That poor little free-range hen never knew what hit her! Feathers were scattered all over the ground there at the edge of the woods. Her head was definitely messed up. Half her breast had been eaten.
What to do? Salvage work first: Save the other half of the breast and the legs for the stew pot. Then I put her remains right back where I found them, but inside a wire have-a-heart type live-trap. I was certain that whatever had killed her would come back in the night for a second helping.
The next morning I checked the trap and nothing had come. Later in the day I checked and, to my great surprise, there was a hawk in the trap, fluttering about, panicked, and furious. I put on thick leather welder’s gloves, removed it from the trap, and released it. But not before my son Todd took a few photos.
Cooper’s hawks are sometimes called “squirrel hawks” because of their ability to navigate with great speed even through thick forest. They belong to a group of raptors known as accipiters. These hawks are characterized by long tails and short rounded wings. Their flight pattern is often a few flaps and a glide. The accipiter group also includes the smaller sharp-shinned hawk and the larger goshawk.
That was one lucky hawk. Chicken-killing hawks are rarely treated so well in this neighborhood. The good news is that maybe it learned its lesson because we haven’t had any chicken predation since then.
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0 thoughts on “Hawk in the Chicken Yard (What’ll We Do…?)”
That’s one P.O.’d-looking accipiter. Nice catch though!
Looks as if he paid off that dinner tab with a bit of modeling work, and has departed with a tale to tell. I hope your chickens will be safe now.
How interesting! I had never thought that if I trapped a predator, then turned it loose, it might not come back. May have to try this although we’ve been so lucky for quite a long time. I have retrieved hens while still alive but messed up. I soak their wounds with green tea and they are up and about in no time.