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View Full Version : How large a prey animal can a hawk carry off?


BenBurch
29th September 2008, 03:27 PM
There is a lot of discussion in my Dachshund group of whether a 7 lb miniature dachshund is likely to be hawk prey or not.

I have googled and found a LOT of different estimates on the largest size a hawk can carry, and I wonder if anybody here has any real data?

And lets set sound ground rules; No jokes about African Swallows and coconuts, OK? :D

RedIbis
29th September 2008, 03:35 PM
I don't have actual data, but I've witnessed close up what a Hawk can do to another Hawk. Apparently, males are quite territorial and I watched as one destroyed the other and carried away its corpse in its talons like some kind of trophy.

Red Shouldered Hawks are very common around here. This one was sitting on the fence right outside my shop a few years ago.

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k90/jrubins101/Eyas2-1.jpg

madurobob
29th September 2008, 03:38 PM
In NC I've seen some sort of raptor carrying off a small cat. I didn't get a good enough look to tell if it was an owl or a red-tailed hawk, but the size was about right for the hawk. The cat was probably in the 5 pound range.

So, I think the dachshund would not be too much of a stretch for a larger bird

casebro
29th September 2008, 03:54 PM
Hawks only weigh about what a chicken does.

I doubt they can carry more than that. So a mini could go missing, full size Heidi not so likely.

But I think they kill from impact- even if they can't carry the pup off, a strike could put him at hazard.

Giraffe107
29th September 2008, 04:06 PM
Firstly, I am not sure how much larger our sea eagles are compared to your hawks- they are larger than a chicken, but I don't know their exact weight. Anyway:
I know someone who was walking their chihuahua along the beach. A sea eagle saw them. I guess it thought the chihuahua looked pretty tasty, because it swooped down and carried the dog away! The dog was never seen again, we all assume it was taken away to be eaten (of course, the eagle could have dropped it as it became too heavy).


I think it would be possible. I don't think it's likely, but you never know.

Bikewer
29th September 2008, 04:11 PM
Many years ago, St. Louis Zoo director Marlin Perkins had a little TV show called Zoo Parade.

He liked to do a bit of debunking of animal misinformation, and on one episode he addressed the old saw that an eagle could carry off an infant. He tied a 10-pound weight to a bald eagle, and the bird could not take off. Of course, the bald eagle is a much larger and more powerful bird than even the larger hawks.
Of course, it's not inconceivable that a large raptor could kill a small dog, and simply dine on it there....

Speaking of such things, there was a video up on YouTube of an eagle killing a mountain goat.
The bird just grabbed the goat's mane and pulled it off a ledge... Letting the critter fall to it's death.

leonAzul
29th September 2008, 04:43 PM
There is a lot of discussion in my Dachshund group of whether a 7 lb miniature dachshund is likely to be hawk prey or not.

I have googled and found a LOT of different estimates on the largest size a hawk can carry, and I wonder if anybody here has any real data?

And lets set sound ground rules; No jokes about African Swallows and coconuts, OK? :D

This is a misconception. Hawks do not "carry their prey off", but rather eat it in situ.

In fact, one of the more bizarre manifestations of this is that they (the hawks) tend to decapitate their prey and suck out the brains and lungs. You can't imagine how disturbing it is to explain that to a child who has seen the aftermath of decapitated prey in one's yard.

Kilaak Kommander
29th September 2008, 05:21 PM
Sasquatch is capable of throwing a pig. Oops, wrong thread. :eek:

TjW
29th September 2008, 09:47 PM
This is a misconception. Hawks do not "carry their prey off", but rather eat it in situ.

In fact, one of the more bizarre manifestations of this is that they (the hawks) tend to decapitate their prey and suck out the brains and lungs. You can't imagine how disturbing it is to explain that to a child who has seen the aftermath of decapitated prey in one's yard.

I hate to disagree, but I have seen hawks carrying off prey -- or at least part of the prey. The prey looked about the size of a ground squirrel, and it looked like really hard work for the bird.

tesscaline
29th September 2008, 10:55 PM
Part of the problem in answering this question is that the word "hawk" means different types of birds depending upon your locale. If you could specify a type of "hawk" it would be much easier to dig up data for you :)

Corsair 115
29th September 2008, 11:17 PM
I think I saw in some movie that swallows could carry a coconut husk...

Cavemonster
29th September 2008, 11:22 PM
Are the hawks in question African or European?

leonAzul
30th September 2008, 12:05 AM
I hate to disagree, but I have seen hawks carrying off prey -- or at least part of the prey. The prey looked about the size of a ground squirrel, and it looked like really hard work for the bird.

You hate to disagree, yet you provide no evidence. Stuff and nonsense!

From someone who has observed raptors.

Hawks stun their prey in the air, and then eat what they find on the ground. Hawks decapitate their prey.

Other raptors behave differently. Perhaps you were mistaken about which raptor you witnessed?

shadron
30th September 2008, 12:26 AM
This is a misconception. Hawks do not "carry their prey off", but rather eat it in situ.

In fact, one of the more bizarre manifestations of this is that they (the hawks) tend to decapitate their prey and suck out the brains and lungs. You can't imagine how disturbing it is to explain that to a child who has seen the aftermath of decapitated prey in one's yard.

Well, now, Leon, perhaps you've observed hawks dining, and I have little doubt of your observations, but I'd really like to know how a hawk can "suck" anything. Do they wrap their lips around it, as human's do? Do the use their flexible tongue? Tear something apart, yes, assuredly, but suck hard enough to draw out tissues? Sounds just a little too Halloweenish here.

leonAzul
30th September 2008, 12:59 AM
Well, now, Leon, perhaps you've observed hawks dining, and I have little doubt of your observations, but I'd really like to know how a hawk can "suck" anything. Do they wrap their lips around it, as human's do? Do the use their flexible tongue? Tear something apart, yes, assuredly, but suck hard enough to draw out tissues? Sounds just a little too Halloweenish here.

