Once again, my hens alarmed to a danger with lots of cackling. No matter how much I talked to them, they were insistent. Today, as I finally tired of talking to them and not seeing anything, I decided to get some oats for them and try to calm them down.
As I turned to go into the house, I saw a bird soar off into the distance and another tree. I could only see part of the body of the bird and left wing. The wingspread was at least three feet. It was a solid color, gray. Since I could not see the head and got only a glimpse of the back, I have nothing else to give me a clue as to what kind of bird it was.
Beware: if you are going to have free range chickens, make sure there are bushes for them to get under. Mine spend lots of time under the swings and picnic table. Bushes, low hanging trees, chairs, tables, anything they can get under--we call it shelter from above whether it is rain or hawks. I have seen the chickens startle and head for cover when a low-flying robin darts from tree to tree.
After I had gotten the oats as quickly as I could, the hens were all the way on the other side of the yard. They had run to their best shelter--their pen. They did not come out to get oats, so they were afraid. I locked them up from the raccoon.
If you have hens, what do they use for shelter when a hawk comes or the robins threaten them? Based on my limited description and considering I live in the South, can you tell me what bird I saw?