Hawks, birds of prey, and HELP!

    • Gold Top Dog

    Hawks, birds of prey, and HELP!

    So, I'm new to the desert.  I've been here about a month (Reno, NV) and where I live, big backyard, but kind of on the edge of city, right at the foothills of the Sierra.

    I took the dogs out today, Nikki, Missy and Logan. Cause they were playing in the house.  So, out in the yard we go, Nikki is zooming around at 90mph.  And she and Logan start wrestling, I happen to be sitting in the grass, soaking up some rays, watching them.  Thank God they were only about 6-8 ft away from me at this point.  Nikki's under Logan.

    I see motion out of the corner of my eye, it's a bird.

    I, thankfully, decided to look to see what kind of bird.  It's a Hawk.  A HAWK.  Landed on the fence and is intently watching Nikki and Logan. I call Nikki (I've trained her to respond to me even when in panic voice) and she gets up and runs towards me as I immediately stand up... as I stand up the hawk flies away.

    She's 12 lbs and ... i know hawks can take dogs.  HOLY CRAP.  I just got lucky I was right and i mean RIGHT there.

    HELP!  What do I do?

    I am gonna go look for owl statues, and never leave her alone outside, but any other advice?! 

    I was a mess for about an hour afterwards.  SO scary.  Any help is appreciated.

    • Gold Top Dog

    Hawks are in cities too. I am in a med. sized city and a hawk landed on a small dog and hurt it QUICKLY in front of his owner. She finally was able to get the hawk to leave her dog alone. She rushed him to the vet and he was so damaged on his neck that the vet had to put him to sleep. The lady was on the local news. SO sad.

    Not much you can do but be right there. I am always there even in my city yard. They do not need to pick the dog up. They can land on them.

    • Gold Top Dog

    HOLY COW!!!!!!! That's HORRIFYING!  Right in front of her?!

    I wasn't sure this hawk was big enough to take her... but, maybe it didn't need to be! (of course I could be wrong... it could have been more than large enough, I really don't know much about this.)

    What kind of dog was it, do you know!?  How big, I wonder?  At what point are dogs safe?!

    I guess he was watching, cause Logan was on top of her and he's about 40lbs right now.  THANK GOD. 

    This is sooooo beyond scary.  I moved from Hawaii and birds of prey (heck ANYTHING of prey) doesn't exist there.


    • Gold Top Dog

    Yes, and it can be even more scarey at night.  Bottom line -- be outside with them - and if I were you I'd get a BIG (as in water canon) squirt gun and I'd fill it not just with water but water with a bit of ammonia.

    Not to be cruel -- but you have to be careful and once a predator knows you guard YOUR own it will be less apt to hassle you.  that doesn't mean you relax -- but it means you take some advance steps -- and practice.  Get GOOD with that water canon!

    • Gold Top Dog

    I doubt your 12 lb dog has too much to be concerned about. He was probably waiting for the big dog to go away.

    But you're right to stay outside with them and if you see any hawks, shoo them away. You can also get the bird models with the propeller wings.  

    • Gold Top Dog

    It was a Chi doggie. I have heard of other small dogs being hurt, also, I have heard of big parrots being taken by hawks.

    People in the city and out of town alike also have to be careful of coyotes. Small and med dogs get killed by coyotes a lot.

    • Gold Top Dog

    Great idea on the water gun.. I was thinking a cannon, but of a different sort Big Smile

    What's a bird model with propellar wings?  I was gonna get an owl statue, in my research I found out that maybe something to try.  And why do you say 12 lbs is OK, but then he was waiting for Logan to go away?  I really want to understand that! :)  ... ACK, I'm loosing my mind. I took them out to potty, I was *RIGHT* there. And I looked around really well to make sure it wasn't around, took the dogs out. Like 3 min. later a hawk was circling the neighborhood.

    Coincidence?  Hopefully.


    Oh, and I spoke with my father, he thinks making a dog run from the house would be feasible, from the garage door (leading out it's the only way to the back, that's not a slider onto a deck.)  ... so, when he comes to visit, I'll be looking into that with him.

    • Gold Top Dog


    I *think* she's thinking a 12 pound dog is 'safe' -- but it's not.  I've seen owls and osprey try to snag a dog -- it all depends on what type of predator.  Some predators want to fly away with the prey (psprey'll actually carry a fish 'laterally' in line with their own bodies to make it more aerodynamically feasible if the fish isn't still struggling).