Stop being so anthropomorphic and start being more circumspective ;)

I have witnessed the behavior of hawks. Iff you have evidence contrary to that which I have shared, then please share your point of view.

Cuddles
30th September 2008, 06:34 AM
I have witnessed the behavior of hawks. Iff you have evidence contrary to that which I have shared, then please share your point of view.

In your own words:

You hate to disagree, yet you provide no evidence. Stuff and nonsense!

You have shared no more evidence than anyone else in this thread. What's so special about your anecdotes that we should believe you and not someone else?

TjW
30th September 2008, 07:31 AM
You hate to disagree, yet you provide no evidence. Stuff and nonsense!

From someone who has observed raptors.

Hawks stun their prey in the air, and then eat what they find on the ground. Hawks decapitate their prey.

Other raptors behave differently. Perhaps you were mistaken about which raptor you witnessed?

Hmm. Well, I admit I have no hard evidence for that claim, which is why I hated to disagree.
If you'd like hard evidence that they'll attack really large flying objects, I can show you the talon marks in the leading edge of my hang glider.

quarky
30th September 2008, 07:36 AM
I've observed red-tailed hawks quite a lot; seen them kill chickens, but unable to fly away with them. Smaller animals, yes.

In mountainous terrain, a raptor can carry large prey while it is descending rapidly, which can appear as if they are flying off with the prey.

I think we need a test dog.

Owls are quite powerful fliers for a short distance. I've heard flying rabbits at night; quite a stunning thing at first...the unmistakeable cries of bunny moving thru the night sky.

TjW
30th September 2008, 08:21 AM
This bird was in fairly close to the hill, so she may have had some help from ridge lift. And she may well have launched from higher up, but she was maintaining altitude when I saw her.
I had never seen one doing that before, and I haven't seen that behavior in the ten years since. So I dunno.

Smackety
30th September 2008, 08:37 AM
Hawks carry prey to their nest to feed their chicks, so yes, they do attempt to fly off with their prey.

richardm
30th September 2008, 08:40 AM
It does depend on the type of hawk though doesn't it?

I have seen pictures of a golden eagle carrying off a dead fox, and the local sea eagles are gaining a reputation for nailing lambs - and indeed they do try to carry them off if they have chicks to feed back at the nest.

Of course they're both much bigger than the kind of bird you'd normally call a hawk.

Jeff Corey
30th September 2008, 08:56 AM
I wonder how much this small deer weighs?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1Mq7m6OBuU&NR=1

wolfgirl
30th September 2008, 09:43 AM
I'm more than a little interested in this myself, as we own some land out in the county on which we plan to build a log home, when (if) the economy ever gets back under control. There are red-tailed hawks on this land, which I find cool, except that we have a cat. He's fat (around 12 lbs.), which may make him a tasty meal but hard to carry off. But some of you are saying they don't have to carry them off, so now I'm concerned again. Will he get et? (And don't say "just keep him inside"...this cat would literally kill us and feast on our flesh if we tried that, trust me! We found him as a stray in a parking lot when he was about five months old. He's wild and doesn't take well to even the mildest sort of confinement. He's the only cat I know who has torn up chunks of linoleum trying to get out a door. Also tore wood off the door. People think a dog did it.)

I Ratant
30th September 2008, 10:01 AM
Roughly speaking, any hawk is probably capable of flying away with prey that weighs 1 oz -less- than the hawk can fly with.
It's up to the hawk to decide if the potential meal is to consumed on-premises, or a take-out.

madurobob
30th September 2008, 10:34 AM
I'm more than a little interested in this myself, as we own some land out in the county on which we plan to build a log home, when (if) the economy ever gets back under control. There are red-tailed hawks on this land, which I find cool, except that we have a cat. He's fat (around 12 lbs.), which may make him a tasty meal but hard to carry off. But some of you are saying they don't have to carry them off, so now I'm concerned again. Will he get et? (And don't say "just keep him inside"...this cat would literally kill us and feast on our flesh if we tried that, trust me! We found him as a stray in a parking lot when he was abour five months old. He's wild and doesn't take well to even the mildest sort of confinement. He's the only cat I know who has torn up linoleum trying to get out a door. Also tore wood off the door. People think a dog did it.)

I'd expect the coyotes to get him first.

But, if he insists on being an outdoor cat then its the risk he takes. He'll probably love living in the country and may live a long happy life there. But, there are always predators. You can't prevent the risk to him by locking him inside - he'd be miserable and share that misery with you.

I have a very similar cat. We have lots of hawks and owls and they've never been a problem. He tangled with a coyote once and lived... and now he's much more cautious when he goes out :)

richardm
30th September 2008, 11:57 AM
I worried a bit about my cat vs the various large birds of prey that are out and about, but as far as I know she's never been bothered by them. I've never heard of anyone else losing a cat to an eagle either, and never heard tell of cat bones being found in nests, so perhaps there is a predator's bond that they all sign ;)

tesscaline
30th September 2008, 12:16 PM
Red-tailed hawks don't generally go after prey that is more than double their own weight. Since red-tailed hawks also don't generally weigh more than 3lbs, that means the biggest thing they'd go after is 6lbs. The 12lb cat should be perfectly safe from red-tailed hawks.

For reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-tailed_Hawk

Soapy Sam
30th September 2008, 12:46 PM
I know a crow can carry off a mutton pie and I've had a chicken leg snatched out of my hand by a Kite. (She got the rest of my lunch too- well worth it!)

I have seen a white tailed sea eagle lift a baby seal off the sea ice in the Caspian, though it let it go after only a few metres.
Eagle- about 7 foot wing span- possibly larger-
seal pup (I'm guessing--12-16 pounds).
A bird that size must acquire a lot of momentum in a shallow dive, but maintaining the power to lift away without stalling is a lot harder. I suspect they essentially try to strike hard enough to lift / slide / roll the pup away from the mother, then rip it up on the ice.

