Basenji and Birds of Prey
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  • Basenji Mix

    Something strange happened last night. About 9:30 pm I let Duke outside before bedtime. I/we always go out with him as he runs about looking for the "best spot" to go. As he was shuffling from here to there, I heard something strange. Can't see in the dark, but I could see Duke. Concerned, I let him finish and called him right in. We snuggled with a blanket and I saw that his fur, just below his eyelid was red. So I brightened the lights and could see his flesh. Ohh man - what happened out there? I washed it and put some bacitracin on it. I don't know how that happened? Today, I asked my husband to scout out any thorny brush that I thought could've possibly been what Duke ran into. Hubby told me when he was out there, he saw a big hawk, atleast 20 lbs watching Duke from a tree above. Out of concern for Duke, he grabbed a shovel in case it came swooping down for him as he shouted at the bird. Bird flew away. (No thory brush was found.) So now I'm thinking, maybe it was out there last night and swiped Duke with a talon??? Anyone ever heard of a bird of prey go for a dog? Strange!!

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  • L

    Oh that is weird, Jill. You'd think a hawk would go after something smaller than a dog. Poor Duke was lucky the thing didn't get his eye or worse! I live across the street from a golf course with a large pond which used to have about 20 ducks in it. Last summer a red tailed hawk picked them all off except one duck. It would swoop down and hit them in the head so hard it would crack their skulls and kill them instantly. I don't know how the golf course people finally got rid of the thing. Maybe you could talk to some kind of a wildlife expert about how to get it move on somewhere else. I'm glad Duke wasn't hurt any worse. That's very scary to think it would attack Duke in the dark also.

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  • Basenji Mix

    Thanks for the advice Lenora. I will contact the city for some assistance with this issue. If it was the hawk last night, Duke is very lucky not to have been seriously hurt. I didn't know they went after Ducks. Some ducks are pretty big! I thought they went after rodents. I'll ask if hawks are known to hunt at night. Maybe someone on the forum here knows. . .

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  • Hiya Duke-
    So sorry that Duke got in a scuffle. I'm no expert on hawks, but I do believe they are diurnal hunters - they depend on sight to find their prey, so a nighttime visit by a hawk would be unusual. Are there any stray cats in your yard/neighborhood? They can do a number with their claws - maybe Duke met one? I hope you figure out the culprit and that Duke is feeling all better soon!

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  • Basenji Mix

    The thing I can't believe about a cat is that Duke would've gone ape and run it down or atleast off his property. Duke was silent. I just heard something ~off - not right last night. It may not have been a bird or cat, maybe it was the brush. Thanks for the tip with the hawk, makes sense.

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  • Could it have been an owl? I know when we are at agility class at night my dogs scan the trees for large birds and make sure to stay to the well lit areas.

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  • Yeah, I would guess Great Horned Owl…they are pretty much the only ones big enough to take basenji...though it would be amazing for one to try an adult. And their favorite prey are skunks. We are always super careful with a young puppy at night..we never let them be out unsupervised.

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  • I'm no expert, but this is our experience: When Nala was a puppy, my husband would take her out for hikes and a bird would dive-bomb them in a certain area a couple of times. He would pick her up and run with her - fearing that the bird would take her. He ran into a bird expert one day (at the vet when Nala had lost a scuffle with a porcupine) and she said it was probably a goshawk. She said they frequently will swoop down at anything - even humans - to protect their nests. She said people had gotten scratches, etc. from them. So…I guess it wouldn't be unusual for a bird of prey to attack a larger than normal animal. I hope he's okay...keep us posted...

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  • Basenji Mix

    His boo-boo is healing - not red anymore. I've been putting bacitracin on twice a day.

    I would guess Great Horned Owl…they are pretty much the only ones big enough to take basenji...though it would be amazing for one to try an adult. And their favorite prey are skunks.

    Skunks? Looking at that white stripe running between his eyes & across his head might make a dumb old owl think he's a skunk.

    I wonder what went thru Duke's mind when this happened. He didn't make a sound out there. It must have happened fast though.

    When Nala was a puppy, my husband would take her out for hikes and a bird would dive-bomb them in a certain area a couple of times. He would pick her up and run with her - fearing that the bird would take her.

    Geesh - another something to worry about! We're getting a puppy this weekend. She will be leash walked outside, as we did Duke until she's atleast 4 mos old. So the dang bird will have to take me first! (I can feel the grey hairs popping already!) :mad:

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  • B

    As a Falconer I can tell you that most BOP's will not hunt game( your dog) that they have not had succcess with before. Most Raptors are opportunists aand like a sure thing, with no chance of them getting hurt while subdueing prey. The exceptions are if the bird is starving(middle of winter), or young and stupid. This time of year I don't think either would apply. They do take interest in moving furry objects however. I would never leave a puppy(s) unattended where there are Raptors around…....

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