Predators in the Sky

Looking for a Chicken Feast


Last night a giant owl discovered my chicken yards. Camped overhead and intently scouting the property for a feast. Fortunately, all my hens are in fenced enclosures with aviary netting atop.  I do have one bird at slight risk, my new little Sizzle hen. She lives in the barn with our burro, Beamer.  Jojo sleeps in a box on top of the hay pile, and during the day stays close to her donkey pal. For once I’m glad Beamer’s opinions concerning intruders are so obnoxiously LOUD.  I can only hope the ruckus by a crazy ass in the barn will discourage the owls quest.

  The Harris Hawk Also Visits TBN… Again

These beautiful unwelcome birds of prey are not strangers to the ranch, but this is the first time they showed up in numbers. Perched high above the chicken yard, they watch, then circle, and slowly move in closer.  Once they see the aviary netting they diligently look for an entry. When their efforts prove unsuccessful, they get extremely agitated and vocal. 

Harris Hawks, Actual Birds

They’ve been easy to photograph because they aren’t the least bit intimidated by me. They stand their ground by making loud squawking noises, then spread their 3-4 ft wing span in an attempt to scare me…  it works.

Harris Hawk, Actual Birds

Two years ago this Harris Hawk grabbed my 6 lb. Rhode Island Red hen, Martha. Luckily, we were able to rescue her. Thanks to our house cat Eddy who witnessed the near catastrophe from a bedroom window. The hawk swooped down from the roof and landed on top of Martha, Eddy had such a fit we looked out the window to see what was going on. 

If the hawk wasn’t alone that day we never would have had time to save Martha, it must have struggled with the hen because of her size. Considering Harris Hawks usually work together, it was only a matter of time before the family would be invited to the feast. This is when the grueling task of hanging aviary netting began.

Martha’s Predator, a Harris Hawk

Advertisements

About tbnranch

amy elizabeth, writer, author. Lives in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert on a small hobby farm. Raises laying hens.
This entry was posted in All The Ranch Doin"s and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Predators in the Sky

  1. Bongo says:

    Such beautiful birds. Too bad they can also be such a hazard.

  2. So, they are birds of prey, and the chickens are birds of pray. 🙂

    The Osprey around here have been known to pick up small pets from the docks and boats. My two cats are hoping they’ll try it.

  3. Terri O.A. says:

    found your link on Believe Anyway, and I am glad I did. love the look of your blog!

  4. Those things are terrifying! Remind me to keep my little dog away from the ranch! 🙂

  5. tbnranch says:

    They do give up… wait a few months and check back.

  6. Bassas Blog says:

    Beautiful photographs. Wonderful birds but I hope they tire of trying to get to your chickens and move on soon.

  7. Kate Kresse says:

    Awesome shots, Amy…I am putting the link here thanking you for the Kreativ blogger award. thank you again—http://believeanyway.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/god-bless-the-friend-who-gave-me-the-kreative/

  8. Rita A. says:

    Our new neighbor from New York City loves watching these birds that spend a lot of time in the top of our eucalyptus. There’s always another side to the story. An interesting look at life. What we see as beautiful you see as harmful and both sides have merit.

  9. Jo Bryant says:

    your birds are so lucky to have you care so much for them

  10. It’s so hard. While they are beautiful to watch the birds are so destructive!

  11. Would the Hawk get tangled up in the netting and how would you get them free?

    • tbnranch says:

      No, it’s stretched tight. Besides they are way to smart. Little birds get caught once in awhile but they usually get out by themselves. Only twice I’ve had to cut the netting to release a sparrow.

  12. tbnranch says:

    Your bunnies are very lucky to have a safe haven, life for a rabbit here is quite the opposite. 😦

  13. Last year we installed netting over our little fenced in patio off the bedroom. The reason? The patio is where my two bunnies choose to spend their day sleeping. Not 100 feet away on a large baseball diamond light pole rest a bald eagles nest! Nuff said!
    We love reading your blog my friend, keep ’em rollin’!

Comments are closed.