Skeptic Guy
30th September 2008, 12:49 PM
I wonder how much this small deer weighs?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1Mq7m6OBuU&NR=1


Holy cow, er Deer, I would never have believed that if I hadn't seen it.

TjW
30th September 2008, 12:54 PM
Red-tailed hawks don't generally go after prey that is more than double their own weight. Since red-tailed hawks also don't generally weigh more than 3lbs, that means the biggest thing they'd go after is 6lbs. The 12lb cat should be perfectly safe from red-tailed hawks.

For reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-tailed_Hawk

Hmm. Well, the one that hit me made two passes on something that had a gross weight of about 250 lbs, and a wingspan of 36 feet.

To be fair, I suspect that was more defense than hunting mode. I was circling fairly low, and there may have a nest around somewhere. I've flown with them lots of times when they weren't so cranky.

I Ratant
30th September 2008, 04:42 PM
At my fighting weight of 200 pounds plus, and considering the envelope that surrounds it, I was surprised one day while crouched down taking some photos of belly flowers with a loud "Whoooooooosh"!
Looking up, I observed a Golden Eagle had made a pass at me!

Floyt
30th September 2008, 05:15 PM
Speaking of such things, there was a video up on YouTube of an eagle killing a mountain goat.
The bird just grabbed the goat's mane and pulled it off a ledge... Letting the critter fall to it's death.

Nice example of the perfidy of NatHist documentary making, btw...
Look at this one first:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VklTs-Tid_I

and then this one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3n4qPpL8T0

Though I wonder why anyone would replace that awesome drag-off-cliff finale with a more mundane one (still a good spectacle, but ... :confused: )

leonAzul
30th September 2008, 05:34 PM
In your own words:



You have shared no more evidence than anyone else in this thread. What's so special about your anecdotes that we should believe you and not someone else?

That is well said. I offer nor share more than anecdotal evidence. YMMV.

Yet among us, given the anecdotal evidence, perhaps there is something worthy of consideration.

If you have evidence contrary to my assertions, then please bring it to our attention.

dudalb
30th September 2008, 05:43 PM
That Little Chicken Hawk in the Warner's Brs. Cartoons could almost carry off Foghorn Leghorn.
'I say, boy, I say, if you want to be a Chicken Hawk"...

leonAzul
30th September 2008, 05:50 PM
Owls are quite powerful fliers for a short distance.

Owls are not hawks!

leonAzul
30th September 2008, 05:54 PM
That Little Chicken Hawk in the Warner's Brs. Cartoons could almost carry off Foghorn Leghorn.
'I say, boy, I say, if you want to be a Chicken Hawk"...

LULZ :bgrin:

king catfish
30th September 2008, 07:18 PM
As one who has a falconers' license and has hunted with many hawks, there is a lot of misinformation in this thread. I know very well what several species of raptors can carry off, as "falconry" raptors tend to do just that whenever they can. A federal exam and two years of study are required to earn this license.

There is a lot of discussion in my Dachshund group of whether a 7 lb miniature dachshund is likely to be hawk prey or not.


Not likely or even possible with anything except perhaps a golden eagle. A red-tailed hawk or a ferruginous hawk (largest non-eagle raptors in North America) could in no way carry 7 lbs any distance. A squirrel (1-3 lbs, on average and depending on species) cannot be carried by the largest red-tailed hen more than 30-40 yards at best. Most cannot even do that.


IApparently, males are quite territorial and I watched as one destroyed the other and carried away its corpse in its talons like some kind of trophy.

Hawks are very light; this does not really surprise me. However, you're liely talking about females, not males. In raptors, sexual dimorphism is in reverse, as is aggression and territoriality.

In NC I've seen some sort of raptor carrying off a small cat. I didn't get a good enough look to tell if it was an owl or a red-tailed hawk, but the size was about right for the hawk. The cat was probably in the 5 pound range.

So, I think the dachshund would not be too much of a stretch for a larger bird

A small cat would be impossible to carry for any North American raptor except a golden eagle.

Hawks only weigh about what a chicken does.

I doubt they can carry more than that. So a mini could go missing, full size Heidi not so likely.

But I think they kill from impact- even if they can't carry the pup off, a strike could put him at hazard.

True, they cannot carry much. Killing on impact is a myth. Hawks (accipiters, buteos) and eagles kill essentially by stabbing/choking their prey to death. Falcons skill with a raking strike with the talons then a choking bite to the neck.

While a hawk could easily kill a dog, it is very unlikely one would even try unless very hungry. Hawks are not in the habit of taking on dangerous prey unless unusally highly motivated.


Firstly, I am not sure how much larger our sea eagles are compared to your hawks- they are larger than a chicken, but I don't know their exact weight. Anyway:
I know someone who was walking their chihuahua along the beach. A sea eagle saw them. I guess it thought the chihuahua looked pretty tasty, because it swooped down and carried the dog away! The dog was never seen again, we all assume it was taken away to be eaten (of course, the eagle could have dropped it as it became too heavy).


I think it would be possible. I don't think it's likely, but you never know.

Why would a sea eagle, which eats fish, carry off a dog? Very unlikely, especially with humans nearby. Raptors are very shy of humans.

He liked to do a bit of debunking of animal misinformation, and on one episode he addressed the old saw that an eagle could carry off an infant. He tied a 10-pound weight to a bald eagle, and the bird could not take off. Of course, the bald eagle is a much larger and more powerful bird than even the larger hawks.
Of course, it's not inconceivable that a large raptor could kill a small dog, and simply dine on it there....

Correct.

This is a misconception. Hawks do not "carry their prey off", but rather eat it in situ.

Correct.

