Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Competing for Supper

Last week I noticed a a Red tail hawk hanging around the house.  Like, close enough that I could easily throw a rock and hit it.  And I've been having the "shoot or don't shoot" debate in my head.  Back in my Suburban Days, I would have never, ever even thought about blasting a hawk.  But back then, I didn't have tasty livestock that were vulnerable to the razor sharp beak and talons of the raptor family.

We've had a couple of sharp shinned hawks hanging out here over the summer, but they weren't nearly as close to the house and chickens and I honestly wonder if they are big enough to take a hen.  Regardless, I've been known to take the shotgun outside and blast a warning shot to scare them off.

The Red tail, however, was much, much bigger and much more tolerant of my yelling and arm waving.  And I know why he was staying around here.  The squirrels have been going bonkers lately, stuffing their little rodent maws with acorns and shoving them into some hidden cache in the woods.  There were a crapload of squirrels.  Like, one could almost step on them while walking through the woods.

So I suppose I can't blame Mr. Red tail for his preference of perching areas as the potential for a squirrel supper was probably pretty good.  And the fact that he hasn't plucked the little rooster chick from the goat yard is good news.

Since we didn't want the Red tail to have all the fun (and meat), Paul and Rhiannon took a little hike behind the house yesterday evening and got a nice, plump squirrel.

Not enough to make supper out of, but I'm hoping if the winds ever die down today I'll be able to get another two and we'll be eating high on the hog, er, I mean, squirrel.


  1. I wouldn't shoot a hawk and talk about it as the government will come after you. I finally put my chicken coop under a tree which messes up hawk attacks. I think just about everything out there eats chickens it is so frustrating.

  2. We were just commenting yesterday that we didn't have the fall invasion of hawks here this year as we usually do. It's not uncommon for us to lose a hen (or two) to hawks each year. But we won't complain that all was quiet and no chickens were lost.

    Hmmmm, we've not seen any squirrels around lately either. No hawks. No squirrels. Somethin' strange goin' on?? Don't know about the hawks but sounds as if all the squirrels have taken a bus to the Ozarks.

  3. I wish all my ground squirrels would get on a bus and go to the Ozarks.

  4. We get hawks and even an eagle every now and then coming up from the river and hanging out. Here though they are only after rabbits or mice, maybe a cat. One reason I have yet to get chickens is I remember how hard it was to keep the predators away from them. The coons were the worst. They would break in and just kill everything.

  5. I've volunteered at the local raptor center and there's are very strict laws against shooting hawks and birds of prey. Most of them would never kill a chicken due to their weight and body mass. We had a sharp shinned hanging around and I called about it. They laughed when I said I was afraid it would take out a chicken. They said- a baby chick maybe. I'd also be concerned about Rhiannon handling a rodent that could have rabies, parasites, infected fleas, etc. Ew...

  6. The hawk, explains my little visitor the other day... I couldn't figure out why he wasn't scared of me... It must have been cause he was more afraid of a hawk. Makes sense. :)

  7. Yep, shooting raptors is against the law...
    I hope ya'll get a couple more squirrels, they are good eatin'! :)

  8. We don't get many squirrels here, even with the walnut tree. Hope you get a few more.

  9. I draw the line at eating squirrel! Mom and Dad loved them....not this old girl.

  10. The other day I had a red tail on a t-post of my chicken pen just staring at my babies. I ran up to it and had to slow down I got so close I could have grabbed it but luckily it flew off.
    Rhiannon is too cute with her squirrel :)

  11. Carolyn,

    Rhiannon has a surprise for Mom!!!!
    I hope you get some more and fry them up for a good meal. I have a couple here I could capture and send you.

  12. Carolyn,
    We've got a couple of hawks that have taken up residence in the trees around here. I've seen them around in past years but usually only on a "fly-over", never this close. I wonder if I let that mean ol' Roo out if maybe the hawks could have some thanksgiving dinner......Hey, it's a thought!
    That's one nice fat squirrel there. Couple of those and we'd be eating good tonight.