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Monday, September 13, 2010

Eagle Grabs Dog



Here's another email I get all the time over at AbsoluteBirdControl.com:
I live in a residential city area. I often have my 2 small dogs, a West highland Terrior and a King Charles Cavalier in the yard. Recently my neighbor noticed a hawk flying over my yard and sitting in a large tree in the back neighbors property. How do I deter this hawk from coming and killing my dogs? Is there a fake wolf or something I can put in the yard? Will it swoop down with me back there with the dogs? The dogs love to romp around in the yard. Thanks for any information you can provide.

Fortunately, eagles (let alone hawks) are not much of a threat for dogs. This is one that lives more in the realm of urban legend than reality. I have to wonder how much this Sandra Bullock film has planted fear in the heart of small dog owners. There have probably been a few dogs snatched by eagles over the years, but it has to be a very rare occurrence and not something most dog owners should worry about. So just for the record, in case you are wondering--your dog is safe!

8 comments:

J. "Kyron" Hanson said...

Yeah, hard for me to think a dog like that would be a target for any North American bird. Now chihuahuas and other tea-cups, maybe. Of course if Haast's Eagle were still around, Christchurch would see scenes like this every day... :D

Idaho Birder said...

When I was a home building superintendent in Scottsdale, AZ we knew a guy who related a story about customer service visit where he and the owner saw their tiny lap-dog picked up a some hawk and taken to nearby a rock pinnacle and eaten before the homeowners eyes. Tragic, but cool! Come on kids, lets sing "The Circle of Life" again!

Mr Pugh said...

I volunteered at a raptor rehab facility where a staff member recounted a story of a small lap-dog being taken in Ontario (North Bay area) by a Snowy Owl. Apparently they let the dog outside, it was yipping away running circles in the snow, they heard an unusual loud/distressed yelp and ran out to see the dog being carried off into the distance. Don't know enough about Snowy hunting behaviour to comment on the plausibility but the individual was not one to make up stories when it came to birds!

birdermurdermama said...

Owls are another matter, however. Small cats are definitely at risk. My favorite story of an owl snatching something, though, is the one my father-in-law tells of his uncle who had his hairpiece snatched by an owl during a late evening stroll. I even used that true incident as a key plot point in my first Birder Murder mystery, "The Boreal Owl Murder" back in 2008. I'm currently working on the fourth book in the series, and it deals with eagles, so I may have to work that urban legend in just for fun...

birdchaser said...

As long as you mention the crazy Birdchaser blogger that debunked the legend :-)

Chef Messy said...

An owl at the high school track tried to snatch up my mom's dog a few weeks ago, and we're pretty sure Mama Eagle ate Ryan's barn cat. :) We would have rather kept the cat and let my mom's dog be dinner, but we won't tell my mom that!

Bird Feeders said...

I've heard a lot of mixed opinions concerning the likely hood of small dogs falling prey to hawks and eagles. I was always a bit skeptical, thanks for helping clear things up!

Anonymous said...

I live in Washington State and just this morning a bald eagle took a massive diving swoop with incredible speed over my left shoulder towards my 12 pound dog (off-leash in our backyard) coming within two feet of her. I've always been afraid the eagles where we live would go after her but today I saw firsthand that they would! I don't usually see them so close in our yard but they have been circling in the neighborhood for a few weeks. Had it not been for the two black crows trying to keep the eagle away (they roost in our yard) I think it would've been a different story. The black crows were diving at the eagle and gave my pup enough time to run to me.

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