In fact, one of the more bizarre manifestations of this is that they (the hawks) tend to decapitate their prey and suck out the brains and lungs. You can't imagine how disturbing it is to explain that to a child who has seen the aftermath of decapitated prey in one's yard.

Wrong. Hawks do not "decapitate and suck out brains and lungs". A hawk that is not terribly hungry will pick and choose the most calorie-dense body parts, but they do not "suck" anything. Your description better fits the carcasses left behind by either cats or vultures, neither of which are raptors.

I hate to disagree, but I have seen hawks carrying off prey -- or at least part of the prey. The prey looked about the size of a ground squirrel, and it looked like really hard work for the bird.

Yes, this is absolutely correct. Squirrels are tough work for any hawk and tend to fight back. Red-taileds that catch rabbits (which are easier to kill and do not fight back) will eat them in place, though, as they are too heavy to move.

You hate to disagree, yet you provide no evidence. Stuff and nonsense!

From someone who has observed raptors.

Hawks stun their prey in the air, and then eat what they find on the ground. Hawks decapitate their prey.

Other raptors behave differently. Perhaps you were mistaken about which raptor you witnessed?

Wrong. Hawks do not in general hunt airborne prey. When they do, they "grab" them, as they would ground prey. You are describing falcons. Decapitation is not modus operandi for any raptor of either sort as far as I know.

Owls are quite powerful fliers for a short distance. I've heard flying rabbits at night; quite a stunning thing at first...the unmistakeable cries of bunny moving thru the night sky.

Owls are a whole different subject. Great horned owls are much stronger, and I would be more apt to believe one could carry a small rabbit. Incidentally, this is one of the things that makes the owl a real pain in the ass for falconry and rarely used.

I think I've made my point, and won't continue.

Puppycow
30th September 2008, 07:22 PM
Firstly, I am not sure how much larger our sea eagles are compared to your hawks- they are larger than a chicken, but I don't know their exact weight. Anyway:
I know someone who was walking their chihuahua along the beach. A sea eagle saw them. I guess it thought the chihuahua looked pretty tasty, because it swooped down and carried the dog away! The dog was never seen again, we all assume it was taken away to be eaten (of course, the eagle could have dropped it as it became too heavy).


I think it would be possible. I don't think it's likely, but you never know.

Oh Noes! The poor widdle puppy-wuppy! Now I'm going to have nightmares. :faint:

learner
30th September 2008, 08:49 PM
There is a lot of discussion in my Dachshund group of whether a 7 lb miniature dachshund is likely to be hawk prey or not.

I have googled and found a LOT of different estimates on the largest size a hawk can carry, and I wonder if anybody here has any real data?

And lets set sound ground rules; No jokes about African Swallows and coconuts, OK? :D
What size prey can a hawk carry off? I once saw a hawk do a fairly good bugs bunny impersonation. not bad.
seriously. If an Osprey is a hawk. I think it is. then about 3lb

leonAzul
30th September 2008, 10:21 PM
Wrong. Hawks do not in general hunt airborne prey. When they do, they "grab" them, as they would ground prey. You are describing falcons. Decapitation is not modus operandi for any raptor of either sort as far as I know.


Wrong.

You might have studied long, yet you might have studied wrong.

Without exemption hawks stun their prey, whether airborne or (less likely) on the ground. I know this not from a book, but rather by direct observation. Reality trumps speculation every time.

Falcons are not hawks. There is a reason why falconry exists, and not hawkery. ;)

BenBurch
30th September 2008, 10:34 PM
Well, in this specific case the sort of hawk we have here in Northern Illinois... (Whatever that is!)

tesscaline
30th September 2008, 10:41 PM
Well, in this specific case the sort of hawk we have here in Northern Illinois... (Whatever that is!)You have various types of hawk in Illinois. See http://www.illinoisraptorcenter.org/Field%20Guide/guidecover.html for a very basic reference.

BenBurch
30th September 2008, 10:49 PM
Thanks for all the information...

I wonder if I shouldn't design a raptor-proof garment for little dogs?

tesscaline
30th September 2008, 10:59 PM
Thanks for all the information...

I wonder if I shouldn't design a raptor-proof garment for little dogs?
Kevlar4Kanines? :p

Honestly, based on everything I've read, combined with my own personal experiences, the dog doesn't have much to worry about from hawks, falcons, or other birds of prey.

Where I live (California) both hawks and falcons of various types are quite common, and no one here has issues with them going after their dogs. Rabbits, yes. Dogs? No. Not even toy poodles, dachshunds, or other "mini" dogs.

leonAzul
30th September 2008, 11:53 PM
Thanks for all the information...

I wonder if I shouldn't design a raptor-proof garment for little dogs?

Walk your dog, and be glad of the companionship!

Go forth, and be be proud of the joy that you share with your dog.

neutrino_cannon
1st October 2008, 12:11 AM
As one who has a falconers' license and has hunted with many hawks, there is a lot of misinformation in this thread. I know very well what several species of raptors can carry off, as "falconry" raptors tend to do just that whenever they can. A federal exam and two years of study are required to earn this license.

Excellent! I was thinking about maybe getting my license if I don't go back to school soon. For now I'm content to beat the bush for the local falconers.


Not likely or even possible with anything except perhaps a golden eagle. A red-tailed hawk or a ferruginous hawk (largest non-eagle raptors in North America) could in no way carry 7 lbs any distance. A squirrel (1-3 lbs, on average and depending on species) cannot be carried by the largest red-tailed hen more than 30-40 yards at best. Most cannot even do that.An older female golden eagle massing upwards of five kilos could carry off quite a bit, but IIRC lifting capabilities in birds don't increase in a linear fashion, so bigger kills get eaten in situ quite frequently. I wouldn't be surprised if the slope between lifting capacity and energetically worthwhile prey meant that the very largest eagles have to eat anything worth catching in situ. Perhaps this is why all the largest eagles (harpy eagle, philippine monkey eating eagle, and extinct Haast's eagle) all live in jungles?

