Hawks are magnificent birds with a reputation for being aviary predators. Hawks have strong talons, making it easier for them to snare prey out of nowhere. People who live near hawk habitats may be anxious about their pets or farm animals being attacked by these enormous birds.
Most hawk species prefer smaller creatures such as rodents, frogs, and snakes. However, most residential locations are inappropriate for their hunting methods. Their steely eyes dart around looking for prey, which can now include chickens, rabbits, and occasionally even small dogs.
Fortunately, there are specific methods to scare them away and make your property unfit for their hunting habits.
In our guide, you can find out how to get rid of hawks using several easy and natural hawk deterrent methods. By the end, you’ll see what scares hawks away, so your pets and livestock will be safe from such majestic creatures, which are a protected species, and who’ll no longer have your yard as part of their hunting grounds. (Read How To Scare Birds Away From Garden)
How to Discourage Hawks?
Before you dive into stopping a hawk attacking your backyard birds or smaller animals, it is handy to understand more about these birds of prey. You can’t just go out and deal with this them any way as they are protected by federal law.
In the United States, there are at least 11 different hawks, with at least 17 species found across North America. Depending on the species, a hawk can weigh anything from 4 ounces to 3 14 pounds.
Hawks have grey to reddish-brown upper plumage and lighter brown, yellow, or whitish bottom plumage. The largest, a rough-legged hawk, is 22 inches long and has a 55-inch wingspan, making it nearly the same width as a child’s height!
A hawk’s beak tears through flesh, and the predatory birds’ vision is nearly eight times sharper than a human’s. Hawks are exceptional flyers, capable of covering great distances in a single flight, and as they dive, they can reach speeds of over 150 miles per hour, making it nearly hard for victims to flee.
Hawks eat huge insects such as grasshoppers and June beetles and small mammals like frogs, tiny reptiles, rodents, and other small animals or birds, depending on the species and conditions.
When natural food is sparse, larger hawks have been known to carry small pets or attack small dogs or even free-range chickens.
Hawks cannot carry more than their body weight, and most kill and consume laying hens or other animals by slaying them on the ground. The most common hawk in a residential hunting ground is the red-tailed hawk, which can lift 4 to 5 pounds, around the weight of an adult rabbit.
Luckily, these beautiful birds won’t kill more birds than needed for survival.
How Do I Get Rid of Hawks In My Yard?
Many individuals like feeding backyard birds like doves and songbirds. However, hawks and other birds of prey might threaten birds feeding or breeding in your yard. Because you may not be in your yard all the time, you need to create a haven for such smaller birds.
Place bird feeders near dense foliage or bushes so they can flee and seek cover as the hawk attacks to snatch prey. Adding fruit bushes can be suitable as birds don’t need to venture into the open to feed. (Read How To Keep Birds From Eating Grass Seed)
Use Caged Feeders
You also could purchase a feeder designed specifically for smaller birds. Wire cages with narrow access surround these feeders will allow the birds to feed without fear of being suddenly snatched and lifted into the air.
You may make your own by putting some chicken wire around the bird feeder to keep hawks and larger birds away.
Any feeding station shouldn’t be placed near any windows since terrified birds may crash through the window while attempting to flee. This will confuse them, making it easier for the hawks than before.
Avoid Ground Feeding
Also, don’t feed ground-feeding birds like quails and doves. When emergency coverings are rare, it makes it simpler for raptors to snare their vulnerable prey. In these cases, the birds are typically shocked and can quickly flee their predator’s sight.
Use Guard Dogs
Chickens are fearful, fragile birds who make easy prey for aviary hunters. Appoint a couple of robust and intelligent guard dogs to ensure their safety even when you are away. German shepherds or suitably sized dogs can be large enough to intimidate an eager chicken hawk.
If you’re looking for an efficient way how to get rid of hawks and stop them raiding your backyard, there are a few hawk deterrents besides the above tactics. You can use these to prevent hawks, a ball eagle, or most birds from venturing into your yard after a spotted food source.
