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hawk question..

Hawks, Eagles, Owls, Osprey etc.

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Re: hawk question..

Postby pat » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:42 am

lavenderlilac wrote:Pat, whenever I hear an owl at night, I also go out clapping my hands and making noises to try to scare it away.
I use to hear owl's at night, but, haven't heard them for quite a while. but, that don't mean there aren't any.

I have a very large pen in front of my house where my dogs can go out during the night. there are many times I heard them barking a lot, never found out what they bark at. I am not sure if it is an owl or what .

but, from now on, when I hear an owl, and can locate about where he is, I will try and scare him away.
wonder if a whistle will work?

I read today that hawks pluck the feathers of their victims, and usually that was all that was left of my peacocks. A huge area of feathers and sometimes a wing. I don't know why it's hard to believe a hawk would kill a peacock. Our neighbors dog ran up and grabbed one of mine by the neck once, and it didn't struggle, at all. When the dog let it go, it just slowly collapsed. A hawk could easily put it's talons around the peacocks neck and stand on it and begin plucking it. The peacocks don't bite back.
do you remember if you seen your peacocks at night, then missing sometime during the day?
I personally think a hawk will kill a peacock. they have some razor sharp claws. I read the females are bigger than the males.

since you mentioned about the pile of feathers. I didn't see a lot of feathers when I found the wing.
did yours sit up in the trees at night? mine did.

I seen my beagle grab a chicken, the chicken just stayed still. but, I saved the chicken in time.
I would think a peacock would be the same.

did your peacock survive after the dog grabbed it?


And some of the owls I've seen in the barn are small, not much larger than a hawk, and the little owls don't have any problem killing the much larger peacocks. I KNOW the night kills were owls. They would always leave the entire body and just eat the head. Today, there was actually a hawk sitting out on the fence when I went out the back door.

wonder why owls just eat the head. if owls kill in that mannor, then I don't think it was an owl that killed my peacock.

I still lean toward the hawks, mostly because I have seen so many of them lately. anytime I see a hawk now, I try and chase them away. also, I have a sensor light, but, it don't cover all my property.

when I found my peacock's wing, it was on the ground below a dead tree. but, really close to the end of my driveway.
kind of close to the road, which surprised me. but, after seeing how close the tree was where I seen the hawk and babies, it kind of makes sense assuming my peacock was sitting in that tree where I found the wing.
I walked around the property to see if I could find any other remains, and found nothing.

I read motion detector lights can sometimes scare owls away at night but that wouldn't help with whatever attacks them during the day. Of all the predatory animals like coyotes, foxes, raccoons etc., I've never seen or heard any of them during the day, but I always see hawks then
. that is about all I see too icon_confused.gif
I have never seen foxes or raccoons on my property. maybe my dogs help or maybe the odor from my foxes and coons help,
or both :shrug:

Raccoons love eating the peacock food at night but I've never been able to imagine them killing the peacocks. They usually seem very sweet and almost tame. Do you think a raccoon would ever kill a peacock?
I doubt very much a raccoon would kill a peacock. I think raccoons generally look on the ground for food. raccoons are not strictly meat eaters.
they can find bugs, worms, fruits and mostly are big on catching fish. also, as we all know, they raid garbage cans.
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Re: hawk question..

Postby pat » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:45 am

Juska wrote:They're omnivores, but I don't think they would be brave enough to try and kill a bird that size.


I agree. they would prefer finding something a little easier. and if a raccoon would have killed a peacock, there would be a lot of feathers and most likely be a trail of feathers.

I would like to be a camera up, but, it would be hard to cover all the property
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Re: hawk question..

Postby lavenderlilac » Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:57 am

I would never believe the raccoons would hurt the peacocks either. They seem perfectly happy eating the peacock food. I LOVE the raccoons. We have a lot of raccoons here. And possums and coyotes. I've never seen a fox but I frequently step outside and smell what smells like skunk. Before Lucy, I always assumed it WAS a skunk but now when I smell it, I always wonder if it could be a fox?

I've had both night and day kills and they were completely different. The ones the owls killed at night, had the entire body undisturbed, just the head gone. They owls sat in the trees and would hit or grab the peacocks roosting on the roof and the porch top. In the house, I would hear a thud and rolling down the roof. It was awful.

