Hawks At Home

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A chihuahua plays on the grass. Photo © Jamie McCaffrey / Flickr

Thanks to Cool Green Science for asking, and answering, this burning question:

Do Hawks Eat Pets?

Hawks have moved into our backyards. And many people seem to find their new neighbors terrifying.

I recently downloaded the Nextdoor app, the “social network for your neighborhood community,” to keep track of road closures and new developments in my rapidly growing community. It served that purpose, but it also gives me sometimes-startling insights into my neighbors’ concerns.

Chief among those concerns is wildlife: Coyotes, bobcats (or bobcats misidentified as mountain lions), deer, and, lately, hawks. Yes, hawks.

Hawks show up a lot in suburban and urban environments this time of year. They are feasting on the bounty of songbirds that are drawn to bird feeders. Many see those large, stealthy predators and worry about their pets.

Recently, there have been a number of hawk photos posted, often with warnings: These birds are in our neighborhood! Watch your pets!

The comments often feature stories of beloved cats and small dogs being carried off by hawks and owls.

Should this really be a concern? Does it happen often, or at all? Let’s look at the reality of birds of prey and pets…

Read the whole story here.

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