Yesterday afternoon, I let the dogs out to do what they had to do… Abby and Fred came in pretty quickly, but Buttercup was standing on the deck trying to decide if she wanted to come in or not. I looked up and to my left and saw this big Red-tailed Hawk heading straight for the deck. (I guess you actually call it a pergola since the roof isn’t solid–it’s slats that leave it somewhat open.)
This hawk was coming closer, so I started to wave my arms and yell at it to get away. It flew over the deck and hovered up there, looking down. I grabbed Buttercup and took her inside. It started to fly away–the food source was removed. I got my camera and took some photos so I could determine what kind of Hawk it was, since I was too frantic to pay much attention to what it was.
This is the 3rd time I’ve had a Hawk stalking my dogs. Each time they get more bold and brazen. My heart was racing for a long while after this. I realized if I hadn’t looked when I did, Buttercup might have been attacked. She made it through whatever she faced when she was a stray, and it would be awful for something to happen to her now.
I’m afraid to let the dogs out by themselves again. Food for the Raptors must be scarce this fall. While I feel sorry for them, I have no desire to have them use my dogs as a meal. I don’t know of any way to keep these birds away that doesn’t involve me running outside and scaring them. And that’s not working so well any more. If the other two dogs had been out in the yard, it would have had a clear path to them…
I have looked online for ways to deter hawks, but none seem to be practical for my situation. I will remove the bird feeders, although I hate to do that because it’s a source of food for small birds in the cold weather. I can’t put wire mesh over the entire yard… The only practical suggestion was to hang CD’s from fishing wire so they will reflect the sun and keep the Hawks away. I don’t know if that will really work, but I’ve got some old ones that I will try. I’ve read that fake Owls might work–but only for a short time.
I’m grateful that I took that extra look, and I’m thankful that none of the dogs were hurt. They are small, and so they are vulnerable. It’s scary! I need to be vigilant.