Tennessee hawk problem?

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i live in mid-TN. it’s a farming community. my 2 neighbors have chickens (cooped). but for the last couple weeks there are 3 huge hawks (chicken i presume) that are circling all 3 of us. they get close enough i can see their eyes! and i go into my kennels until they leave.
i don’t have chickens, but i do have a little 12 lb terrier mix.
i already left a message for TN fish and wildlife, but while i’m waiting,
does anyone have information on the behaviors of these birds?
do they get aggressive? do they usually travel in flocks? will they leave for the winter?
what about laws? are they endangered? if they attack my dog, can i shoot them? and yes i’m keeping her on a leash, but if these birds are coming close enough for me to see their eyes, i don’t think they have any cares about people.

yes, it’s the little dog in my pic i’m worried about.

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5 Responses to “Tennessee hawk problem?”

  1. Aurican H says:

    I disagree with birdgirl slightly (its a first.)

    Hawks when they’re really hungry or really young and inexperienced, have been known to go for small-medium dogs. Its VERY un-common. Odd’s are they won’t come after your doggie friend. Ever.

    There ARE however eagles and they will go for dogs. Berkut golden eagles eagles actually go after goat and small deer (try looking up some footage of it, its truly awesome)- but they’re not in the US so no worries there. Its still VERY VERY RARE for any raptor, eagle, hawk, falcon, whatever, to go after a dog. Your dog, at 12lbs is large, and also has teeth/ways of defending itself- making it difficult prey- which is why they don’t often prey on coyotes either. They’d much rather go after fish, small mammals, young stupid animals, etc. If it was a chihuahua I’d worry, a terrier, not so much.

    To set your mind at ease just keep him on the leash. With you in such close proximity a bird of prey would not come after it. And if the impossible DOES happen (because against all odds, logic and sense it does happen sometimes) and a bird comes after your dog, you can pull him back using the leash. Birds of prey do not kill instantly on most things, especially on large animals, and you can yank your dog back using the leash. A hawk won’t fight a person over a really difficult meal he still has to subdue that will hurt him and bite him. He’d much rather keep his life and wings intact. It won’t happen in a million years, but if it helps your frame of mind to know that you can still help your dog if he is attacked, then there you go.

    It is also illegal to shoot these animals or even mess with them in any way, or any native birds for that matter, under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Very steep fines and possible jail time ensue. Don’t mess with them, they won’t mess with you, and keep your friend on a leash.

  2. birdgirl says:

    I agree with the other answer..your dogs are pretty big for a hawk to go after, and they are much more interested in smaller prey such as rabbits, rodents, snakes, etc. It would be unlikely that they would go after your dogs. Also, they would never be able to lift a dog that big. Hawks can typically lift about half of their weight and being that most Red-tails average at about 2lbs, they can technically lift a 1lb animal. I have hawks come close to me all the time, does not mean they are aggressive or not scared. If you are concerned about your dogs, then don’t let them run loose unattended, but like I said, I really doubt you have much to worry about. Hawks may be more agressive during breeding season at which time they may perceive your dog as a threat (especially if close to their nest), and then might swoop at the dog. Yes, all wild native birds are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Even harassing them is illegal.

  3. Beth P says:

    Yes illegal to shoot harm or kill any bird of prey or just about any bird for that matter and can be punished by jail time or heavy fines. As far as the dog goes it should not be a problem. Most of them like pigeons or birds even rabbitts. I would keep her chained or be with her when out. 12 lbs is a little big and heavy for them although they go by movement and may still try. Better safe than sorry. They should move out soon. They are bold birds and will protect their prey or their young. If you are near a nest of any kind that could be the problem. See what the DEC says but for now I would just stay with my dog when out.

  4. Dani says:

    It is illegal to harm any bird of prey in ANY way, shootings having the highest fines and prison time. They and other migratory birds are all protected under the Migratory Bird Act.

    All these questions kinda get the same answer: It depends. But I’ll try to give as much info to help as possible.

    First of all, are you sure they are hawks? I’ll go with birds of prey in general. If they are vultures, they don’t kill for food. They mostly eat carrion (dead things). Hawks and eagles and falcons normally don’t bother people, though they will live in harmony for the most part. What you see as a pet, they see as a free, easy meal. If you are with your dog though, you shouldn’t have to worry about an attack. Even though these birds are coming close, there is a good chance they won’t. Just don’t give them any reason to. Just like you don’t want them to bother you, they don’t want you to bother them! If they have reason, sure they’ll act on it.

    About the ‘flocks,’ also depends. Some types of birds are much more social than others, while others are very territorial. If they ARE red-tailed hawks (commonly called chicken hawks) then the third could possibly be a juvenile? They don’t normally hang out together much. Do they have brick red tails? (The juveniles would be brown, though I don’t know if they’d still be hanging around.)

    There is a chance they are going to migrate, but not necessarily. Some do, some don’t, and for all we know, they could have possibly already migrated from somewhere farther north and are scoping out your area in hopes to stay for the winter.

    I think you should look at this in a positive sense. You are getting to view these magnificent birds up close! 🙂

  5. Iggy's Little Demon Rules says:

    Keep your dog inside, these birds will and have carried off small dogs.

    and no, you cannot harm the birds in any way, it is illegal

    keep calling the Wildlife folks, they will come out….

    if they do not, call your local Humane Society in the town nearest you and ask them for a direct line to them…they will help you out.

    keep any small animals inside, they will swoop and carry them off.

    Girl, don’t you watch Animal Planet, on the Birds of Prey, they been known to carry of mid size foxes, yes that large.

    be careful, and oh, duck your head, ha ha

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