OK experts: Would I be crazy if I told you a short-tailed hawk just killed one of my chickens? I live in central Maine - the hawk was large - the size of a red-tailed if not larger. It had a bright white belly and a dark dark grey back. The range for short tails does not seem to match up with Maine in the sites I found.
?? What could it have been? Doesn’t seem to match up with a listing of hawks found in Maine - maybe a Swainson’s hawk…maybe?
I would say either a Northern Goshawk or Northern Harrier. Male from either of the descriptions. The breast looked snow white, but it could have been finely striped - I was 30-40 feet away and rather distressed when it took off.
I’m going to go with Goshawk based on the photos and your comments. It could have had a long tail - I was guessing based on color - dark grey back and white belly. The chicken was a larger breed - Ameraucana.
The hawk seemed to know what it was doing - there are places to hide in the pen - but it waited until it was time for the chickens to go back to the coop (dusk) - and they don’t have any cover for about 10 feet. It’s a gauntlet of death apparently. After I cleaned away the remains - I herded the rest of the chickens one by one into the coop - they all stopped and looked at the pile of feathers. It was a little sad. Perhaps they were suspicious of a trick.