Hawk on the Hunt.

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Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:43 am
Location: Corpus Christi

Well as I have been doing sitting out and enjoying the Martins getting their last flight for the evening , today they went off chirping and whistling and gained altitude in a hurry. All the local doves and grackles skidattled in a hurry and it became silent pretty quick. A large hawk swooped into the oak tree chasing a dove looking for dinner. He went from tree to tree trying to catch a dove but they were quick to put distance between them and the hawk. There was no hawk kill at my house tonight, but maybe he had better luck somewhere else.
Posts: 802
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- didnt know anything about martins, put up an all wrong house in 2016 and had two come by and inspect all the cavities. Left soon after not to return. Learned what i could on PMCA, made adjustments and next year was sucessful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged.
2018-18 pair. 85 fledged.
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
Home colony: 17 natural gourds, one 6 compartment house. All SREH.
Satelite colony Oso bay preserve: 12 gourds: excluder, troyer horizontal, super gourds with tunnels. 6 room trio mino castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: ?
PMCA member

Im dreading that, last year we lost 3 or 4 martins to accipeter hawks. I know they are coming, large flocks of red wing blackbirds have decided to take up residence in some nearby oaks and i fear they will draw them in. Last week a small hawk made a flyby, martins spotted it and harrassed it off. My one hope is the martins in the front supporting the back group as an early warning, but hawks have learned to use roof tops and pathways between houses as ambush avenues.

With the influx of visitors the residents head in quickly in the evening, not much socialising as morning time. The males have started dawn song, so nice to hear in the early am!

2016- two visitors
2017- 5 pair 15 Fledged
2018-18 pairs 85 Fledged
2019-17 pair 81 fledged

Satellite location: oso bay preserve 12 gourds, modified trio
2019: Visitors
2020: hopeful!!!
Sharon - Central TX
Posts: 643
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:20 pm
Location: So. Central TX
Martin Colony History: All Troyer Horizontal Gourds with Conley Entrances
PMCA Member since 2004

We had a hawk that was coming in at dusk when the last of the birds came in. Both my husband and I went out with air horns trying to watch every possible way he would come in because it was always different. He came over our roof a couple of times but from different areas. He appeared suddenly from the top of a wooden fence at the end closest to one pole. It was as if he was hiding somewhere on the other side of the fence and knew exactly when a bird would land. He would come from a tree on either side of our house. On about the third night of scaring him with air horns he went for two martins sitting on their porch (they should have been inside by then). I was the closest, saw what he was doing and blasted the horn just as he was inches from the two martins. It scared him off and they started chasing him. Success.
The last night we saw him he came from a tree I was standing next to. His mistake was he made so much noise flapping his wings coming out of the tree I was right there with the air horn before he even got out. We blasted him with both horns several times and he almost brushed me he was so close. We were in front of his flyway. He veered off and flew away. That must have been too close for comfort because we haven’t seen him since that night. We still watch but at least for right now we’ve had a little reprieve the last few nights.
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:36 am
Location: Townsend, DE
Martin Colony History: 2017 first year

Had a hawk incident last night. We were out on the porch At dusk watching the martins blues and tree swallows and a hawk came out of nowhere the martins sounded the alarm but he grabbed one mid flight. I’ve seen the martins drive away a hawk during the day. Is there something about dusk that prevents them from seeing it coming. My poles are in wide open space. Clear all around.
Townsend DE
Conrad Baker
Posts: 322
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:43 pm
Location: Paulina, Louisiana

I had a Hawk (not sure what type) two weeks ago sitting on top of one of my PM houses right before daylight. I think he was waiting for the Martins to wake up and leave the house. Which ever Martin was the first to leave didn't stand a chance. I scared it away, and never saw him again, but I did find a pile of Martin feathers on the ground under one of the houses yesterday afternoon, so he (or another one) must have come back.
Last edited by Conrad Baker on Sun Apr 12, 2020 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Posts: 776
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Gladewater, Texas

I think Hawks are smarter just because they are predators and have they to be. They know where the Martins live and that they do the same thing when they leave in the morning and come in at dark. Routes the Martins take away from the housing and when coming back in. Where they feed during the day. I don't think you ever truly defeat them.

You may discourage him or foul his hunt on occasion but he will adjust his time to surprise everyone. I have one now that comes between 12:00 and 2:00pm. I had noticed the Martins would leave after lunch and not come back in until sunset, some dusk dark.

It took a few days before I was ever able to see the Hawk when he came thru. Usually he comes and goes in less than 30 seconds.

His only interest is Martins and doves, there are plenty of robins, red birds, thrash and other birds in the yard usually feeding on the ground. But he will pass them by for the birds he desires,

Hope every one has the best Martin Season they can.
2008 - 33 PAIR - FLEDGED 96 YOUNG
2009 - 51 PAIR - FLEDGED 166 YOUNG
2010 - 45 PAIR - FLEDGED 146 YOUNG
2011 - 33 PAIR - 128 HATCHED, 97 FLEDGED
2012 - 37 PAIR - 119 HATCHED, 101 FLEDGED
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