The kills in the daytime would be anywhere from just a pile of feathers, to part of the body or the entire body.

I think the whistle might work because although I could never actually see the owls fly away, after I went out and made noise at night, I didn't hear them after that.

I also think we have falcons because I hear that distinct sound they make but I'm not sure if falcons actually exist here. But if they do, I think they could do the same damage as hawks.

My little peahen, unfortunately, did not survive when the dog grabbed her. I was right there and ran and made the dog let her go but she must have had something crushed inside her neck because she just slowly sat down and then very slowly kept falling. If I could, I would keep them in my house to keep them safe, like the dogs and cats. They are my pets and their vulnerability to predators and even winter weather, worries me to death.

So that's why I've kept them in the arena for the last couple of years but I wrestle with that not being the happiest life for them.
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Re: hawk question..

Postby Nicophorus » Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:56 am

Ok first: Raccoons WILL kill all manner of fowl/birds. They will kill anything smaller then them that they can catch.

Onto the more obvious point: As mentioned by a few of you in this thread, the hawks when killing/eating a full grown chicken will then absolutely have to stay there on the ground and feed. A hawk is not flying away with an entire adult chicken body MUCH less a peacock lol. Its just not possible.

I lost all my female guinea hens one by one because they would nest, and when on nest they don't get up and run until its too late. It was to bobcats. The kill site you described: it fits the same description of the kill sites I lost big roosters and hens to, to bobcats.

Four foot, six foot fence is not stoping them, they will attack in broad daylight (all my losses were in daylight, my birds get put up at night).

A raccoon will also most likely leave a mutiliated body, they will feed at/near the kill site. The bobcats will always carry away as soon as the bird is caught.

Yes a hawk "might" be able to kill a full grown peacock, but it sure as heck is not flying off with one.

I don't know anything about foxes (im sure many on this board do though, and I read in a post here on this board when someone threw a live chicken into their fox cage (which is loathsome, but that's another topic) the first thing the fox did was remove the wings). So maybe a fox too could of done it.

I repeat: you are looking at a heavier predator then a hawk, with the kill site and lack of body you are describing. I went through this exact same thing, scratching my head, staring up at the hawks wheeling in the sky everyday, wondering what is making my birds "poof" into thin air with just a few feathers left behind.

And then I found the bobcats.
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Re: hawk question..

Postby pat » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:14 pm

Nicophorus,

please bare with me, I really do not know much about hawks. I am trying to understand and figure out just what my peacock.
suspions seem to point to the hawks. but, I will not rule anything else out.

I would honestly be surprised if it was a bobcat. don't get me wrong, I am not doubting you.
I have never heard or seen bobcats around here, not saying there isn't any.
but, if it was a bobcat, would there be a trail of feathers?

foxes usually pull the heads first, take them, then later come back for the rest.
I would think it was not a fox. my coon hounds have excellent hearing, and they can hear anything at night, and start to bark.
there was no barking the night before I found my peacock. but, of course, my hounds are not perfect either.

what I don't know about hawks, is just what is their limit of carrying something away?
I don't really know how big a female peacock is without feathers, and how much they weigh. nor do I know
how much a hawk weighs, if the weight has any bearing :shrug:

I just found it odd that so many hawks have been hovering around here. not to mention the babies.

I found this to be a little interesting. I am just trying to learn more about hawks.
someone in the post after the video claimed a hawk tried taking her small dog.
another said a hawk did :shrug:
http://www.blurtit.com/q976066.html

I assume a bobcat will go up a tree to find it's prey?
that is where my peacock was.

will a bobcat kill a goose? I would think so, but, again, I don't know much about bobcats either.
I have two geese and a couple ducks. so far so good with them.

I need to fix my fence and make it very secure so I feel comfortable letting my dogs out at night.
the dogs I had before use to patrol, sadly, they all died of old age.

I would love to get another peacock, but, I guess I will have to keep it penned up if I do.

one last question, is it possible (if it was a hawk) could have eaten some of my peacock, then flew away with it the rest?
I would think the mother was bringing food back to her babies :shrug:
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Re: hawk question..

