Anyone else overran with hawks and owls?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Little Quacker in OR, Nov 11, 2005.

  1. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    I am curious Poppy as I enjoy raptors and like studying them. Do you think you are really seeing many hawks up circling around or do you think they could be vultures? Just wondering. Most of our hawks here(heavy conifer forest) are perching birds and lurk in a tree waiting for prey, we don't get many soaring species here. I don't get to see these beautiful soaring birds much at all.

    Do you know what species you see the most of?

    Thanks, LQ
     
  2. BaronsMom

    BaronsMom Well-Known Member

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    Raptors are extremely beneficial...we've lost chickens in the past to the birds, but lessons learned - now we protect our birds better. There's no way we would ever jeopardize the raptors in our area.

    It is illegal to kill raptors - I wouldn't hestitate to report someone killing one of these birds.
     

  3. Ranchermom

    Ranchermom Sam at the Pecan Ranch

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    This last week I have lost over 5 or 6 chickens. At first I thought it was the hawks cause I kept seeing one then three of these huge hawks eating the carcus of the chickens.

    Caught with hand/wing in the cookie jar so to speak. However in the past they have always just watched my chicken but never attacked since they are so big I was doubtful even with the evidence pointing towards them. I shot at them to scare them away. I had one once attack a chicken but the chicken just ran away it was too big for the hawk.

    Then I noticed on a few the heads were off, it was hard to tell by the time I got there cause most of it was gone. Then yesterday I saw one that was just taken out near the coop not eaten and 3 laying around. My guineas were in trees now refusing to go back to coop so I went out yesterday to secure the coop more, I saw that the chickens were as high as they could get in the coop scared. I knew it was something coming in at night getting them. The evidence was pointing to something else now.

    My dad and I went out hunting last night and we did see a skunk out in the middle of the field. I am used to having predators around cause they eat our pecans from our small orchard but he had no business being near our coop in the field so we took care of him.

    I went out this morning and either it was him or the coop was too secure to get into now who knows. So far so good no dead chicken. I will check this afternoon too if it is the hawks which look like deformed segals to me I will have to think of something else. I am hoping it was the skunk. I am tired of losing young chickens. We have those big eagles from Mexico coming in every few months but they are more scavengers then hunters.

    Sam
     
  4. Firethorn

    Firethorn Well-Known Member

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    Where do you live? The led poison is a thing I wand to stay far from while looking for our stead.
     
  5. poppy

    poppy Guest

    Yes, these are hawks. We have the turkey vultures around also, but I have never seen them kill anything. They do circle in groups looking for carion. The redtail hawks circle looking for prey. They will swoop down and get a mouse or snake, but they land in a tree or on a pole and look around before getting something as big as a chicken. I have seen them try to fly off with a chicken too heavy for them to lift. Years ago, farmers used to set a steel trap on top of a pole and tie a chicken by the leg beneath it on the ground. The hawk would always land on the pole and get caught. Of course it is illegal now. I saw 2 hawks double team a squirrel in a tree and finally got him. Way back in the 60s we had a bounty on them here of 50 cents. People out hunting would shoot them for the bounty and still never made much of a dent in the population.
     
  6. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

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    We have quite a few Bald Eagles on the lower St. John River now. The feed on various fishes, though salmon is in decline. The Bald Eagle population seems to have come back since we stopped using DDT, and spraying the Spruce Bud Worm, or the various defoilant agents that were used and tested in the Camp Gagetown training area. They never died out in Cape Breton and parts of Nova Scotia. The trouble with nature is that we don't really have a proper sense of what is normal. How tall is a tree? Is it normal to have 5,000,000,000 passenger pigeons, or to live without them?
     
  7. poppy

    poppy Guest

    I agree. It seems when government tries to solve a problem, it creates 2 more. I am all for hawks being around. What I question is the wisdom off protecting them to the point and in such numbers that they threaten quail, rabbits and other things. I think there is plenty of room for an adequate number of all. I would rather have lots of quail and rabbits and fewer hawks in this area. Maybe other areas need more hawks. That is the trouble with federal regulations, a blanket policy doesn't fit everyone.
     
  8. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    LOL...no typo. We have lost a couple cats that we assume fell victim to the owls.

    I've never had anything bother my chickens though. They are in a pen with a top on it. I let the chickens out for an hour or so before sunset, but I'm always out with them and have never had a problem.
     
  9. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

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    We've had a pair of owls coming by our place every now and again for the last year. DH said he heard them around when we first moved in over seven years ago. I didn't have the pleasure of hearing them until last spring. We have hawks swoop into our yard every now and then going after the smaller birds. I think one ate a bluejay at the top of one of our trees. I was sitting on the deck and these blue feathers kept falling out of the tree. I couldn't figure out what happened to a blue jay that high up in the tree until dh laughed at my stupidity :p and said it was probably a hawk.

    Now I'll have to keep the cats in at night. I figured they were too big to be bothered by owls. Maybe I was wrong? :confused:

    One of the most exciting things I've seen out here is a golden eagle. It was right alongside the road. I saw it land in the ditch. Then right before I drove past, it spread it's enormous wings and flew up right in front of my car. Wow. That was a lifetime event. I'll probably never see it again.
     
