I just interrupted a hawk attack and saved my birds! :))))
I heard a distressed-sounding squawk and at first, thought that it might have been our baby goat, Blackjack, stuck in the fencing or being harassed by his aunts, so initially ran south to peek on my goaties. No disturbance in the force there, so I was about to head back in when I heard the sounds of a pissed off hen.
I started running toward the chicken yard when I saw a red-tailed hawk dart past and saw Amelia jammed up against the chain link fence so hard that she was at risk of nuggetizing herself. I got into the yard and scooped up Amelia immediately and shut her up in the coop. The other girls were slightly harder to find, but they too were jammed up against the fence under a sparse covering of grass, holding stock-still, willing themselves to be invisible.
None of the ladies were thrilled about being picked up and thrown back into the coop, but when you're a farm with only 5 chickens, you don't play fast and loose with your hens. I think that we were fortunate that this was a red-tail instead of one of the larger birds of prey that frequent our area, like the bald eagles. Small bird of prey + very fat and fluffy chicken = hard to grab and carry off, or at least I hope so.
The culprit or one of his brethren, sitting on top of our neighbors' Hemlock(?) tree, eyeballing our chicken yard. NOT ON MY WATCH, MISTER!
Nobody seems to have suffered any physical trauma, though I daresay this attack hot on the heels of the what we now believe to have been a fox attack that took Strawberry has left our ladies noticeably more jumpy, poor girls. At least today it was we who won. Chalk one up for the critters and farmers against the predator's three. It may be a small, and perhaps even temporary victory, but I'll take it anyway.