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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a cluster of tall pine trees towards the back corner of my property. For the past 4 years, a wake of turkey buzzards have arrived every spring, raise young, and leave every fall. Their home is my pine trees. Initially, they were a little intimidating as they are huge birds, and circle above ominously as they come in every night at sunset. A little research and all is well with us. They are not predators, but scavengers. We've gotten used to their clumsy landings and Edgar Allen Poe like stance on the bare branches near the top. Pretty impressive creatures.


We live in town. We are the first to be raising chickens in town, and luckily everyone has been very receptive and even curious, asking questions. I love talking about my little flock to anyone who shows interest, and I am careful to make sure they hear facts and truth. Lots of people walk in the evening around here, and we are usually out in the backyard with the chickens allowing them to free range before closing up the coop for the night- usually at the same time the buzzards are circling in for the night. I hear over and over about "those birds" and how they are going to "get the chickens". Politely, I thank them for their concern, and assure them as long as the chickens are moving, there's no danger. Not from the buzzards anyway.

(So here's my complaint.......)
But....tonight......this lady stood her ground and had the nerve to argue with me from the road!!!!!!
She kept telling me the "Chicken Hawks" are watching and I had better be careful. I failed trying to politely correct her. She went on and on about how her parents are farmers and she knows what she's talking about.
All while her little dogs are running about everywhere at the end of a 15 foot leash. But I'm the one who needs to be careful?? ::confused::
 

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A Round American Woman
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And that's why I'm glad I don't have neighbors!!! :D

If I could just get my husband's family completely out of my life, well, I'd be happier!!
 

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Haha Roslyn I'm the same. I'd rather not talk to anyone about my birds because I don't want their opinions! I like my inlaws better than my own family though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Roslyn said:
And that's why I'm glad I don't have neighbors!!! :D

If I could just get my husband's family completely out of my life, well, I'd be happier!!
Wish I didn't have neighbors, but I like most of them right now. We have a corner lot, and our backyard is open for all the world to see. I like talking with the passerbys, but the skinny lady with the rat terrier dogs can go away. I'm sure she's trying to be helpful, in her own annoying way, but sheesh lady. Don't pick an argument with a PMS'ing red head!
 

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I never understand people who argue like that as well. Her intentions may be honorable but it makes her come across as a bossy know it all. My husband hates that I will just abruptly stop a conversation if I feel like someone is trying to force their opinion on me. These are my chickens and I didn't ask for your help lady! Haha
 

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A Round American Woman
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Well, when I first got my chickens I went through this with just about everyone I met. In my neck of the woods everyone is connected in some way within two generations to a farm. Most farms lay fallow these days, or are divided up for houses, but most people have had a farm in their lives at some point. So everyone has something to say. I lost count of how many people told me I would never be able to keep chickens because I lived (at that time) in the woods. They all predicted that I would lose all my birds to some horrible tragedy at some point. They all told me that I should just give it up now before all my birds were slaughtered by one predator or another.

Did I have loses? Yes, but only here and there. I had a good coop and I was good at closing them up at night. I had free range birds and I lost I think three or four to fox/coyote in 5 years. Two to hawks in 5 years. None to weasels or racoons, however the bear was the biggest losses at 2 baby ducks and 10 or 11 hens in a four month time span.

The hawks were actually kept at bay by the local crow population. When I saw hawks in the air the crows were right there chasing it off, so I think that's why I lost so few to hawks. I did have a harrier hawk who liked to swoop down and freak out the hens, but it never killed any.

I have had many one on one experiences with hawks, several have been very up close and personal. I like birds and have always been a bird watcher (a gift from my Grandmother). I believe my animal totem is a bird of some kind for this reason. I have had hawks land just feet from me while I was watching my chicken flock, I have had hawks/herons/ravens do fly-bys when I'm in the garden. I did freak out when I was sitting in my garden and the local blue heron was flying low, heading to the creek at the bottom of the garden/yard and it's shadow hit me first. It was low enough that I felt the wind as it went by.