Postby pat » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:32 pm

lavenderlilac wrote:I would never believe the raccoons would hurt the peacocks either. They seem perfectly happy eating the peacock food. I LOVE the raccoons. We have a lot of raccoons here. And possums and coyotes. I've never seen a fox but I frequently step outside and smell what smells like skunk. Before Lucy, I always assumed it WAS a skunk but now when I smell it, I always wonder if it could be a fox?
it is very doubtful a raccoon would kill a peacock. a fox could, but, if the peacock is up in the tree, then no, it was not a fox. but, I think the grey ones will climb. all the others will find birds on the ground. I did see a fox here once and also a fox that killed some of my chickens. but, since I got my foxes, I have not seen any. usually with foxes, they usually have a domain area where sometimes they don't allow other foxes in their area.
so maybe the wild ones smell my foxes :shrug:

what about a coyote? could they also be at fault? I don't know much about coyotes. the smell you mentioned, could be a skunk. I have smelt them, they seem to have different levels of odors. the worse is when they are scared.
my dogs use to get hit by a skunk. yike, the odor is horrible. takes a long time for the odor to go away.
I am not sure if a fox in the wild would leave much of an odor. I never smelt any fox odor (except for mine when the litter pans need changed :lol: )

I've had both night and day kills and they were completely different. The ones the owls killed at night, had the entire body undisturbed, just the head gone. They owls sat in the trees and would hit or grab the peacocks roosting on the roof and the porch top. In the house, I would hear a thud and rolling down the roof. It was awful.
ahh, yet, that would be hard to take icon-sad

I think the whistle might work because although I could never actually see the owls fly away, after I went out and made noise at night, I didn't hear them after that.
I am willing to try anything. actually, ever since I put that fake alligator by the pond, I haven't seen any hawks. maybe it is just a coincidence. I wish the alligator worked, it use to move when I plugged it in. but, it don't do that anymore.

I also think we have falcons because I hear that distinct sound they make but I'm not sure if falcons actually exist here. But if they do, I think they could do the same damage as hawks.
I didn't know falcons were in the wild.
gee, I feel kind of stupid now. I don't know much about wild birds. I have a crane that always stops by and hangs out by my pond.

My little peahen, unfortunately, did not survive when the dog grabbed her.

ahh, bummer.

So that's why I've kept them in the arena for the last couple of years but I wrestle with that not being the happiest life for them.
I don't want to sound stupid, but what is an arena? do you have an outdoor pen?
wonder if electric fence was put around the outside of the pen, if that would help?

geez, I should have put my peacock with my bears, she would have been safer there. but, I don't have a top on the whole pen. my chickens go in the pen a lot, they don't bother them.
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Re: hawk question..

Postby Nicophorus » Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:17 pm

pat wrote:will a bobcat kill a goose? I would think so, but, again, I don't know much about bobcats either.


Absolutly can. I thought I had mentioned it before on these boards but a bobcat(s) besides regular fowl have killed on my farm a) a full grown goat (I found the bobcat on top of her, had already eaten most of the throat and chest) and b) a 3/4th grown Emu (emu was half covered in grass/soil inside her own pen, bobcat tracks all over, small shrubs/trees knocked over in struggle, once again throat/chest fed on).

Bobcats are terribly powerful for their size, so muscular and agile.

Sometimes I found a feather trail, and actually followed the trail into some Johnson grass (tall grass) about 100 feet and found the killed Guinea Hen and out of the corner of my eye saw the bobcat slink off.

Sometimes I only found some feathers in one spot, and nothing else.

Only once have I lost a bird to a hawk, and it was a smaller breed chicken and the hawk was standing on top of it, feeding on the head/neck/breast where it made the kill.

There are videos on utube of wild turkeys chasing off hawks. Remember a hawk still comes out the loser (and dies of starvation) even it if kills the turkey/peacock/larger sized then it bird but that bird wounds the hawk and prevents future hunting.

