Hawk Attacks Poodle

The Sacramento Bee reports that a strange event occurred at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center in Carmichael -- a hawk swooped down from the sky and snatched a woman's toy poodle. At least, that's what the woman claims:
To hear publicity coordinator Betty Cooper tell it, an employee was walking the center grounds when he was flagged down by the hysterical woman, who claimed a hawk had made off with her toy poodle.
And though it's a story straight out of the friend-of-a-friend-told-me handbook, it's not outside the realm of possibility.
The nature center does have a wild hawk population, the dog was about the size of a rabbit and there is an area adjacent to the park that's popular (though not strictly allowable) for running off-leash dogs.
"It's bizarre," Cooper said. "This is the first time I've ever heard about (something like this)."

It's actually not that uncommon for hawks to attack small dogs. I think it's usually a case of the hawk protecting its territory, rather than wanting to eat the dog. So I think the case at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center could be true.

It reminds me of the case of the Killer Hawk of Chicago, from 1927, which also (I believe) turned out to be true, despite suspicions to the contrary. Although the Chicago hawk attacked pigeons, not poodles. (via Legends & Rumors)


Posted on Thu Nov 01, 2007


I recently heard from a cat owner whose cat had been taken from the garden by a bird of prey. If the pet is around rabbit sized, it's possible. It depends on the bird of prey - some eagles take small monkeys. The birds aren't going to distinguish between wild prey (rabbits, gamebirds foraging at ground level etc) and small domestic pets - the them it's all potential food.
Posted by Sarah (Messybeast)  on  Thu Nov 01, 2007  at  09:09 AM
There were actually like two local stories in the news last year of Yorkshire Terriers being killed by hawks.

Funnier still, this just came up in a conversation in my Physics class. He told us of these children he knew that had their rat picked up by a hawk while they were playing with it outside.

Good times.

Unless this has happened to any of you in which case I express my deepest sympathies.
Posted by Archibold  on  Thu Nov 01, 2007  at  09:10 PM
I saw a hawk swoop down and attack a woman's pet mallard that was waddling along about three feet in front of me once. The duck put up enough of a fight, though, that I and the woman were able to chase away the hawk before the duck came to much harm.

I could easily believe that a good-sized hawk could make off with one of those silly little miniature dogs. Whether it really happened or not in this particular case, who among us can truly say?
Posted by Accipiter  on  Thu Nov 01, 2007  at  10:39 PM
A Co-worker of mine kept loosing cats at his house and couldn't figure out why - he figured a dog, or they ran off, got hit by cars, etc. until one day he saw an owl swoop out of a nearby pine tree and take off with a cat. After that he got a shotgun and waited to see the owl again (he lives in a rural area)
Posted by Eric G.  in  Arnaudville Louisiana  on  Thu Nov 08, 2007  at  01:49 PM
Miniature dogs are NOT "silly", they are living, loving and wonderful family members. I have four small dogs and worry all the time that the smallest one (2 pounds) will be taken by a hawk, owl or eagle. It would be like losing a child to me. The very idea terrifies me. Jerks who think that to be a "real dog" means weighing over a certin weight have never really known a small dog! I have owned both large and small dogs my entire life and the 2 smallest have had the hearts of lions when it comes to courage. Pound for pound a small "yappy" dog will scare away more human scum then any big dog I've ever owned.
Posted by amy  on  Sat Mar 29, 2008  at  08:54 PM
I have a friend who let her toy poodle out in the front yard, whereupon an owl swooped down, picked it up, and tried to fly off with the dog! My friend beat the owl off the dog with a broom while it was in mid-flight! This is a true story. I don't think birds of prey distinguish between wild "food" and domestic animals. Food is food to them!
Posted by Cheryl  in  Sacramento, CA  on  Sat Apr 12, 2008  at  12:06 PM
I was wondering why a hawk would sit on the back yard swing set day after day and actually swoop me as I was mowing the lawn, he even spread out all over the top of the swing set and slept. What's with this hawk???
Posted by donniewise  in  Lebanon, Pa  on  Wed Aug 06, 2008  at  05:47 PM
While I've never experienced such a thing I could see where it could easily happen. As one of your comenters said, it all looks like food to them. The closest I've come is I had a small chocolate dog once that the blackbirds enjoyed playing dive bomber with. Each time he would go out by the pool a half dozen blackbirds would circle once and come straight down and pop him on this back or head with their feet. Enjoyed the post. All the best.
Posted by Bill Beavers Dog Crates and Pet Carriers  in  Central California  on  Fri Dec 11, 2009  at  11:02 AM
Last Friday I let me Yorkie out to the bathroom a hawk swooped down to her and attempted several times to pick her up. My dog is 10lbs and my husband scard it off. She had over 30 punture wounds, a hole in her diaphram and a collapsed lung. Our bill so far is $4066 and we have a long road ahead of us. We are good owners and keep a close eye on our dog. Hawks can't always tell a dog from a rabbit. It happen and their endangered so we can't do anything to get rid of it.
Posted by Angela  in  Dallas, Tx  on  Sun Jan 24, 2010  at  02:34 PM
While out on my daily run on a trail in our houseing development I felt a hard hit to the back of my head and my hat flew off. I was shocked that a hawk had attacked me. Nest day I was running on the same trail and the hawk hit my head even harded and again my hat flew off. That ended my running on that trail. People said ite probably had it's nest nearby and was protecting it's young.
Posted by pat  in  roseville ca.  on  Wed Mar 03, 2010  at  08:28 PM
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