I was driving on the back road and came upon a Golden Eagle, sunning itself in the middle of the road. It just sat there and looked at me, about 10 feet in front of my car. I slowly got out and tried to take a photo with my phone, but it opened those wings and took flight. If you've ever been next to one of these birds when it took flight, well, the only words I could use was "awe-struck". The wing span was the width of my truck, maybe more. Absolutely beautiful birds!

I have seen a few turkey vultures locally. They are totally cool birds!! I would L*O*V*E the opportunity to see them go through their life cycle in the year. How lucky for you. I enjoy the robins, phoebes and chickadees that make their home in my trees/yard each year. I park my truck under a pine tree and when you get out you can hear the babies way up high in the tree. It's good to know that I've made a good place for them, they wouldn't make a nest if they didn't trust the area.

Can you believe, that 6 years ago, when we moved into this house I had Z*E*R*O birds here. None. I live close to town, but surrounded by woods with a divided farm up the road a little and a hay meadow. You could sit outside and not hear one bird. It was creepy. I have almost always lived in the country, and even the 5 years living in town there were always birds singing!! But not one bird here.

Well, I put up a bird feeder and it took a solid calender year, but the birds came. The following spring the phoebe came and made a nest, and the robins, sparrows, morning doves, chickadees etc followed. And the toads!! I keep everything organic and I have been adding organic matter everywhere and the toads come and stay. I love hearing their songs in the evenings. Toads and frogs are a sign from Mother Nature that you are doing something right. A balance is in place. It's a good feeling.

So, if that nosey a$$ neighbor says anything, just smile and say "Yes, they are magnificent birds! We are enjoying them!" If she gives you gloom and doom about them eating your whole flock of chickens, well, just smile and say "They have to eat too, it's the nature of things."

....what can I say, I love all my birds! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Roslyn. That lady just pushed me last night and I had to vent. Thanks for listening.

Enjoying nature is such a stress reliever for me. Walking in the woods, staring into a pond, or putting my hands in the dirt are all peaceful moments. My daughters are being raised to respect plants and animals, but understand that both are to be eaten; by humans as well as other animals. It's just how it all works. My oldest is soon going to hunt for the first time at her request, and I respect her for it. I'm hoping to have turkey dinner when she succeeds.
I really do enjoy watching birds at our feeders, and the pesky squirrels that empty them faster than i can keep them filled. It would have been very strange to live in a home and not hear birds. I'm glad you were able to attract them. I would have loved seeing that eagle, but i can do without the bears!! Once a year, a wayward black bear from PA travels through and it makes headlines. People panic and it's humorous to me how people act. Im not afraid of the bear, just don't want to deal with it. I'd say my coop is secure, but its definitely not bear-proof.
There are 2 bald eagle nests not far from here. I keep hoping to catch a glimpse of them.
I'm more organic than I used to be. Something to work on. I have toad houses scattered through the flower beds, but only see one or two a year now. When I moved the hostas, the toads moved on. I must have taken away their shelter unintentionally.
I'll have to try and snap a few pictures of our buzzards. They are pretty cool to watch.
Maybe I can make nice with ms chicken hawk. Or have fun telling her about the local coyotes that snack on dogs the size of hers. :p
 

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A Round American Woman
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That's what we are all here for, listening and sharing. ;)

The Golden Eagle experience really stayed with me. I have studied Native American philosophy since I discovered in my teens that my father was almost all Native American blood. Birds hold a great spiritual awareness to their beliefs and what I took from that experience is that I need to pay attention to what is around me.

Also, it took a long time to figure out what kind of bird it was that day. Golden Eagles are not in our area. No one I know has ever seen one and a local bird watcher told me that I must have seen something else. I grew up identifying birds with my Grandmother, so I'm pretty good with ID's. It was unusual, but a memorable experience.
 

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InnKeeper said:
I'm sure she's trying to be helpful, in her own annoying way, but sheesh lady. Don't pick an argument with a PMS'ing red head!
Don't pick an argument with a redhead PERIOD! We are a very awesome sort who are always right and have to problems telling you so! #lovebeingaredhead!
 
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