Rant - Cooper's Hawk are killing me!

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Posts: 822
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Gladewater, Texas

Hawk attacks weren't too bad at first but in the last couple of weeks allot more Martins have arrived. We probably have 60-70 Martins right now.

It's rainy, cool, and windy this morning and all of the Martins were on the Gourd racks working on their feathers in the rain and talking.

A Hawk came at 8:30 and picked one of the Martins off of his porch. Now they are all gone until late afternoon. This is happening a couple of times a day if they stay here. The problem is it's multiple Hawks. Yesterday it was a Merlin, smaller but much faster than a Martin.

I know some of the Hawks will migrate eventually and the situation will get better, but it's frustrating right now.
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
Sharon - Central TX
Posts: 648
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

I hear ya Spiderman. Been having the same issues here. It really upsets me :evil: .
Posts: 1299
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:10 pm
Location: Louisiana/Broussard
Martin Colony History: 2010-2014 located in Slidell LA. Gourd rack with 16 gourds. Max of 2 pairs during this short period in Slidell. Plenty of fledglings.

2014-present.. moved to Broussard LA. Same Gourd Rack but added a 6 room house (modified from a 12 room)

2020: after a long drought of nothing, 4 pairs and 4 nests, 23 eggs total (May2020)

Try putting some decoys on your houses or perching areas. Also buy sone dove decoys and put them up in an open spot away from the PM housing... Might help draw the hawks there first allowing martins to escape.

I've seen hawks (two occasions) swoop down and hit the decoys... The decoys dont move and the hawk seems to go for them... The martins easily escape. Both times we saw it with our own eyes.. the hawk was even upside down once , talons wrapped around the decoy.. flapping furiously.. he wouldn't give up. Another time the decoy and perch rod came off , and the hawk let go and dropped the whole thing in the front yard. That was wild.
Posts: 806
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:30 pm
Location: OH/New Concord

im so sorry for you james. I know exactly how you feel . I have the same problem here each year.
I also have read a new preditor exists. A black vultur
2015 69 pairs 418 eggs 396 fledged
2019 I have 148 openings now
2016 100 pairs 600 babies fledged added another t-14 and have 126 openings now
2015 Jun 24 360 babies and 58 eggs also found one that had died
2017 632 babies 11died and 20 were killed by hawks
2015 74 pairs and 9 eggs 5/14
2010 3pairss
2018 651 babies 5 hawk kills 11 floater kills 25 died in houses and 610 fledged

2014 80 pairs 283 babies 282 fledged one died
James Strickland FL
Posts: 2249
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 8:04 pm
Location: Reidsville NC
Martin Colony History: 2017 Had a lot visitors no Matins nesting, hoping 2018 will be different.
2018 Had 1 pair
2019 had 30 pair

As to Decoys: I have perching poles on the Edges of my colony with Decoy Doves and Martins on them and I can tell you that they are hit and I do not know that a single Live Martin has been taken. Do not put the Decoys on your housing as it will draw the hawks right to the Martins. Martins have been dealing with hawk there whole live and will after you and I have gone. Taking down your colony will leaving them nowhere to nest and hatch new young. Think about all the time it took to get started and just to give up due to hawks. Remember that things go after your Martins, like snakes, raccoons, and Owls.
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