How to keep hawks away from bird feeders: 6 Actionable Tips

Although hawks are magnificent creatures, you don’t want them to hang out on your land. They are a danger to your yard if you have bird feeders because of their propensity to hunt small animals. So if you’re interested in learning how to keep hawks away from bird feeders, read on!

Why do you need to keep hawks away from bird feeders?

Smaller birds of prey, such as the sharp-shinned hawk, Cooper’s hawk, red-tailed hawk, and American kestrel in North America as well as related species in other areas of the world, are the most prevalent backyard hawks. Sharp-shinned hawks and Cooper’s hawks may not hurt you or your yard, but they pose a hazard to the smaller migratory birds. These kinds of hawks are quick, nimble flyers that are ideally adapted to flying around feeders, birdbaths, buildings, and trees to catch small, frightened birds. If you have a passion for birds, you will want to know how to keep hawks away from bird feeders right away!

How to keep hawks away from bird feeders
How to keep hawks away from bird feeders? Source: Wild Bird Scoop

How do birds know when a hawk is around?

Somehow, songbirds are instantly aware of the threat posed by bird hawks. A bird immediately recognizes this bird as a threat whether they see the hawk directly or hear the common “hawk” alarm call. Despite not having been taught, they are knowledgeable. They are born knowing. The conduct is referred to as innate or unlearned.

Some prey/bully birds may appear around your bird feeder, you also need to chase them away and attract friendly birds:

How to keep hawks away from bird feeders?

Here are several easy and gentle methods for answering the question “How to keep hawks away from bird feeders?”. Even while it’s true that hawks prey on smaller birds, don’t use unconventional solutions to fix the problem, especially if you consider yourself an admirer of birds.

Place your bird feeders in a safe place

The position is crucial. Think about hiding the feeding basin from predators in a safe location. A good general rule of thumb is to arrange the food somewhere that can’t be seen from above because hawks frequently soar overhead while hunting for prey.

If your garden lacks sufficient shrubs or plants, setting up the feeders under a roof, umbrella, or awning is also a wonderful idea. Additionally, be sure to hang the troughs far from anything that could serve as a hawk viewpoint, including dead branches or fences. 

To give the feeder birds the best chance of success, I chose a site where I put up my bird feeding station. Make sure they aren’t just waiting to be shot (no pun intended)! It would help if you positioned your feeders close to bushes and cover.

Hawks primarily hunt in ambushes. They wait patiently for their victim, then surprise it with a powerful strike. Put your feeders next to places where your songbirds may hide, such as trees, shrubs, or other vegetation, to aid them. In that manner, they can quickly flee if they notice a hawk approaching.

How to keep hawks away from bird feeders? Simple place feeder under tree

Install a cage

Songbirds will be shielded from predators by a unique cage placed around their feeders. When a hawk is nearby, birds are aware of it and are prepared to flee if it suddenly swoops down on them while feeding.

The hawk’s range of vision may be somewhat obscured by the cage’s horizontal and vertical bars. Consider purchasing items with an overhead roof to prevent raptors from quickly spotting the smaller eating animals.

Hawk reflection

Reflective surfaces are one of the safest and least expensive hawk deterrence techniques. These items reflect light, creating sudden, brilliant flashes that frighten away hawks. Simply hang DIY yard reflectors such as aluminum foil and used CDs,… from a line across your spacious yard. You can also purchase already-built yard reflectors if you prefer a more practical solution. Hawks won’t approach your land if you simply hang these across your yard or close to the structures of the animals you’re attempting to protect. However, this solution might unwantedly scare others garden birds. If you can apply other methods, choose those!

Remove hawk food sources

Only if they have a good chance of finding food will the hawks hang out in your backyard. In addition to birds, hawks may eat mice, rabbits, squirrels, snakes, and frogs.

Maintain a tidy yard and routinely dispose of your rubbish to deter these animals because they may be attracted to it. Similarly, spray ecologically friendly repellent around the location to deter insects and other species from visiting. Once you take away these food sources, hawks might stop appearing.

Use animal

If you choose the right one and employ it correctly, hawk decoy predators are excellent deterrents. Hawks can be scared away using life-size, realistic-looking owl decoys that move erratically. 

In addition, keep in mind that a hawk can be scared off by loud noises and movements from a huge animal. Therefore, you are already covered if you have a dog who enjoys barking and running around the yard. However, using animals could also keep other garden birds staying away from yours; therefore, always consider carefully before applying this method! 

What shouldn’t you do when keeping hawks away from bird feeders?

Although dealing with hostile birds of prey might be challenging, there are some strategies that should never be used to deter hawks:

  • Never shoot, trap, or try to kill a hawk. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, is a federal statute that forbids injury or violence of any kind toward birds, including hawks.
  • The same goes for releasing dogs or cats to frighten hawks away. Larger birds of prey, such as hawks, may hunt cats and dogs, who often do not attack such massive birds. In addition, the backyard birds you want to protect are just as likely to be killed, stressed, or disturbed by cats and dogs.
  • A predator may be deterred by noise deterrents, but other birds will be kept away from your feeders as well. Although making loud noises to scare away hawks can be effective, the noise can also be disruptive to your neighbors’ dogs and may not be a long-term solution.

Due to their high intelligence, cunning, and threatening nature, hawks can be challenging to get rid of on your property, even for humans. I hope you understand how to keep hawks away from bird feeders after reading this post. After all, all of these techniques are simple to perform at home and just require standard household items.