Hawks are very light; this does not really surprise me. However, you're liely talking about females, not males. In raptors, sexual dimorphism is in reverse, as is aggression and territoriality.Although Arab falconers apparently didn't figure out which was the male and which was the female since captive breeding for birds of prey wasn't technically feasible until the 1960's...


A small cat would be impossible to carry for any North American raptor except a golden eagle.And even then I'm not sure a tiercel would be able to or bother, especially a subadult.

While a hawk could easily kill a dog, it is very unlikely one would even try unless very hungry. Hawks are not in the habit of taking on dangerous prey unless unusally highly motivated.As Kirghiz falconers, who send their eagles after wolves, are quite aware.

Why would a sea eagle, which eats fish, carry off a dog? Very unlikely, especially with humans nearby. Raptors are very shy of humans.Some old hand rehabbers who worked on some sort of research program said that there's a reasonable amount of variation in the diets of haliaeetus species. A few populations can get at much of 30% of their meet from groun mammals is what I recall. Still, primarily fish eaters, but reasonably flexible.

Wrong. Hawks do not "decapitate and suck out brains and lungs". A hawk that is not terribly hungry will pick and choose the most calorie-dense body parts, but they do not "suck" anything. Your description better fits the carcasses left behind by either cats or vultures, neither of which are raptors.Birds, lacking lips, cannot "suck" anything.



Wrong. Hawks do not in general hunt airborne prey. When they do, they "grab" them, as they would ground prey. You are describing falcons. Decapitation is not modus operandi for any raptor of either sort as far as I know.Accipter hawks are reasonably capable at air to air, although the fact that we call them "hawks," same as buteoine birds is an accident of our sloppy language and does not reflect avian phylogeny. They tend to pick their prey apart a bit too:

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g69/Pion_Hallux/IMGP0200.jpg



Owls are a whole different subject. Great horned owls are much stronger, and I would be more apt to believe one could carry a small rabbit. Incidentally, this is one of the things that makes the owl a real pain in the ass for falconry and rarely used.That and the whole "doesn't behave at all like a hawk" thing, although apparently some British falconers have gotten decent results from ealgle-owls.

richardm
1st October 2008, 01:40 AM
Why would a sea eagle, which eats fish, carry off a dog?

I can't speak for American sea eagles, but while Scottish White-Tailed Sea Eagles do catch and eat fish, they will also hunt and kill quite middling-size mammals.

Edit: Although quite a lot of the time they simply scavenge carrion.

It's interesting to note your comment about raptors being wary of humans. Most people visiting here have seeing a Golden Eagle pretty high on their list, but they're actually quite unlikely to see one from the road. With a long history of persecution they're - with good reason - very wary indeed of humans, and you tend to have to nip up into the hills to get a decent chance. Ironically enough at the moment visitors here are more likely to see a Sea Eagle* which, while they are even rarer than Golden Eagles, have been recently re-introduced and are much less likely to deliberately steer clear of people. With recent reports of them decimating lamb stocks this seems likely to change.

*They're even more likely to see a buzzard and mis-identify it, mind you.

Soapy Sam
1st October 2008, 02:13 AM
I've seen a couple of Red Kites in Perthshire too. They seem to be doing rather well since reintroduction, partly as they are not scared of humans and will scavenge picnic sites and lay-by bins. Lovely birds to watch, but I'd be unsurprised if they become a bit of a nuisance once numbers increase.

madurobob
1st October 2008, 06:48 AM
A small cat would be impossible to carry for any North American raptor except a golden eagle.
Well, I saw it with my own eyes (not those rented ones I use on the weekends). Of course, I did point out that it could have been an owl. I saw it from underneath just a few feet above the windshield of my car. It was not having an easy time of it - otherwise it would not have been flying at street level through traffic. My eyes were caught by the lifeless gray tabby, not the bird.

TjW
1st October 2008, 07:50 AM
Wrong.

You might have studied long, yet you might have studied wrong.

Without exemption hawks stun their prey, whether airborne or (less likely) on the ground. I know this not from a book, but rather by direct observation. Reality trumps speculation every time.

Falcons are not hawks. There is a reason why falconry exists, and not hawkery. ;)

Falconry is a catch-all term for hunting with birds of prey. Many falconers use hawks.

I like the birds, but having met a couple of falconers, I know it's a lot more work than I'd be willing to put in for my level of interest.

richardm
1st October 2008, 08:01 AM
Falconry is a catch-all term for hunting with birds of prey. Many falconers use hawks.

And indeed falconers often refer to hunting with birds as "hawking", so they clearly regard them as pretty interchangeable.

neutrino_cannon
1st October 2008, 12:20 PM
And indeed falconers often refer to hunting with birds as "hawking", so they clearly regard them as pretty interchangeable.

In more civilized times someone who hunted with the aid of a hawk was referred to as an "austringer".

neutrino_cannon
1st October 2008, 12:33 PM
Well, I saw it with my own eyes (not those rented ones I use on the weekends). Of course, I did point out that it could have been an owl. I saw it from underneath just a few feet above the windshield of my car. It was not having an easy time of it - otherwise it would not have been flying at street level through traffic. My eyes were caught by the lifeless gray tabby, not the bird.

In fairness, he did say raptor, which some would take to mean accipitridae only.

I too am fairly sure that large bubo sp. can and do nail small cats. They get skunks after all. Given that owls lack crops, they would also have more reason to pick up their prey and take it with them.

gerdbonk
1st October 2008, 01:29 PM
Pet owners, have your small dogs and cats take lessons from this rabbit:

T2_RnTc1bBQ

king catfish
1st October 2008, 06:36 PM
Wrong.

You might have studied long, yet you might have studied wrong.