Do some google searching on carrying capacity of birds of prey, a hawk carrying off a dog or peacock is laughable. They say full grown bald eagles are lucky to get something 4 or 5 pounds off the ground.

http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?ad ... eagle.main

Accounts of eagles carrying off dogs and cats are unsubstantiated and highly unlikely. An eagle can lift about three or four pounds, more if it swoops down. Bald eagles are strong aggressive birds but like everything that flies, they are governed by aerodynamics. The wings of an eagle need to support the 8 to 12-pound bird as well as whatever the bird is carrying and best estimates put the lifting power of an eagle at about 4 pounds. That varies, however, depending on the circumstances. Lift is dependent on air speed as well as wing size. The faster a bird (or airplane) is flying, the greater the lift potential. An eagle that lands on the beach to grab a fish and take off is limited to a smaller load than an eagle that swoops down at 20 or 30 miles an hour and snatches up a fish. Momentum and speed give the bird the ability to carry more weight.


The largest hawk in North America (that lives in the southwest, not even by you) is 2 to 5 lbs...

Male peacocks weight 8 to 10 lbs and females 5 to 8 lbs....

Start looking for fox, coyote, or bobcat tracks...
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Re: hawk question..

Postby TamanduaGirl » Sun Jun 09, 2013 3:05 pm

Some full grown chihuahuas are just 3 pounds or less. I know people who have lost dogs that way. One even lost their dog to a vulture as it was old and sleeping in the yard. She saw it happen. Maybe the vulture thought it was dead but they will make an easy kill sometimes even though mostly scavengers. Someone who used to let their fennec fox run in their yard lost it to an owl.

I doubt the peacocks missing their heads were owls. Owls have to swallow their food whole. If they kill something large that means ripping chunks off and swallowing them. Feathers and bones get puked back up. They aren't like snakes where they can stretch way out to swallow things bigger than their throats. I can't imagine one being huge enough to swallow a whole peacock skull and then needing to puke it back up and having the skull take up all that room when they could have eaten nutritious meat instead.

Land predators are more likely. Raccoon go for the throat when attacking and that could easily sever the head. That is likely the issue with foxes taking heads too. It is easiest to kill with a bite to the throat/neck but on a bird that can easily sever the head. It's not some sort of fondness for eating hard skulls with no real meat on it but what they wind up with after the kill. A bird of prey will aim it's talons for the body. If they can't fly away with it then they will start eating it there and they are not going to start with the head.

http://union-bulletin.com/news/2011/jul ... la-aviary/
"The raccoon seems to prefer the peafowl - the male peacocks and female peahens"

"even had a raccoon maul a peahen roosting 30 feet up in a fir, bringing them both to the ground. The poor hen was so torn up, she didn't last."
http://www.boxess.com/wppg.htm

"He said he's seen packs this big, but none so into killing. There was one in Rochester that killed a peacock last winter and another in Grand Mound that killed three chickens. But nothing like this."
http://www.klamathbasincrisis.org/wolve ... 091906.htm

He does mean a group of raccoons. I've seen a group of 4 adults traveling together here myself and they have been witnessed a few times chasing smaller dogs.

PS as for feathers there is no reason for their to be a trail of feathers unless they are carrying away a still thrashing bird. Birds do not start shedding a bunch of feathers the second they die. Even dragging it across the ground would not likely leave a lot but if the body is in the mouth then not much would be dragging. If it was a quick kill and carry away you wont find a big pile of feathers either. Simply not finding a pile of feathers does not mean something had to have flown off with it.
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Re: hawk question..

Postby pat » Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:15 am

Nicophorus and mary,

appreciate your input and help with this.

now, I don't know for sure what killed my peacock.

I doubt it was a raccoon or a bobcat. (but, I am not ruling that out)
I have sensor lights but, not thru all my property.
if bobcats will kill geese, that could rule out a bobcat, because I have never lost any geese.

what throws me off, if why my dogs didn't hunt where I found the pecocks wing.
they will carry on when they smell any type of predator in the yard. I am talking about even the next day.
I have seen them follow a scent of something that was in on the property. it could have been a rabbit, mouse, ground hog that walked thru, and they would know something was there.

