the ground looking for something to eat.

The chickens aren’t afraid of them but those hawks keep swooping down around the chicken run.  Sometimes the hawks hang out on the limbs right over the coop.  I’m getting real aggravated with having them around.

Some evenings when it isn’t too cold, we let the chickens out to run around while we’re out there with them and they especially like to play in the garden area but with these two hawks around, those chickens are staying safely in their pen.  You know how badly those hawks would want a chicken for dinner but they can just go find someone else’s chickens . . or maybe catch a raccoon or a groundhog and that would be one less for me to have to catch!


  1. 3


    oh Judy I don’t like that at all…makes me nervous..we had a pair in Nashua where we I know how you feel.

  2. 4

    Chris says

    Would an artificial owl in the tree scare them off? I have heard it works, but not sure if it really does. Might have to research that idea. Chris

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    Lynne says

    We had a baby hawk hanging around for a while I think it was called a Hooper. Luckily it moved on, we don’t have chickens but love to loom out of our window and see the Jays and the Cardinals and Woodpeckers on our bird table.

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    Even if they are not big enough to actually carry off a chicken, they can terrorize the hens, and they can wound them. And as they nest and start raising little ones, they will get more desperate to try. Beautiful creatures, just not around Judy’s chickies!

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    How about hanging old CD’s on the trees? They will turn and flash in the sun – took care of our pigeon problem when we lived in town. Birds don’t like that flash.

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    When we moved into our new home last summer, there were 11 fish in our pond. Little by little we noticed that one would be missing, until they were all gone! We could hear the hawk, but never could catch him in the act. One time I saw the impression of the fish shape on the railing on our deck. Guess the hawk had to readjust his grip before carrying him off. So for now, no more fish in the pond 🙁

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    lw says

    It makes me wonder if there aren’t field mice swiping the chicken feed and running in and out of the chicken run. I would try the CD idea, it works to keep birds off my plums.

    My 75 lb. dog, Harry, keeps the crows out of our backyard. He hates them! You could consider borrowing (or adopting) a bird dog like a fox hound. It would have to be a puppy, though, or already trained not to pay attention to the chickens.

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    marilyn smith says

    Judy, the old timers called those hawks “chicken hawks”…………………and they did it for an obvious reason. Keep your chickens in!

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    shirley bruner says

    I once saw a hawk snatch up a rabbit. not a pretty sight. it happened very, very quickly. my dh just got a photo from his wildlife camera set up in our woods of a bobcat this morning. it was like 2:38 in the morning. i’m usually not out and about then but this was less a quarter mile from our house. i’m staying out of the woods. but i guess that is what you get when you live in a forest.

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    Connie says

    We have one/several that live in or near our neighborhood. Big dudes/dudettes. Sometimes you have to be really careful and diligent if you have a small dog you let outside.

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    I agree with Connie, keep an extra close eye on Speck when he’s out. The father of my husband’s friend showed up one day at our house with his rat terrier, who had two weird looking spots on his hind end. Hank told me he heard him screaming one day, ran out just in time to scare of a hawk who had his dog in its talons! Hopefully they’ll move on.

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    Can’t tell for sure from your picture–but its probably either a Cooper’s Hawk or a Sharp Shinned Hawk. They won’t bother your chickens–they are much too large for them–but if you or your neighbors have bird feeders–they will fly along probably not far off the ground–and will swoop up and maybe over an obstacle to pick off small birds. Mice, insects, small birds is their diet. Attacking a chicken is something they probably aren’t going to do–the birds are too big and they won’t risk getting injured. They are opportunists, and would eat any carrion they could find. You often see hawks/eagles along the road dining on road kill. If you have a bird feeder, taking it down for a few days will move the hawks buffet.