I smell trouble. It seems like a looming inevitability. Each day this week, I have heard cries from the sky. I had enjoyed the open windows and screen doors of September until the paranoia set in. Something is circling, perching, waiting near our backyard. Our chickens ought to be more afraid than I as I think they are the prey and a Red-tailed Hawk is the hunter. Still, it feels a little uneasy in the vein of Edgar Allen Poe or Hitchcock to know that a bird is observing and plotting from above.
|An early artist sketch of our stalker|
I first heard the 'keee-eeee-arr' late in the afternoon and earlier this week. I confirmed the sound here
. On Tuesday, Allison claims to have seen it perched upon our fence, taunting the hens in the cage. It was only there for a second, she said. She was pretty sick that morning, so it could have been a fevered brain playing tricks on her. The more likely scenario, it seems, is that we have the above mentioned hawk, sometimes referred to as a chicken hawk. Nap Town Chickens
, currently just a Facebook group, has a post from someone else in the city with a chicken hawk problem and was asking about the legality of shooting said predator. Seems a little too old-crotchedy-farmer for me. These chickens cost me $3 a piece. I'm pretty sure I don't need to be discharging firearms in the middle of the city to protect the flock.
It does make good sense for such a bird of prey. Chicken mania has swept our neighborhood. A month ago or so, our neighbor also picked up 3-4 hens. Last week, I talked to a neighbor a couple of blocks away who also has some backyard hens. There was even a self-guided tour of coops in the neighborhood last Sunday. I think we could lobby the powers that be to christen our neighborhood, the Chicken District. Maybe not, if that hawk calls in the re-enforcements. I must have a picture of this bird in action, if it is indeed what we have on our hands. More to come, I hope. Until then, I'll have my eye to the sky while trying to figure out what to do.
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