Without exemption hawks stun their prey, whether airborne or (less likely) on the ground. I know this not from a book, but rather by direct observation. Reality trumps speculation every time.

Falcons are not hawks. There is a reason why falconry exists, and not hawkery. ;)

I did not study merely in books; I have hunted with many kinds of birds (incidentally only hawks; observed many falcons though). I was not speculating.

Where did I say that hawks *never* stun their prey. I said the mode of killing is stabbing/crushing with talons for hawks, and raking/neck bite for falcons. Stunning, when it occurs, is incidental. Decapitation, when it occurs, is incidental.

And "falconry" is a catch-all term. Most falconry birds are indeed hawks and not falcons. Take your arrogant attitude elsewhere. I have been inches from a hawk killing its prey more times than I can count, and I doubt you can say that. I have pictures to prove it.

Here's one:
http://photos1.blogger.com/img/262/2351/1024/114-1431_IMG.jpg

Here's another:
http://photos1.blogger.com/img/262/2351/1024/114-1479_IMG.jpg

I did not merely study in books. Clear enough now? My experience trumps your "observing through your kitchen window.

king catfish
1st October 2008, 06:40 PM
Neutrino Cannon and others, thanks for correcting/clarifying me on accipiters (certainly do hunt airborne prey, sorry I misspoke there) and owls. :)

EDITED to answer the OP: You need not worry *at all* about your dog. Really, you needn't stress over it.

I Ratant
1st October 2008, 07:36 PM
Thanks for all the information...

I wonder if I shouldn't design a raptor-proof garment for little dogs?
.
It's been tried..
From the Burgess Shale..

neutrino_cannon
2nd October 2008, 02:29 AM
Neutrino Cannon and others, thanks for correcting/clarifying me on accipiters (certainly do hunt airborne prey, sorry I misspoke there) and owls. :)

Good to see another falconry enthusiast around here. If I dig around long enough I can find some photos I took of a redtail mantled over a pigeon.

Pigeon was still kicking when I first got there. It could have been something else's kill, but I think there's a darned good chance that that redtail somehow managed to get that pigeon. I've heard of it happening before, which is a testament to how much behavioral flexibility they have.

I'm still not quite sure how they get over the issue of being much, much slower than pigeons.

EDITED to answer the OP: You need not worry *at all* about your dog. Really, you needn't stress over it.

While I'm sure that birds of prey get pets occasionally, I would imagine that coyotes, foxes and raccoons pose a substantially greater threat. Lighting probably kills pets occasionally too. Ahead of that I would guess that more pets are killed by stupid things their owners do than predators by a wide margin.

leonAzul
2nd October 2008, 02:58 AM
In your own words:



You have shared no more evidence than anyone else in this thread. What's so special about your anecdotes that we should believe you and not someone else?

I don't expect that you believe me. Rather I expect that like a good skeptic you do the research ;)

leonAzul
2nd October 2008, 03:12 AM
Hawks carry prey to their nest to feed their chicks, so yes, they do attempt to fly off with their prey.

Female hawks carry parts of their prey to feed their chicks. That much is true.

Do I have a witness of a hawk carrying an entire prey?

leonAzul
2nd October 2008, 03:26 AM
And when I have heard the keening of a hawk, I am so elated:bgrin:

richardm
2nd October 2008, 03:31 AM
Do I have a witness of a hawk carrying an entire prey?

Of course (http://www.poyi.org/63/01/03.php) it's hard to tell how far it travelled.

In more civilized times someone who hunted with the aid of a hawk was referred to as an "austringer".

New one on me :)

I would also add that I know a number of dogs like Jack Russells and Bichon Frises, and despite a sizeable bird-of-prey population none of them have ever come to grief. And the latter would presumably look delicious to an eagle.

leonAzul
2nd October 2008, 03:38 AM
Of course (http://www.poyi.org/63/01/03.php) it's hard to tell how far it travelled.

Then I am corrected, and accept the evidence.

Iff there is any.

Smackety
2nd October 2008, 03:40 AM
Female hawks carry parts of their prey to feed their chicks. That much is true.

Do I have a witness of a hawk carrying an entire prey?

Does it matter if it is the whole doggie or just its kidneys?

I don't think any hawk is going to fly off with anything that weighs more than a few pounds. So only young dachshunds are probably at risk of disappearing without a trace.

Oh..this (http://www.flickr.com/photos/timothyobrienphotography/2198818462/) is almost the size of a small dog

leonAzul
2nd October 2008, 04:47 AM
Of course (http://www.poyi.org/63/01/03.php) it's hard to tell how far it travelled.
New one on me :)

I would also add that I know a number of dogs like Jack Russells and Bichon Frises, and despite a sizeable bird-of-prey population none of them have ever come to grief. And the latter would presumably look delicious to an eagle.

Again, there is a reason why there exists falconry, and not hawkery!

Try to discern that.

quarky
2nd October 2008, 05:57 AM
Mongolians hunt with eagles.

Once I saw a red-tailed hawk being hassled by sparrows. One of the small birds was actually hanging on to the hawks head and pecking him. The hawk was screaming.
Strange sight.

EHocking
2nd October 2008, 06:18 AM
...
Birds, lacking lips, cannot "suck" anything.
...Not being pedantic here, just wanting to pass on a singular fact. Firstly "sucking" or peristalsis is actually peformed by the aesophagus - lack of lips is not an issue.

That said, pigeons and doves (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird_anatomy)(as far as I know) are the only birds that can suck water in this manner.

richardm
2nd October 2008, 06:28 AM
Then I am corrected, and accept the evidence.

Iff there is any.

Does that photograph not count as evidence then?

Again, there is a reason why there exists falconry, and not hawkery!

Try to discern that.

Let's assume I am an idiot - this should not be hard for you to do.

