HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - “Born and raised over off Johnson Road.” John Couch and his family have lived here for about 10 years and have always have gotten along with the neighbors. Well, at least until recently.
“They moved in a couple of months ago," says Couch.
A family of four—that have made their presence very known to the neighborhood. “It went from seeing the one, to seeing two, to hearing the babies squawking,” said Couch.
Squawking? Yep. Couch’s new neighbors are a family of hawks. “No more squirrels, no more rabbits, and now the little birds are getting got,” says Couch.
Next on their menu, Couch Believes it’s Buddy, Ripton, and Trouble. The three family dogs.
“Before we can let the dogs out, we have to go out the back door, we have to look and see if we see them. We each grab a rake and a pitchfork,” says Couch. “We use to be able to open the door, tell the dogs to go do what they need to do and we didn’t have to worry about it. Until they started swooping our back yard sitting on our roof, sitting on our shed.”
He and his family typically only see two at a time, but as we Stood in their back yard on Tuesday—three of the four made an appearance.
Couch reach out to every agency he knew to, trying to get someone to come get the birds- or at least give him viable options on how to get rid of them. All he was told, was to shoot bottle rockets, or an air horn before letting dogs out.
“Huntsville has that sound ordinance, says Couch. "At 10 at night, I’m sure my neighbors would love that or at 6 in the morning.”
Or use mylar tape—which he says he’s yet to find in stores. SO.. Until help comes. He will continue to wield his pitchfork.. carefully. “Of course if a hawk swoops and I hit it while I am trying to protect my animals, I can go to jail for that,” says Couch.