- Protect Windows: Use decals and other methods to prevent window collisions by panicked birds. When a hawk attacks, small birds will mistakenly fly into windows and a stunned bird is easy prey.
- Remove Feeders: If hawks are still a menace to your backyard birds, remove all birdfeeders and cease feeding the birds for a week or two. After a few days, the hawk will move on to different hunting grounds but the smaller birds will quickly return when you resume feeding. The hawk may return as well, but generally it will take longer for a hawk to rediscover a good hunting area.
Tactics to Avoid
It can be frustrating to contend with aggressive birds of prey, but there are certain tactics that should always be avoided when discouraging hawks from visiting the backyard. Under no circumstances should birders ever try to shoot, trap, poison or otherwise harm birds of prey, which are protected by many federal and state laws. Similarly, do not release cats in an attempt to scare a hawk away – cats will not usually attack birds as large as hawks, and the cats themselves may become victims to larger birds of prey. Furthermore, cats are just as likely to kill the backyard birds you hope to protect.
When Hawks Won’t Leave
If a particularly aggressive hawk refuses to leave your backyard and becomes a threat to pets or humans, contact local wildlife management or animal control officials. It is possible that the bird is injured and unable to hunt in more difficult areas, or it may be nesting nearby. Either way, only licensed officials should make that determination and they will be able to either remove the bird without harming it or can offer additional advice on protecting backyard birds from hawks.