yesterday, I found a giant next on top of a tree (I assume it was a hawk nest)

if it was a raccoon, there would be more feathers, unless they killed the peacock in the tree :shrug:
I really doubt a raccoon. my dog would have smelled the path they traveled. even though my dogs get along with my racoons, the wild ones are different, and they do smell the scent of them. (wild animals must have a different scent)

I only seen a raccoon on my property 1 time, and it was a baby. it was injured when I found it, the dogs let me know where it was.(they had it cornered and was barking at it) not sure if my dogs hurt the coon, or it got hit by a car. but, I tried to help it, but, it was paralized. so later, hubby shot it to put it out of it's misery.

don't think it was a fox either. I have seen where a fox killed one of my ducks, and must of tried to pull it thru the fence, but, the dead duck was stuck in the fence.. the foxes usually leave a trail of feathers.

I am 95% it was not a bobcat. I don't think there are any around. but, I could be wrong. never heard or seen any.

I just found it odd, that there was a nest of hawks a couple tree's away from where I found the hawks and it's babies.
is it possible a hawk would kill a peacock nesting in a tree? then eat it up there, then bring some back to their young ones?

this is driving me nuts I really wish I knew for sure what it was.

we are starting to work on our fence, and hope to get the whole thing replaced. but, I will also have electric at the fence.
does anyone think, if I had an electric strand on top, middle and bottle, if this will help deter any predators?

I am just so confused, because of the where I found the wing and a couple feathers. it was about 50 feet from the road and my gate at the end of my driveway :shrug:

I am going to get some of those solar lights and put them everywhere, with hope that could help too.
but, if it is something coming in during the day, then obviously, it won't help. I will be able to leave my dogs out more now, since we fixed some of the fence yesterday.

my steer is a pretty good watch "dog" too. he don't allow strange animals in his yard :lol: he has free run of the property.
when my friend brought his dog here for the first time, oscar went nuts, he chased the dog, the dog was scared and ran.

anyway, thank you much, especially for being so patient with me.
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Re: hawk question..

Postby pat » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:42 pm

I feel like a real idiot now :red-face:

that wing I found was not my peacock's wing.
I was so excited and happy to see her this morning.
she come to eat. I have to wonder if she was coming around and I didn't see her.
I think this time of year, she usually disapears for long periods.
I believe she is setting on a nest.

after seeing her today, I noticed her wing is not at all like the wing I found.

now, for another question. who does this wing belong to?
the pictures are on the page 1. click the picture to see a larger view of it.

I am even more confused now, than I was before.
I don't have any missing animals after all this :shrug:
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Re: hawk question..

Postby TamanduaGirl » Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:21 pm

A duck wing maybe. Which a hawk could maybe get though not out of the water from land or a lucky shot in the air though.

It's possible you have coyotes too. You will generally never see them though your dogs would probably get excited at the smell if they were around.
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Re: hawk question..

Postby pat » Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:27 pm

don't look like a duck wing. kind of big for a duck wing.
if it is, none of mine are missing.

this might sound stupid, but, it almost looks like a young hawk wing.
could it be from a young hawk? is so, what the heck could have happened.

I have seen a lot of weird things in the past, but, this one takes the cake :lol:
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Re: hawk question..

Postby TamanduaGirl » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:47 pm

Could be. Young hawks will sometimes kill or push their siblings out of the nest.
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Re: hawk question..

Postby Lasergrl » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:57 pm

Raccoons here grab sleeping chickens and eat the heads, and then the intestines second. I know because when things get killed I set up trail cams. The raccoons will kill just for fun. meaning, they will kill all they can first, THEN eat. So, they will eat the parts they like the best first, head and guts.
I have had possums hunt my chickens as well, but the raccoons are the worst.
I wouldn't doubt a raccoon or a hawk. hawks do usually leave the feathers in a pile eating it on the spot, but Im not sure, if one with a nest would just bring the whole thing to the nest instead.
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Re: hawk question..

Postby pat » Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:26 pm

TamanduaGirl wrote:Could be. Young hawks will sometimes kill or push their siblings out of the nest.


wow, never heard that. wonder why.

this wing I found, is big, but not big enough for a full grown hawk.
the colors are almost the same as a hawk. :shrug:

it is just so weird where I found this wing.

gee, I like to give it back to it's rightful owner :lol:
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