I grew up on a farm in SE Kansas and none of my family and neighbors were birders. Chicken Hawk was a name used by everyone for any hawk species. (Turkey Vultures were also called buzzards). Most farmers raised chickens out in the open but as far as I remember a hawk never got one in our neighborhood. Apparently somewhere or sometime a chicken was caught by a hawk so it got the name Chicken Hawk. Webster's dictionary says a chicken hawk is "Any of various hawks that prey on or have the reputation of preying on chickens". We did have a lot of coyotes around and they concerned us more than hawks so the chickens were usually cooped up at night.
 
Paul Habiger
Kansas City, Missouri

 
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The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
ASM Fall Meeting: September 24-26 at Camp Clover Point
http://mobirds.org/