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