Lisa Bondurant

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I spend my time raising kids, gathering eggs, cutting wood, scoping out trees for tapping, making syrup in the last days of winter, watching my garden NOT grow in the summer, writing, wishing that there were more hours on the clock for sleeping.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Terror From Above...if you are chicken

So I am out working in the garden this morning and the chickens are busy free ranging after I let them out... Yep, I pen them at night so they are only free range during the day.We have been losing a chicken here and there and one duck and out of the 11 chicks I am down to four and for the life of me (or my chickens) we could not find where the fox or coyote was getting in through the fence + electric. 
Anyway the rooster is strutting around looking all tough guy and threatening to peck me if I get to close to the fence...
pretty tough when there is a fence between us...
But he is keeping watch over the hens and telling them to
" Listen to me baby and you'll be safe!"
 The buzzards were flying overhead, the birds were chirping in the trees.

Suddenly old Rudy the Rooster squawks like a baby and runs for the hen house.
The field cleared in less then five seconds, every last chicken! The woods fall silent. I look around expecting to see some daring fox or rattler and don't see anything. i notice that Rudy is peeping from the hen house door looking up at the sky. When I look up I see buzzards circling , but then they circle the mountain top all the time catching thermals and the chickens don't mind. Then I see a smaller silhouette with wings of a different shape, not quite a hawk.
 Peregrine falcon and when it circled back over the house again the feathered heads below clucked a warning and ducked back inside. The falcon continued to circle quietly and the yard remained under lock down by order of Rudy.

The falcon circled for quite awhile before it flew out just as suddenly as it flew in.
Only then did the crew slowly, cautiously step out again.

I guess listening to Rudy paid off for the flock and I had to admire how they all knew the dangerous silhouette  from the buzzard's.
Come dusk the hens scramble to get to high ground

Perhaps there is terror from below as well!

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