Wednesday, August 17, 2011

End of Summer, Hawks, Bears, Owls and the Chickens

     It is almost time for our home school to start.  The boys and I are both attending a teaching (for me) and activity time (for them) workshop put on by I.D.E.A.  We are all excited to start our year.  J will be in Kindergarten and N will be in second grade.
     We are close to the end of Summer.  It doesn't seem to be a very good wild berry year here and the bears are hungry.  One tipped over our entire chicken coop yesterday!  I was very thankful to find all seven of my chicken girls.  One had hidden herself in the bushes.  One was hiding in the nesting box in the back of the upside down coop and the rest were huddling under their day shelter in the fenced chicken yard.  Thank goodness for the chain link fencing, the bear couldn't get in to the yard.  We righted the coop and tied it into posts sunk into the ground.  The bear tried again last night, but gave up. :)
     The poor chickens are quite nervous.  Beside the bear, a red-tailed hawk watches them in the day.  (The yard is topped by fencing after last year's hawk incident.)  I let the hawk out.  I did not let it eat the chicken that it killed.  It was an angry bird.

In the evening time the chickens are assaulted by bears and our new friends, a family of great horned owls.  There is a mother, a father and a baby.  The parents will spend up to five months teaching their offspring to hunt.  J loves owls so he is very happy.  At night the baby perches on our roof to hunt.  Baby Owl makes lots of little screechy sounds.  We are surprised that it can catch something with all of that racket!  There is an over population of snowshoe hares here as well as some domestic rabbits that have been let free.  The owls seem to be eating quite a lot of rabbits judging from the remains we find up near the garden, rather grisly.
This is the baby owl.
Here are pictures of a black bear and a grizzly bear.  We have both here.  The pictures are from our July trip to the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage, Alaska.
Black Bear
Grizzly Bear
I hope the bears go on their merry way.  The poor chickens will probably lay better when not surrounded by predators.  Here is Mama Owl.  Daddy Owl is just a little smaller in size and camera shy.
It's not easy being a chicken!