I have no idea what you're trying to say here, so can you spell it out? Is your
claim that people do not fly hawks? Or that people do not hunt with hawks? Or that falconers do not fly hawks? Or that falconers do not refer to themselves as hawkers?

Or something else?

neutrino_cannon
2nd October 2008, 08:46 AM
Once I saw a red-tailed hawk being hassled by sparrows. One of the small birds was actually hanging on to the hawks head and pecking him. The hawk was screaming.
Strange sight.

Such "mobbing" behavior is actually fairly common in songbirds. Blackbirds can be especially nasty about it.


Not being pedantic here, just wanting to pass on a singular fact. Firstly "sucking" or peristalsis is actually peformed by the aesophagus - lack of lips is not an issue.

That said, pigeons and doves (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird_anatomy)(as far as I know) are the only birds that can suck water in this manner

I did not know that, EHocking, thanks.

I wasn't thinking that the lack of lips would mean no muscular force to propel the sucking, but rather than the inability to form a continuous tube would be an issue. Since pigeons have relatively short beaks and short necks, perhaps it works better for them than drinking in the traditional manner.

neutrino_cannon
2nd October 2008, 08:50 AM
Again, there is a reason why there exists falconry, and not hawkery!


Then what is this lady is doing?


http://austringer.net/wp/wp-content/photos/dscf4275_ws.jpg

leonAzul
2nd October 2008, 09:25 AM
Does that photograph not count as evidence then?

IFF it weren't "photoshopped" then I accept it.

Let's assume I am an idiot - this should not be hard for you to do.

I have no idea what you're trying to say here, so can you spell it out? Is your
claim that people do not fly hawks? Or that people do not hunt with hawks? Or that falconers do not fly hawks? Or that falconers do not refer to themselves as hawkers?

Or something else?

I do not assume that you are an idiot. Quite the contrary!

After thousands of years of experience, human beings have found falcons to be more tractable than hawks; no more, no less.

To deny the obvious…well that is to deny the obvious!

leonAzul
2nd October 2008, 10:54 AM
Then what is this lady is doing?


http://austringer.net/wp/wp-content/photos/dscf4275_ws.jpg

She is being very afraid.

JPL
2nd October 2008, 11:30 AM
Female hawks carry parts of their prey to feed their chicks. That much is true.

Do I have a witness of a hawk carrying an entire prey?

For the last five years a mated pair of red tailed hawks have nested in a tree here in the complex where I work. I've observed them carring rats, squirrels, and rabbits back to the nest.

Cainkane1
2nd October 2008, 11:46 AM
Owls are quite powerful fliers for a short distance. I've heard flying rabbits at night; quite a stunning thing at first...the unmistakeable cries of bunny moving thru the night sky.

I heard a ribbit make that sound when my cat attacked one. I was able to rescue the rabbit but later on that night I found out that my cat had tracked him down and killed him anyway.

I Ratant
2nd October 2008, 11:51 AM
People have pondered that rabbit squeak for a long time.
It doesn't send a "help me!" signal to Super Rabbit, who doesn't come to the rescue.

neutrino_cannon
2nd October 2008, 12:18 PM
After thousands of years of experience, human beings have found falcons to be more tractable than hawks; no more, no less.

:confused:

There is no more tractable a bird of prey to human companionship than the harris hawk (parabuteo unicinctus). King catfish will back me up on this, that is if he doesn't complain that they're cheating since they're so sociable. Read any treatise on falconry, or at least any written after the widespread adoption of harris hawks and they will all say exactly the same thing, again, assuming that they don't complain that they're cheating. No less an authority than the International Falconry Forum reckons that harris' are the most common birds flown right now.

An apprentice-level falconer may fly one of two birds in the United States; the redtail and the kestrel. The majority choose the redtail because, surprise, it's easier to work with (or at least less sensitive to newbie screwups).

There is an extensive history in using the Goshawk in both Easter and Western falconry traditions. In France it was called the chef's hawk for its ability to keep a larder filled. Japanese falconry uses the goshawk almost exclusively.

In Britain, where wild birds are not generally permitted to be used in falconry buteoine hawks are being extensively bred, including exotic hybrids like harris/redtail and even ferruginous hawk hybrids.

Indeed, it can very well be argued that "falconry" is a bit of a misnomer, since eagles, kites, vultures, shrikes, hawks, owls, and kingfishers have been tried or are now being flown. Where are you getting this stuff from? It's blatantly counterfactual.

leonAzul
2nd October 2008, 12:25 PM
For the last five years a mated pair of red tailed hawks have nested in a tree here in the complex where I work. I've observed them carring rats, squirrels, and rabbits back to the nest.

Share your experience. We would like to be better informed.

I would like nothing less than to be corrected of my observations.

leonAzul
2nd October 2008, 02:34 PM
:confused:

There is no more tractable a bird of prey to human companionship than the harris hawk (parabuteo unicinctus). King catfish will back me up on this, that is if he doesn't complain that they're cheating since they're so sociable. Read any treatise on falconry, or at least any written after the widespread adoption of harris hawks and they will all say exactly the same thing, again, assuming that they don't complain that they're cheating. No less an authority than the International Falconry Forum reckons that harris' are the most common birds flown right now.

An apprentice-level falconer may fly one of two birds in the United States; the redtail and the kestrel. The majority choose the redtail because, surprise, it's easier to work with (or at least less sensitive to newbie screwups).

There is an extensive history in using the Goshawk in both Easter and Western falconry traditions. In France it was called the chef's hawk for its ability to keep a larder filled. Japanese falconry uses the goshawk almost exclusively.

In Britain, where wild birds are not generally permitted to be used in falconry buteoine hawks are being extensively bred, including exotic hybrids like harris/redtail and even ferruginous hawk hybrids.

Indeed, it can very well be argued that "falconry" is a bit of a misnomer, since eagles, kites, vultures, shrikes, hawks, owls, and kingfishers have been tried or are now being flown. Where are you getting this stuff from? It's blatantly counterfactual.

