Hawk Stalks the Barnyard

Our neighborhood hawk came calling again.  I haven’t seen him since he first visited in October and the protective skills of a certain young rooster became apparent. (If you read that post, I changed Middle Man’s name to Big Man because of his excellent performance that day 🙂 ) From the house, I heard Big Man give a bloodcurdling scream and caught a glimpse of everyone running for cover.

I ran out and saw the hawk making himself comfortable on the pole in the back corner of the barnyard. He had something in his talons—on closer inspection it was a bird—so I figured he was just casing the joint.  I felt safe enough to go in, grab my camera and try to get some good shots.

Poor little birdie.

Poor little birdie.

He looks formidable, but Big Man was not intimidated!

He looks formidable, but Big Man was not intimidated!

All the while, Big Man was doing what good roosters do—keeping the ladies out of harm’s way.  He was puffed up and strutted around, flapping his wings. He stared at the hawk and constantly made the “stay under cover” sound.  It was quite a racket.  His vocalizations changed when one of the girls would stray a little too far out in the open and then it was the “GET BACK IN THERE” sound.  Even I could understand what he meant.

Scarlett didn't move a muscle.

Scarlett didn’t move a muscle.

Neither did Aunt Polly.

Neither did Aunt Polly.

Some of the hens took cover in the Christmas tree the goats are still munching on.  Smart ladies.  Of course, they were joined by Napoleon who made not a single move to protect anyone or anything.  I think he was probably the first one heading for cover.  Good grief. What a rooster wimp.  He is great as eye candy and is a sweet guy, but as protectors go he fails with a capital F.

Handsome, but worthless.

Handsome, but worthless.

The hawk hung out for what seemed like forever then did a long slow swoop and ended up in the neighbor’s tree.  He was there for a while, munching on his breakfast.

That's close enough, thank you.

That’s close enough, thank you.

After he was gone, Big Man gave the “all clear” and calm was restored.  It was just another day in the life of the friendly barnyard sheriff.

My hero!

My hero!

**Shared at Homestead HopMaple Hill Hop, Tuesdays With A TwistThank Goodness It’s Monday(mis)Adventures MondaysClever ChicksSimple Saturdays, Farmgirl FridayOld-Fashioned Friday, From the Farm and HomeAcre Hop**


  1. Don’t give up on Napoleon! My guy Mustaffa was a washout while Henry the Bold protected the yard, but when Henry went to Valhalla, Mustaffa took over as protector. There can be only one cappo di cappo tutti.

  2. Great Rooster you have there. We have hawks often and my rooster all seem to go into protection mode. My silkie rooster Mainard is the best. Smallest but most vocal and the most visible in his strutting. Last year we had a golden eagle visit every day for a couple of months in late spring. As crazy as it seems I would love to have him/her visit again this year. The eagle scares me and I run out to the chicken yard to make sure that all the chickens are under protection, but I love to watch how it glides and flies, it is so beautiful and majestic. Hope you have a great day

  3. I do not have a rooster but my chief chicken gave the alert recently. In fact, she would not stop clucking even after I went out to check out the situation! These instinctual things are so amazing!
    Lucy recently posted…Chicken Sausage and Rice….One Pan Meal!

  4. Now that is what I call a good rooster! If only my Light Sussex roo would stop going for me and keep his eye on the eagles we have around at the moment …
    Cath recently posted…Mar 15, Incubating equipment: what you need and how to use it.

  5. Sylvester017 says:

    Big Man is gorgeous! A Dominique? They were great in the Colonial days at survival and probably why they were a favoured barnyard fowl with the Colonists. Doms are one of my favourite breeds! Is that Hawk a Cooper’s or ??? Our visiting Cooper’s can be 5 feet from a hiding hen but won’t go after the hiding flock. Darnedest thing. Guess they prefer swooping down on prey or while in-flight which is why we have shelters and doghouses spread out around our yard for the hens to hide. Luv your animal anecdotes!

    • He’s a total mutt, but he must have some Dominique in him I think. The hawk is either a Cooper’s or a Red-Tailed. I’m not good at identifying birds, and I didn’t get a good look at his tail!

  6. Awesome job Big Man! Your story tellin’ makes me smile and great photos. Glad all was well.
    kim recently posted…Baby Clucks

  7. How fabulous to have such a vigilant studmuffin to guard the ladies. Good to know he’s on alert!
    daisy recently posted…The Maple Hill Hop 73

  8. What a hero!! I’ve just gotten some new chicks. It’s been several years since I’ve had chickens and hawks are one of my concerns.
    Zenda recently posted…A Jeans Apron

  9. I love seeing hawks….. but I hate seeing hawks. Good job big man! Thanks you so much for sharing on the (mis)Adventures Mondays Blog Hop. I look forward to seeing what you share this week!