  10. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Great Horned Owls can and do eat cats. There have been several reports of such sightings in Ohio.

    Mom's place is overrun with winged predators. Twice she has seen owls eating her poultry and even saw a hawk catch one of her baby ducks. There are hawks here but not in great numbers. Had one setting just outside the house, watching the ducks last week. I scared it off and haven't seen it back but I still pen the ducks in the shed when I'm not home.
     
  11. Rachel K.

    Rachel K. Well-Known Member

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    We have a lot of Hawks and Bald Eagles out here. You can usually catch sight of a Hawk circling in the sky a couple times a day. Sometimes several fly around calling to each other. We sometimes have Bald Eagles perch in the trees next to our house as well.

    I made the mistake of allowing my Chickens to free range one day and I saw a Hawk dive down out of the sky towards them. My Chickens gave the alarm and ran for cover and the Hawk flew off. Now I have to keep a eye on them when ever I decide to let them out for a little while.
     
  12. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    I probably see at least a half a dozen hawks around here while I'm outside doing chores. A 12 mile trip down the road and you will see several perched on poles and fence posts. At night I can hear lots of owls. Had a great horned out in the oak tree by my window the other evening. We have a very healthy population of kestrels. One hunted a meadow near my house every day this summer. Every time I would go down to my mailbox he(or she) would be either hovering over the meadow or be perched on the telephhone line or an old dead cottonwood tree. Vultures prowl the land on either side of the highways looking for deer that have been hit and wandered off into the woods to die.

    I like them because they help kill the stray cats people dump out in the country. I watched a raid tailed hawk catch and kill a big feral tomcat last deer season. Pretty good entertainment on the tree stand while the deer action was slow.
     
  13. MaKettle

    MaKettle Well-Known Member

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    We have red tailed hawks and bald eagles. They circle and scree and are lovely to see. The free range chickens have never been threatened. And nothing has come under/over/through the fence to get them. I credit this to good luck, plus a flock of very beligerant geese and three guineas who scream bloody murder if upset. Knock on wood!! and hope the good luck continues.
     
  14. chris30523

    chris30523 Well-Known Member

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    We also have alot of Hawks and Owls.They hunt the fields when we cut hay and help to keep the rat and mouse population in check.They also have bunnies and squirrels to keep them happy.They don't bother my chickens unless one gets out and strays to far.I would rather loose a chicken than the rodent control.We also don't have quail any more but the wild turkeys( which have also increased in population) eat their eggs and the cyotes (which were reintroduced) get them.
     
  15. caballoviejo

    caballoviejo Well-Known Member

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    Every common sense protection that you would afford yourself is illegal.
    Which is why the backlash.
     
  16. pyper7

    pyper7 pyper7

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    This time of year we get an increase in raptors due to migration. There is a healthy population of red-tails, kestrals, coopers hawks and a few bald eagles right here. I've only had sporadic issues with the hawks targeting my chickens, usually if it's not easy for them, they move on. I have heard an unusual owl for around here that I can't identify, I hope to catch a glimpse before it leaves. I personally think that raptors and prey populations move in cycles. May not be so many in two years and have too many rodents. Interesting to me.
     
  17. Shahbazin

    Shahbazin Well-Known Member

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    I free range poultry in an area w/lots of hawks & owls (including great horned owls), but don't have losses; I think it's because I run a pair of Anatolian Shepherds with my flock - they are big & light colored & bark a lot, & I think they sort of spook the raptors. I'd frankly worry about my lambs if I didn't have the dogs - new Shetland lambs are in the 5 lb range, a handy size for an owl or golden eagle. I saw a red tailed hawk take a grey fox in a ditch by the horse barn, once (not a dog-patrolled area).
     
  18. mountainman_bc

    mountainman_bc Well-Known Member

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    I guess we're just lucky but so far nothing has eaten our freerange ducks/hens/guineas. There are eagle/hawks/falcons and owls here. I think the key is that it is quite wild so that they have all the natural food they want (mice/bunnies/fish etc) so that they don't come in. Kind of like how cougars attack but generally only in areas where deer are hunted extensively. Take away the regular food source...
    One guy I know lost a rooster to an owl. But it was bigger than the poor owl could handle and dropped it into the crotch of a tree.
    I used to put netting over the birds but haven't had to lately.
    Did the owls take full sized cats or lil kitties?
    I've heard of bald eagle in the city eating cats and little dogs but usually it's the coyotes at night here. Here anyways owls eat mainly mice.
     
  19. Ozark-Dew

    Ozark-Dew AMDG

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    it is a humorism death from lead poisoning = lead shot
     
  20. Ozark-Dew

    Ozark-Dew AMDG

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    we've been having a redtail circling high this past month. we also have a lot of vultures, definately not the same bird. the one that really disturbs me is the the mississippi kyte (kite?) they are VERY protective of "their" territory, and won't hesitate to swoop down and injure passer bys.