Then I am corrected. Thank you for a better informed opinion.

leonAzul
2nd October 2008, 02:45 PM
Owls are quite powerful fliers for a short distance. I've heard flying rabbits at night; quite a stunning thing at first...the unmistakeable cries of bunny moving thru the night sky.

I heard a ribbit make that sound when my cat attacked one. I was able to rescue the rabbit but later on that night I found out that my cat had tracked him down and killed him anyway.

Wabbit season, heh heh heh

:duck:

EHocking
2nd October 2008, 02:55 PM
http://www.poyi.org/64CFE/rules.htmlIFF it weren't "photoshopped" then I accept it.I think you're being a little hypersceptical here.
The photo won an award as a photo, not an image.

Here's the comment by the photographer at Getty Images (http://awards.gettyimages.com/awards.cfm?selCategory=all&display=photographer&workID=137&photographerID=10&photoID=345&sp_sortID=1)

WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 20: A red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) takes flight while carrying a rodent meal October 20, 2005 in front of the Prettyman United States District Courthouse in downtown Washington, DC. The hawk was feeding on its prey before being disturbed and taking flight for a nearby tree.

From the EXIF information the jpeg was saved for web by Photoshop, but the rest of the camera information is there and there is no line item for "shopping".

It's not as though the rodent is rabbit-sized, so what is so difficult to accept? I'm at a loss as to why you wouldn't accept this photo as is.

ETA: And lastly there are the rule of the competition that this came in 3rd on.

No masks, borders, backgrounds or other artistic effects are allowed. (http://www.poyi.org/64CFE/rules.html)

So. The photo has not been Photoshopped to add in the critter if that's your qualm with this evidence.

quarky
2nd October 2008, 03:19 PM
An alligator would eat a daucshound.

(Trying to get back on topic)

Hey, people use commorants to hunt! That's pretty radical.

(I wonder if a commorant could catch a small dog?)

Modified
2nd October 2008, 05:21 PM
Mongolians hunt with eagles.

Once I saw a red-tailed hawk being hassled by sparrows. One of the small birds was actually hanging on to the hawks head and pecking him. The hawk was screaming.
Strange sight.

I once saw a squirrel chase a hawk off my pool cage. I still don't get that. If the squirrel was protecting its young in a nearby nest, then it left them alone while running down the tree and up the cage, and I can't think of any other reason for a squirrel to chase after a hawk. The hawk, I suppose, didn't know what to think and took the most conservative course of action by getting out of there.

Cuddles
3rd October 2008, 06:26 AM
I don't expect that you believe me. Rather I expect that like a good skeptic you do the research ;)

So you don't know what a skeptic is. Don't worry, nothing to be embarrassed about. It's really very simple - you make the claim, you provide the evidence. I don't have a dog in this fight (because a hawk flew off with it), so there is no reason for me to do any research. I was simply pointing out your hypocrisy in throwing out anecdotes and then complaining when others do the same.

I do find it amusing that you still have not provided a single scrap of evidence, but have resorted to accusing other people of faking it when they do.

XBoxWarrior
3rd October 2008, 09:51 AM
There is a lot of discussion in my Dachshund group of whether a 7 lb miniature dachshund is likely to be hawk prey or not.

Well Ben, here in lies the real issue....owning a "Hot Dog". It's almost as bad as eating the "Corn Dog"...

Get yourself a real dog, and no more worries about the birds carrying away your dog. ;)

If a bird of prey can eat your dog, then you must, and I repeat MUST, get a bigger dog. :)

ETA: I own a 115lb pound Chessy, he has no issues with the birds...but he does eat the squirrels...and would eat the Kitties, but they are smarter than He. They get away.

madurobob
3rd October 2008, 10:29 AM
If a bird of prey can eat your dog, then you must, and I repeat MUST, get a bigger dog. :)

I think I've mentioned this here elsewhere, but I used to have an Australian Shepherd who would lure in and catch large turkey vultures. She'd kill small rodents, leave them in the field next door, then wait in hiding for the big birds to land. She considered the wings her trophies and left them on the back porch as offerings.

She might not have fared as well with a hawk, but the hawk sure wouldn't carry her away.

quarky
3rd October 2008, 12:07 PM
with small dogs, you do get more bark for your dog-dollar. so i can see why people like them. so far, i've only loved big ones, but that's all i've had.

if i was going to get a small dog, i'd want to choose one that was slightly heavier than the max lifting power of the local raptors, or possibly put a skunk outfit on it.

Miss_Kitt
4th October 2008, 12:48 AM
Loving this thread. I saw (and shot video) a sharp-shinned hawk eating a little bird on our back fence. This thrilled me, as I could now check off my Lifetime Goals the item "Owning a 2nd Generation Bird Feeder"...anyway, the amazing thing was that when I went out after it had left to look at the remains...there weren't any. ANY! It had eaten even the feet and legs. I think there were maybe 3 or 4 feathers, definitely not even half a dozen; and nothing else at all. It just opened up the prey's chest for easy access to the chitlins and ate the whole damned thing.
My husband and I were both late to work, but hey, if your options are be ontime, or watch a raptor eat its prey on your back fence--no more than 35 feet away, and only 6 feet up--it's clear that watching the bird wins.

Responding to an earlier poster's comment on the harpy eagle of South America, those damned things eat sloths--and take them to the nest for their babies. I've seen a documentary where they climbed up to the nest and dug through the "trash" to check diet--and there was the sloth skull with a neat talon-hole right through it. (Many other sloth bones as well, but the skull was so photogenic they held it up for the camera.) I love birds of prey, but I think even I would be reluctant to hold a harpy--if it copped an attitude, that glove would do you almost no good. The biologist had some amazing scars on his hands and arms, but suggested that most of them had been his own fault.