Sunday, September 30, 2012

Diving Hawk

I have been under the misunderstanding that my chickens were too big for the seemingly small Red Tail Hawks we have flying all around us. I've been letting my girls run around the yard for the past three years. I've only been letting them out in the center of the day where I've felt safer from the foxes. I have seen a fox in the middle of the day, but most often in the morning or evening. I'm always on the watch for coyotes but it's actually been a while since I've seen one of those mangy things running through the yard. They are my least favorite animal of all! Of all the things I feared for my hens I was just blind to the threat flying above us.

Perhaps it's because my cat has cleared out what ever field mice and moles there were in the open field next to us. Perhaps this hawk just woke up and felt like a change in diet and felt extremely bold. I do have to say that a Red Tail Hawk is a beautiful majestic looking creature. I admire them from my front window as I see them circle above. They always seem so small. It's hard for me to believe it could really pick up one of my hens. That didn't stop her from trying.

I was standing on the deck talking on the phone and admiring the zen-fullness of the clutch pecking around happily under the willow tree when from out of the tree dives the bold hawk. I screamed and got off my call to run down to protect my girls. As I was standing there the hawk took another dive right next to me! I always walked over and stood in the middle of my hens whenever I saw the flying predator before. I just assumed that my presence would deter any interest. I was wrong. This bird either didn't notice me standing there shooshing it or it was simply amused by my waving arms.

To make a long story short, I rounded up all my girls with my super duper pool noodle and got them back into the run in a flash before the attacker had a chance to take another dive. All is well, however, my girls complain to me when I refuse to open the run door. I'm going to leave them en the run or the tractor now. It's such a shame. They were loving those bugs in the ditch area. At least they are safe.