Hawks are fast and dangerous with their sharp talons, but they have predators, just like any other animal in the environment. Larger birds, such as owls, are a threat to hawks. You can purchase owl statues or a rubber owl decoy and place these in your yard to deter hawks.
You can also use scarecrows or fake owls, in the same way, to act as a physical deterrent. Remember to regularly move the fake owl and scarecrow, so the hawks are convinced the owl decoys are lifelike.
Visual and Audio
There are a variety of electrical devices on the market that can imitate hawk danger indicators. Auditory methods emit loud noises that act as distress signals to fend off predator birds.
Shiny things that spin in the breeze, such as foil containers or old DVDs and CDs hanging from low-hanging tree branches, take advantage of the hawk’s keen vision and stop a hawk swooping.
Keep Hawks Away from Pets and Other Animals
Although hawk habitats vary by species, a few generalizations may be made. First, most hawks prefer to hunt on open land as it allows them to hover in the air and swoop onto their prey almost unhindered.
Most species (such as the iconic bald eagle) prefer to perch on tall trees and search the area for prey from there. Hawks are less prone to hunt in densely forested areas because of this.
Because of the presence of humans, it is uncommon to see a hawk hunting in your backyard. However, if you spot a hawk swooped as you saw it, there could be some things attracting them.
- Tall trees where they can perch
- Bushes, flowerbeds, and bird feeders where red-tailed hawks can eat small birds
- Plants or seeds and nuts that will attract squirrels or other rodents
- A pond or other body of water-attracting amphibians or has fish
- A few chickens are running around in an unprotected coup
You can keep hawks away by changing some of your backyard features. Here you can recap what to add or change before seeing how to keep these large birds away from your pets.
Hawks won’t attack their natural enemies, or larger animals are around. If a hawk flew and spotted an owl decoy, it would scamper away.
However, hawks are clever and can spot if such decoys are motionless and pose no threat.
Shiny reflective objects on a tree limb can be enough to keep many birds and animals from venturing into your yard.
You can buy electronic devices that send out a hawk’s distress signal. Hawks will think twice when they hear such sounds.
Hawks scan areas before attacking and do this from tall trees. Pruning trees in your yard can make your yard a less attractive hunting ground.
Keep Bird Feeders Away from Windows
Bird feeders are great for attracting small birds and attract hawks. However, don’t mistake putting bird feeders in an open area as you could see a hawk lift off a feeding bird.
Also, keep bird feeders away from windows as birds easily fly into the glass to escape the hawk.
Keep Hawks Away from Chickens
Chickens are small, light, and can’t fly very far. That’s why hawks find them easy prey. To keep hens safe from hawks, keep them covered at all times. Build a run or an extension onto your chicken coop.
In the outdoors, free-range hens are more vulnerable. If you can’t cover their run, focus on the most vulnerable time: feeding. Keeping dogs or other larger animals around the chickens is also a great way as hawks won’t attack if larger animals are close.
Keep Hawks Away from Small Dogs and Cats
Theoretically, hawks can attack small dogs and cats. So if you live near hawks, monitor your pets.
Place sparkling reflective objects on your lawn to confuse hawks and use loud noises. You can prune trees and add bird spikes so hawks can’t perch.
Besides this, if you have small dogs, you can buy dog vests. These are little dog vests a hawk can’t claw through. Hawks kill prey with their claws first, so protection for your dog means they could leave them alone. (Read Can You Feed Chickens Bird Seed)
Keep Hawks Away from Koi Ponds
You may see hawks near your koi pond, but they are not after your fish. Instead, they are probably after frogs, lizards, snakes, and other small birds living near water. Hawks rarely harm fish, but you can cover your pond with netting to be safe.
Don’t Harm Hawks
Many hawks, if not all, are a protected species in the US; therefore, harming or killing them is prohibited. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act applies to all raptors.
Preventive precautions are the best method to keep your small animals safe from a hawk attack. All of the following solutions do not harm hawks; they only deter hawks from visiting your yard or farm.
If these measures fail, contact your local game and fish authorities. They will advise you on additional legal ways to protect your pets or farm animals.