Question re decoys and Hawks

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Posts: 446
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2004 3:01 pm
Location: Oklahoma/Norman

I read Louise article about hawks in the mag. She said "move them so the hawks don't get used to them". I only have about a dozen birds now so put up 4 decoys and two were spun around upside down after the first day.
I have a lot of hawks and a two acre yard with a lot of trees.

How often would you move them?

I'm thinking 2X a week and I have about 6 decoys for 3 houses. I've even thought about putting a couple on the stockade fence occasionally to keep them off guard.
BW Fowler
Posts: 155
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:01 pm
Location: TX/Buda


I have had a Coopers hawk patrolling the area for the last three years. I usually only see it once a day, but I'm sure it must make several attack attempts per day. I saw it twice today already! It flies through quickly and comes and goes very fast most of the time. In other cases, it will fly into a large oak tree ~ 40 feet from the gourd rack, and then "sneak" across to the other side of the tree, the side where the gourd rack is. It is rarely successful, thank goodness, but it is very persistent. Right now I have about 10 martins hanging around. There is almost always a patrol overhead. As soon as they see the hawk approaching, they sound the alarm and all the birds above the hawk swoop down and mob it, harassing it as it flies away.

I also feed songbirds. There is a lot of debate on this forum as to whether this is a good idea or not, but I think it is OK since the songbirds can help sound the alarm and since the hawk has other options to attack.

I also use decoys: dove decoys that I position around the perimeter of my site; and two martin decoys on the gourd rack. I try to move both around as much as possible. The dove decoys really seemed to work well last year. I hope they keep working, but this morning the hawk I saw coming through flew right past it without even looking twice. Time to move it I guess.

I think 2X per week is fine. Although more often would probably be better, there is only so much time in the day! Putting some decoys up around the perimeter is a good idea, in my opinion. Think about putting up some dove decoys. You can get a 5-pack at Academy for around $15.

Best of luck!
2009-2013 a few visitors
2014: 1 pair of SY love birds, 5 fledges
2015: 7 pair, 34 fledges
2016: 12 pair (full house), 54 fledges
2017: expand to 15 gourds - 14 pair, 71 fledges
2018: expand to 22 gourds
Jose Rodriguez
Posts: 692
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:34 am
Location: FL/Belleview

I totally agree with Fowler on the song birds! They do sound the alarm! Especially the Bluejays! The more eyes out there the better!
PMCA Member
"Keep Calm and It Will Happen"
Posts: 446
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2004 3:01 pm
Location: Oklahoma/Norman

Fowler I got a dozen dove decoys and set them all over. One day I was out and a coopers flew up and hit one I had put on the stockade fence. He hit it twice and then sat next to it while I walked to about 10 feet from him.
As he flew off he went toward another I had put on a blackberry bush.
Thanks for dove decoy idea.
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