Tag Archive | hawks

Chickens, Hawks & Reflective Things

Attention anyone with chickens: I’ve been trying to find different ways to keep hawks out. I did research and looked up many different methods of keeping them away. Although, I love to see the hawks, I don’t like it when they attack the flock of chickens and ducks on my yard. My method is anything and everything shiny! They don’t like it and in my research, (I think is was from a post on Backyardchickens.com), I learned reflective stuff confuses hawks. It’s not a fail safe, so always keep an eye out. Vigilance is always best because they can be scared easily by human presence.

After Christmas, I thought it would be great to buy some silver Christmas balls on clearance (nice and cheap) and hang them on the tree where my chickens hang out. Jingle bells work well too because they make noise and are reflective.

I think this works moderately well with a few scare crows thrown in. And, if you’re like me and love a little sparkle in your life, they make nice outdoor decorations. They unfortunately don’t keep foxes away. That’s a story for another day.

Tips:

  • Plastic Christmas balls stand up pretty well to weather. Stay away from anything glass and always pick up broken ones.
  • Move your scare crows and shiny things around. It confuses predators into thinking there are humans around.
  • Always secure them well on anything you hang them off of.
  • Don’t buy the foam ones. Chickens like to eat those. Not good and they are less weather resistant then the plastic ones.
  • My chickens got used to the shiny things, but it’s always a good idea to hang them where they are not easily accessible.
  • CD’s work just as well: I used some decorative Washi tape, Mod Podge clear drying glue as a sealer, punched a hole and added some glow in the dark beads (for the night critters), and used fishing line as string (it’s durable). WARNING: Always dispose of fishing line properly. Cut it into small pieces and throw it away in a bag. Birds can get tangled in them. I don’t like fishing line, but it was the most durable string I had.
Advertisements

Birdhouse Adventures

I love watching birds in all seasons and this property has tons of different kinds of birds everywhere with or without a bird feeder. Even hawks like to hang around, although that could be because of the chickens we have and the mice hanging around in our shed.

In February, I was working on painting some birdhouses. I’ve always loved painting birdhouses, but the cheap one’s from the craft store don’t hold up too well. So this time, I decided to secure them with tiny nails and a glue gun. I also did spray them with a sealer after painting them, which is not an Eco friendly way to go about doing this, but I already had these birdhouses laying around and didn’t want them to go to waste. At the end of March, I finally hung them up.

 

 

For two months, I watched and nothing. No birds would set up house in my colorful creations. This got a little frustrating, but I was also glad the birdhouses held up and any sealer smell would’ve been gone by then. I thought of many factors which could have affected why no feathered friends came for a stay:

Did I place it in the right place? Is there enough tree cover? The leaves were already there at this point. Did this area provide enough housing for them already and I didn’t need birdhouses? There was a perfectly beautiful robins nest right outside my window in a small tree. I couldn’t figure it out even though the problem was obvious. I even provided some nesting material in a bird feeder cage (which they did take).

Then, my mom pointed out, this tree is in a very open area and the houses are too far out. We moved them more into the tree and I even relocated two of them, where there was more cover, and voila! I now have residents in 3 of the 4 birdhouses I hung up. They like to yell at me anytime I pass by the houses now.

My neighborhood birds love bushes as any other bird would. I’m very sure it might have something to do with the amount of predators in our area. I’ve already herd from our neighbors there’s a black bear hanging around, herd a fox cry out at sunset, and have seen a hawk, falcon, or eagle stalking my dads chicken coup. They all love to eat my dads chickens when we’re not looking, so birds are not off the table.

Every habitat is different. The best advice I can give is to pay close attention to your own backyard, and go from there. Because we have an open field and not a lot of tall trees in the area, our birds like a lot of cover with there houses. So, if you don’t have any residents in your own birdhouses, pay close attention to where the others are hanging out. It gives you a great clue to figuring out where to place feeders, birdbaths, and birdhouses. Although birdhouses provide shelter and cover already, sometimes, simple tree cover isn’t enough. Just like some people like to live deep in the woods, so do birds.