Date: 1/4/18 3:58 pm
From: Eric Harrold (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Extreme weather, cultivated fowl, and hungry Accipiters
Folks,

On Christmas Eve afternoon, I received a call from a friend in Yadkin
County who had captured a Cooper's hawk in a hav-a-hart trap that was
killing his chickens. Luckily for the hawk, this guy knew me (a licensed
falconer) and I came and took the "problem" off his hands. This hawk had
killed two bantam chickens and had been able to do so because the wire mesh
of the chicken enclosure was easily big enough for the hawk to get its
entire leg through the holes. Today, the same guy called me again with the
same problem and again it was an immature female Cooper's hawk.

My reason for posting this is to encourage folks to spread the word to
their friends and acquaintances who possess cultivated fowl whether
enclosed or free-ranging that these extremely frigid days and nights put
raptors, particularly juveniles in dire straits. Inexperienced juvies are
sometimes forced go to extremes to acquire enough food to keep them alive.
Accipiters particularly are not bashful about raiding a chicken yard.
Cultivated fowl should be enclosed using wire mesh or other material that
will not permit a raptor to get its feet through the holes in the mesh. If
anyone out there needs counsel on this matter, feel free to refer them to
me.

Eric Harrold
Hays, NC

 
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