Sunday, November 7, 2010
Today we survived our first hawk attack. I was doing some computer work at the kitchen table when I suddenly heard a lot of noise from the live-feed web cam that we have on the young chicks/ducklings. I switched over to the web cam webpage but the camera had been knocked so that I couldn't see anything, but I still heard squawking and lots of wing flapping so I rushed outside to see what was happening. They often get riled up over nothing-- the chicks have a tendency to climb up on top of a pile of ducklings and the ducks all get unsettled and start fussing. So I wasn't expecting to see anything out of the ordinary. I was shocked when I approached the run and there was a HAWK trapped inside. Thankfully, for our flock, the hawk was so surprised at being trapped inside the run that he was panicking rather than attacking his would-be prey. All our little ones were huddled in the corner of the run behind their nest box, freaking out but unhurt. I lifted the corner of the run to let the flock out and they immediately ran to hide under the porch, where the big hens were already safely hiding. Now that everyone was safe I stepped back and took a look at the trapped hawk. He was clearly very scared and I was worried that if I lifted the run for him to get out I would get attacked in the process so I left him in the run while I went to fetch Chris (and my camera) from inside. With Chris's help we were able to lift the run off the hawk and move it away. After laying on the ground stunned for a few moments he flew up into one of the trees in the yard and continued to survey the yard for some time. I'm afraid that this won't be the last we see of this fellow. By the time we got the run back in place, with the opening that the hawk had gotten into patched up, the flock was settled in deep under the deck where we couldn't reach them, so it took some time for us to chase them out and catch them. Our big hens are so much easier to catch-- they will come right up to us looking for treats and usually let us pick them up without struggling. The babies haven't learned about treats yet and run from us like we are going to eat them. I guess they aren't as stupid as they seem.