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'Bit of excitement this evening ...


ReFur
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I live in an area that is lake/ resort/ rural. ... and, today was just beautiful! So, I decided to leave the back door open so my cats could go outside freely.

 

As I was in my office working on the Internet, something caught my eye. Through my French Doors I saw two birds flying through my main living area! And, they were not the size of sparrows, either.

 

With all of the windows in that area of the house, they both were bouncing off the glass. The first bird, a Morning Dove, went down first, ... and it waddled under a chair. Once I made certain it was safe from my cats, I went to check on the other bird. It was on the floor by a side window to the deck door. Now I could see it. It was a small HAWK!!

 

Apparently, in hot pursuit, the Hawk had chased the Dove into the house.

 

I had a real problem though, when I opened the door so it could get out, it kind of cornered the bird - it still was trying to fly through the glass! I managed to get a towel, which the bird's claws snagged and I gently drug it around the door. It made no aggressive moves towards me. I kind of think it knew I was trying to help it. But, reflecting on it, I could have really been hurt. ... anyway, it flew off.

 

I then went back and opened the front door and went after the Dove under the chair. After bouncing off a few more windows, it found the door and flew off, too.

 

The one thing that was funny about this: my cats. The whole time they were running for cover! Usually if birds are around, they are right there - not this time! Maybe they knew from it's claws not to mess with it?

 

... and, of course this would be the day that Bob was out all day!!

 

Well, signing off from a remote location in the wild,

 

Linda

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If the hawk could fly it was probably only stunned or, if hurt, only slightly hurt. Chances are that it will recover.

 

Snaring it in a towel was probably the best move you could have made. That way there is less chance of the bird getting injured or, worse, YOU getting injured by it. If a hawk is strong enough to kill another bird or a rodent it is strong enough to break your finger if it gets hold of you in the right way.

 

As far as the cats go, if they are domesticated they may still have the instinct to hunt and kill small animals but they have never had to hunt for food. They don't have the pracical experience of dealing with larger things like hawks and doves/pigeons. They may see larger birds in the yard through the family room window and their instinct may tell them to stalk the prey but, when it comes right down to it, they can be easily spooked in the fray.

 

Given the circumstances, I say that what happened is probably the best possible outcome. Nobody or no animal got seriously hurt. Only a few feathers ruffled... literally and figuratively.

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Well done Linda. You did the right thing.

 

On the hawk / cat thing; there is good reason that the cats were scared.

Hawks can take them. They are one of the main dangers in the wild to kittens; and also cubs of big cats can be taken by several birds of prey.

 

A Cat will often be chased by a bird of prey, and then , if it fails to grab and is slow inrising, the cat will then chase it. I have seen this happen many times with feral cats and buzzards.

 

Our Hunts, disgusted by the massacre of foxes with guns, and prolonging the Hunt deep into the night so wounded fox do not suffer, are looking for alternative ways of hunting. They are using birds of prey to hunt foxes. The hounds flush the fox, are then called off, and the bird released. This gives the fox an excellent opportunity of escape. Several Hunts even have Eagles now, aswell as large Owls.

 

In Mongolia Eagles are use hunt Wolves.

 

So never underestimate the power of an airborne raptor. It was your cats that may have had a lucky escape!

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Worker, oh, yes!! . . . the outcome was the best I could have hoped for!

 

The Hawk was not hurt, or even stunned. He was just trapped behind a glass door, in a triangular space. I am just so glad he allowed me to help. If he had fought, it could have been disastrous for him and me! If you saw his beak and talons, you would know what I mean!

 

TOS, I think you are right! The cats would have been the losers, no doubt!

 

You are so right, MissT, I think the whole event took place in maybe three minutes.

 

In reflecting upon those minutes, I am still amazed the Hawk did not act aggressively when I approached. It could have really hurt me - just never occurred to me at the time. ... I was so afraid it was going to break its wing.

 

Bob, thinks it was a Red-tail Hawk. If it was, it was a younger one, since it was not as large as the ones pictured in the site I have linked. So, not certain about what kind it was. But, I do know this: . . . there is one lucky Morning Dove out there!

 

Linda

 

Here is a link about them:

 

http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/pictures/Buteo_jamaicensis.html

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It is a fabulous experience to be close to such an anazing creature.

When an animal is terrified it will freeze. So tender handling was important. Aswell as this it may have been exhausted after the chase. So

you were his saviour. Well done linda!

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