Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Beware of the Red-tailed Hawk!

While searching the web, I found this video on CNN of a Red-tailed Hawk that apparently tried to take a boy's puppy.

The wildlife officer and reporter in the clip give the impression that Red-tails will readily attack humans. Again, I wonder why people like that wildlife officer are even in a position to try to educate the public about wildlife. We, as birders, have a lot of work to do in trying to change the public's perception of raptors.

The whole print story can be found here.


  1. I found you through Birdchick...
    When I read that article, I was physically ill. That wildlife officer should be forced to turn in his uniform.
    But I put a good spin on it...I incorporated that story into my programs. If a bird of prey is starving and desperate enough to go after a dog right next to a human, either:
    1. the bird is sick and starving.
    2. the bird is starving because we dumb humans have altered the environment so much that all the natural prey has disappeared in that bird's territory.
    I preach "judicial laziness"...let the grass grow taller in the corners, make brush piles, quit spraying everything with pesticides..

  2. Hi Don,
    I live in southwest Ohio in a fairly heavy enough populated city..55,000. I have always been frightened of birds since I was about 10. I was bitten by the white bird from the show "Barretta". Terrified. So when we bought an acre wooded lot on a busy road with tall trees, a large open acre behind ours, Istarted not only to see the usual Cardnal and blue birds, Robins etc but what appeared to be an owl watching my movements from the high trees. An owl in the day?
    Now after about 6 sightings of a large bird gracefully flying in my skys, I am sure it is a hawk, no doubts. Is the RedTail the only hawk found here? I am very visual person and today was within5 feet of this bird. Hawk yes but not sure it it was a RTH. He looked smaller and colored with white more dominent on feathers on back. When he flies I haven't seen red tail but faceshape, beak,eyes faceetc closely. Any ideas?
    Also, love your qoute about education! Very true.
    Please forgive typos!

  3. The red tail is not the only hawk seen around here, there are about 6 off the top of my head (most likely). (There are also 3 falcons and the northern harrier). Could be a red shouldered hawk, they look very similar but smaller and colored different. Younger ones have a good deal of white on the back. See here for a red- shouldered hawk