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birds of prey
04/15/20

The best way to keep your dog safe from birds of prey is to discourage the birds from being around your property in the first place. Keeping your yard clean, pruning trees, and getting rid of your bird feeders are all ways to keep your pooch protected.

Birds of prey commonly eat rats, rabbits, snakes, and small birds. Unfortunately, however, they’ll happily change their diet if an opportunity presents itself. The opportunity: your small dog. Your small dog could be in danger every time it leaves the house if there are birds of prey nearby. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to keep your pocket-sized pooch safe.

What are birds of prey?

A bird of prey is any bird that pursues other animals for food. They are classified in two orders: Falconiformes and Strigiformes. Hawks, eagles, vultures, and falcons, for example, are in the Falconiformes order. These  birds of prey are diurnal, which means they are active in the daytime. Owls, however, are nocturnal birds of prey in the Strigiformes order. Even though there are different types and orders of birds of prey, all birds of prey have hook-tipped beaks and talons.

What birds of prey eat small dogs?

Unfortunately, any large bird of prey could decide that your small dog looks like a good lunch. However, there are three types of birds that are most likely to endanger your doggo. Remember, these aren’t the only birds of prey that might attack your dog… they are just the most likely.

  1. Red-Tailed Hawks are extremely common. Whether you live in a desert, forest, or suburb… you’ve probably seen several. Red-tailed hawks are the most frequently observed bird of prey in the United States. If you have a small dog, keep an eye out for the birds’ pale-colored bellies and reddish tails.
  2. Golden Eagles have a huge wingspan that often exceeds 7 feet! They’re native to a large portion of the United States. Golden eagles have dark brown feathers covering the bulk of their body with a smattering of gold feathers around their necks.
  3. Great Horned Owls are the type of owl most likely to go after your dog. Although they aren’t as big as golden eagles, they still have a wingspan of approximately 5 feet. They commonly prey on rabbits, rats, and birds, but have no qualms about attacking your pup.

How do I keep my dog safe from birds of prey?

The best way to keep birds of prey away from your dog is by discouraging them from being around your property in the first place. You can do this by:

●      Keeping your property clean. If your yard has plenty of food for birds of prey, they’ll keep coming back. When your yard has debris, it provides hiding spots for mice, rats, frogs, and snakes—all of which serve as food. Do your best at keeping your yard tidy.

●      Pruning the trees in your yard. By cleaning up the branches of the trees in your yard, you will eliminate many nesting options for birds of prey.

●      Not having bird feeders. Sure, bird feeders attract songbirds, but they also attract squirrels, chipmunks, and rats. Each of these animals are food for birds of prey. When there are a lot of prey  in a small, convenient area,  hawks and owls will definitely take notice.

●      Having a pest control program. If you try the other tips and you continue to notice birds of prey circling your yard, it may be time to reduce your rodent population with the help of the professionals. It is important to keep your pooch safe!

How can I scare birds away from my yard?

If birds of prey continue to choose your yard as their favorite lunch spot, there are certain measures you can take to scare them away from your yard. Try:

●      Tape. Reflective metal tape commonly frightens birds. Hang long strips of tape on trees and awnings. There are plenty of bird-deterrent tape options on the market.

●      Bird spikes make it difficult for birds to perch comfortably. If it’s too difficult to find a place to perch, birds will usually move elsewhere.

●      Bird balloons are large, inflatable beach balls with large eye-like markings that scare birds of prey away.

●      Scare-crow owls. These commonly keep rodents and small birds away, which, in turn, will keep birds of prey at bay as well.

If you’re having troubles with birds of prey bothering your small dog, get in touch with Varment Guard! Our experts can help relocate the birds humanely and effectively so you won’t have to deal with them again.


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