Nathaniel’s phone buzzing next to his pillow was what woke him up. He smacked his hand around trying to find it, wondering how the morning came so fast. However, it was not his alarm waking him up, it was an unknown number calling him at four in the morning.
With only a slight hesitation, he answered it and placed his phone to his ear. “Hello?” he whispered, keeping wary eyes on his sleeping roommate.
I find it funny that it is considered metal as I’m just so used to them at this point. We have a Toco Toucan, Great Blue Heron, Pileated Woodpecker, Northern Cardinal, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Great Horned Owl, Red-tailed Hawk, and Peregrine Falcon skull. They’re casts (except for the hummingbird) so visitors can handle them. The skulls are so interesting and my favorites would have to be the woodpecker and hummingbird but every visitor loves the toucan skull.
How concerned should I be about the hawks in my neighborhood watching my dachshund when I let him out? We have a fenced in yard and I like to let him out when I'm doing yard work.
That’s going to depend on the type of hawk in your area. Hawks Aloft has a good FAQ about raptor behavior, and they state that:
“Large raptors, such as Red-tailed Hawks and Great Horned Owls, can attack and kill small pets. We have received dozens of inquiries about dogs and cats weighing anywhere from 6 to 60 pounds. There is no specific cut-off weight at which your pet’s safety is guaranteed. If the size of your dog or cat is similar to or not much larger than naturally occurring raptor prey, there is a risk (…) we recommend that for animals less than 15 pounds, that you supervise all of their outdoor activities and that cats be kept indoors at all times.”
The raptors most well known for predating on pets are great horned owls, red-tailed hawks and northern goshawks. Smaller hawks unlikely to attack pets unless they’re really hurting for accessible prey.
I would also say that it depends on how close your dog is to you (raptors are not as likely to go after it if he’s really close to you, but if he’s 30-40 feet away you’re no longer a deterrent). You can help prevent them from being in your yard by trimming dead branches from trees to remove perching material.
If you think you’ve got big enough birds in the area to be a risk, it’s not a good idea to let your dog run free while you’re not supervising. If you’ve got an area where he can be covered (a roofed run or a patio) that’s a safe spot for him. It’s also safer for the dog if there’s good cover in the backyard he can run underneath, like bushes and trees.
I’d definitely suggest being careful until you know more about the types of birds you’re seeing.
A: Good question! They can appear very similar, as they are both within the same genus Bubo, but there are some differences. First, you’ll only find Great Horned Owls in North and South America, while Eurasian Eagle Owls are found in Europe, Asia, and Northern Africa. Telling them apart is another story. Great Horned Owls have yellow eyes, a very solid brown facial disc with a darker edge around the disc, and thin horizontal bars across the stomach. Eurasian Eagle Owls, however, tend to have orange eyes (though can be yellow), a lighter brown facial disc without a border, and thick vertical lines along the stomach. They are also lighter in color than Great Horned Owls.