I had my 20 pound dog out for a walk in my yard, and noticed a large, gliding bird overhead. Thinking quickly, it clicked: Raptor. Big. Hunting. Hunting what? It wasn't targeting me or my dog, but toward the neighbor. They had just gotten a new, very small puppy. I looked over, and they were out, with no eye to the sky. I yelled over "Look Up!!!" The bird was sitting in a low hover, right over them. I have no doubt it was definitely considering the feasibility of a tiny rabbit sized puppy. Thankfully, they lunged forward & yanked the little dog close before cuddling it rapidly inside.
It was frighteningly close. I believe the threat was very real, not just over reacting. I feel it was likely a juvenile bald eagle from nearby Codoris State Park, famous in our area for the Nest Cam publicity. Certainly a very large raptor. Not that I was looking up that closely right away, before it was frustrated and flew away. The last few years have had a noticeable reduction in mice that I had attributed to the Eagles or hawks I've seen. No problem with that, but I know I definitely go thru more birdseed in bird feeders closer to cover. Sadly, last years Nest Cam did say, at one time, that the birds appeared to have brought back a house pet for dinner, and to view it realistically, knowing that is how Nature works.
I don't want to start an eagle scare, or raptor scare. They are so beautiful. But I do want to warn small pet owners to be aware. Heck, you see articles about coyotes in suburbs and cougars downtown, so anyone with little kids or little pets needs to be aware of the surroundings.
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