Scared for my dog

by Gail
(Courtice, Ontario, Canada)

I have seen a large bird circling around our backyards twice this week.

Today at 5:30, the bird suddenly dove very quickly towards my 12 pound dog.

I ran towards the dog screaming and waving my arms.

The bird stopped diving and changed direction about 8 feet from the dog.

I am guessing a wing span of 3-4 feet but it was hard to tell in my panic.

I don't know what kind of bird it was, just that it was large and about to attack the dog. It looked all black when high up, but so do most birds.

I am guessing there is a nest nearby because I have seen it twice now. I would like the nest moved because there are a lot of small animals and kids in the area.

It is the corner of Sandringham and Yorkville in Courtice, Ontario.

Hello Gail, I'm so glad you were able to prevent the Hawk from reaching your little dog, but there is nothing that the Ministry of Natural Resources will do about the location of the nest.

Owners of small dogs need to be vigilant if there are Hawks or Eagles in the area as the birds do see small pets as prey. Take a walking stick with you when your pet goes outside, and wave it if you see Hawks flying overhead.

The reality is that these birds have lived here for tens of thousands of years and we are just recent arrivals, and to the birds of prey it must seem as if we have brought lunch with us.

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Could be a Turkey Vulture
by: Joey

It could also be a Turkey Vulture. I have a small dog too and always keep my eye on him in the backyard. You could put him on a long lead so that if the bird did actually get him, he would not be able to fly away with the dog on the lead, but not sure how that would work out for the dog in the end. Just be ever vigilant.

If the bird the writer saw WAS a Turkey Vulture, that is good, because they don't eat live prey, just the dead things other animals kill, or road-kill. You can tell a Turkey Vulture from a hawk because the Vulture will fly without much flapping, they glide, they have black & white plumage under the wings and they also seem to "wobble" as they glide - I hope this is what the writer saw.

by: AnonymousGail

Thank you so much for your response. I have lived here for 12 years and have only seen these large birds this summer. They seem like the new arrivals to me. I am much more watchful over my dog now.

I know how scary it can be when you have small pets, we have White Doves (white homing pigeons) and when we let them out for exercise or for training, we worry about Hawks in the area.

I hope your little dog stays safe, and if you are watchful, he will be fine!

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