    But other big prey birds just try to pick it up and drop it (to break it's back/kill it) to then tear it apart.  I'm sorry that's graphic to read but it's what some wild things do. 

    I've seen owls and osprey here snag jack russells -- and anything under 20 pounds can be a target.  bottom line -- it isn't whether the thing can carry it off -- it's that you don't want the dog attacked AT ALL. 

    The safest thing is a screened in room -- and I don't know if that's feasible.  But being careful is SMART Sera.

    • Gold Top Dog

    Prevention of Predator Damage in Poultry Flocks

    ... plastic ribbon streamers or pieces of metal flashing (use aluminum foil pastry dishes) can be attached to the cover mesh to keep birds of prey from attacking the poultry.

    Another technique to repel birds of prey is a "shiny bottle."

    Coat the inside of a dry, large clear-glass wine bottle with aluminum paint. Allow the paint to dry.

    Turn the bottle upside down on a 15 ft (5 m) pole located next to the pen. Be sure the bottle is not obscured by tree branches or other objects. The aluminum paint creates reflections that frightens birds away.

    For a 3000 ft pen, use 3 to 4 shiny bottles. Other, similar shaped objects such as the commercial 'coloured ball' are also an effective repellant for birds of prey. They can be mounted on a ploe or suspended from an overhead support. All visual repellants need to be clearly visible in all directions by potential invaders.

    • Gold Top Dog

    What's a bird model with propellar wings?


    LOL Sorry! It looks like an owl and where it's wings would be are propellers that spin with the slightest breeze.

    There are lots of yard ornaments that either move or appear to move. Look here.  

    And why do you say 12 lbs is OK, but then he was waiting for Logan to go away? 


    I didn't mean that it's 100% safe, as a 40-lb dog would be but being in the yard with Logan probably ensures the little one's safety.

    A dog run would be ideal. Our cats' kennel has a roof for this very reason.  

    • Gold Top Dog

    Here is an example of a "glass glazing ball" (called various things):


    These balls can be used for decoration as well as to scare off birds of prey.  I found a bunch by doing a google search on
                        reflective balls garden

    Note:  I know nothing about the company above.  I just posted it for the picture.

    • Gold Top Dog

    There are lots of yard ornaments that either move or appear to move. Look here.  

    Wow!!  I didn't know that they made little motors that turned any ornament that was hung on them.

    • Gold Top Dog

    Since we don't have a fenced yard, I'm always out with the girls. But, I have always worried about the big owls at night. Jezzy weighs 6.5 lbs., and Keela weighs 7.5 lbs - they aren't any bigger than a rabbit, so I know they can be carried off. Then just this past week, I noticed a new, huge bird flying over the pastures. Turns out that the Golden Eagles are back for the winter. :) :( Which means, the girls will get no more alone time outside in the new extra large x-pen enclosure. Oh well, just means I'll get more sun time too.

    Even though we go out with them, don't be complacent. For example, my hubby's boss has small dogs as well. She was out with them, just a few feet away, when an owl came down and grabbed her smallest. She had hold of his leash, attached to his harness, and we think that the only reason the dog survived is because the bird grabbed the harness and not the dog. He ended up with a few scrapes and bruises, but at least he is alive. 

    So be vigilant! Some birds of prey aren't going to be afraid of people being close to their intended targets! 

    I'm so glad your little one is okay though! It is scary to think of and deal with!!!


    • Gold Top Dog

    I had a hawk in my backyard about a month ago, and I'm in the middle of the concrete fields of Southern CA. It was a smaller one, but I haven't heard of anyone around here having any troubles - the coyotes are much more of a danger out here, anyways. So be vigilant, but don't be paranoid :)

    As for those owl statues... they don't do a thing to keep the birds away from my fruit trees. The birds will land right on them, even if I diligently move the statues every day. If I were you I'd be more inclined to try a glittery wind chime or something like that. 

    • Gold Top Dog

    Just remember that BARN owls and SCREECH owls will not hurt cats and dogs--they are too small and Barn owls eat their prey whole. Screech owls eat insects and tiny shrews. Barn owls eat small rodents--mice, shrews, voles and the like.

    Honestly, it is possible that a hawk or owl would take your small dogs or cats, but it's MUCH more likely that a coyote will get them.  Even if you are in the middle of a huge city (coyotes have been seen in Central Park, I believe), there ARE coyotes around and they are opportunistic feeders. This means they will eat anything they can catch!