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Bird of Prey or First Hand Experience, Could This Owl Take On One of My 15 Lb Dogs

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Bird of Prey or First Hand Experience, Could This Owl Take On One of My 15 Lb Dogs

Old 03-23-2021, 04:45 AM
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Default Bird of Prey or First Hand Experience, Could This Owl Take On One of My 15 Lb Dogs

I have this family of owls currently living in my backyard. Last night around dusk one of the adults flew from a tree on the front side and swooped down on the dogs as I was walking by the pool. This morning, similar thing happened again.

I estimate the owl at 2’ tall and around a 6’ wing span. I think it’s a great horned based on size.

I am thinking it couldn’t pick up the lightest dog at 13 lbs but could kill with its claws. Anyway, I am supervising all excursions out for the near future.

What do you think? I know I need a bigger dog but these are far easier than my previous German Shepherd.

This is one of the adults, you can get very close to it.

This is one of the babies but it is getting bigger. I think I counted 3 babies total.

These are the two dogs, could they become bird food?
Old 03-23-2021, 04:55 AM
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Owls eat rabbits and those dogs are about rabbit sizes.




Last edited by Seon; 03-23-2021 at 05:02 AM.
Old 03-23-2021, 04:57 AM
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Yes, they could become bird food. Owls have been known to attack pets though it is extremely rare and not well documented. 15lb seems to be the higher limit of what they will tangle with but if hungry, that is not a hard limit. If they can't carry it off, they may kill and eat a portion and leave the rest.

If you want to test the theory, dress them like mice and see what happens. Be sure to catch it on video.
Old 03-23-2021, 04:58 AM
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Probably more territorial than predatory. Owls are bad asses,especially the Great Horned.
Old 03-23-2021, 05:02 AM
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My mom had her dog of similar size snatched by a hawk right in front of them.
Old 03-23-2021, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by round2it View Post
My mom had her dog of similar size snatched by a hawk right in front of them.
Similar incident with me,a hawk swooped down to pickup my small dog but aborted at the last minute,the dog was too big maybe 12-15 lbs
Old 03-23-2021, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by round2it View Post
My mom had her dog of similar size snatched by a hawk right in front of them.
Did it pickup/kill the dog or let it go? We get a lot of hawks but don’t seem to be quite as big as this owl
Old 03-23-2021, 05:20 AM
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One of the great horned owls favorite food is domestic house cats. So I would say yes they could.
Old 03-23-2021, 05:25 AM
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Those are Barred Owls
Old 03-23-2021, 05:26 AM
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It cannot lift your pet. I researched this a bunch having mini dachshunds in the 12-15# range. However, not being able to lift your pet doesn't mean it can't easily kill it on the ground.

The bird with the most lifting power is the Harpy Eagle and it maxes out just shy of 10#'s and lives only in South American rainforests and is extremely rare.

The bird with the most lifting power in the US is the Golden Eagle which maxes out around 5.5-6.5#
Old 03-23-2021, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by lobsdiver1 View Post
Did it pickup/kill the dog or let it go? We get a lot of hawks but don’t seem to be quite as big as this owl
It was dropped after a few feet. Not sure if it was too heavy or not a good grip. Minor cuts but nothing significant. Scared the dog pretty badly but he got over it. Mom never forgot that either.
Old 03-23-2021, 05:33 AM
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We have hawks and eagles around our house. Wife worries about or 6 lb Yorkie. We have our sons 85lb Weimaraner living with us right now and they pretty much stick together in the yard.
Our groomer has told us about small dogs getting carried away. Our Yorkie is one mean SOB he has killed opossum twice his size. I figure he may pick the wrong fight one day but he will go down fighting. 🤣

wife has bantam chickens right now. She has hung flags crisscrossing there run and a bunch of hanging plants. So far so good. Chickens are funny when they hear a hawk or see something fly overhead they all run under there coop.
Old 03-23-2021, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Mako 234 View Post
Those are Barred Owls
Doubt it.....Pics are not that good but they look way more like Horned Owls ....Barred are usually less than 2 lbs and wing span of 2 feet super nocturnal. No way would a barred swoop a 13-15 lb dog
Old 03-23-2021, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by flotsam35 View Post
Doubt it.....Pics are not that good but they look way more like Horned Owls ....Barred are usually less than 2 lbs and wing span of 2 feet super nocturnal. No way would a barred swoop a 13-15 lb dog
I don’t think so either. Biggest bird of prey I have ever seen. I’ll try to get a better picture.
Old 03-23-2021, 05:45 AM
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I have had two friends lose dogs, slightly smaller, to owls. One got it several houses away, and about 100’ altitude, before he let go. Didn’t end well for either dog.
Old 03-23-2021, 05:47 AM
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Me thinks he is right

Barred owl 19 – 20 in Mass: 1.6 lbs
Name:  sIm4f6x.jpg
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Great Horned Length: 18 – 25 in Mass: 3.2 lbs
Name:  KFK3LYV.jpg
Views: 2086
Size:  52.8 KB
Old 03-23-2021, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Mako 234 View Post
Those are Barred Owls
That is correct. If they are nesting in your yard, they are just being territorial. Barred owls are actually very friendly and tolerant of humans. I would doubt that they would attempt to feed on your dogs.

Edit: There was an article a couple of years ago in N.C. Wildlife magazine about a local fisherman who would be visited by a barred owl every time he went fishing in his pond. He would catch a bream and throw it up on the bank for the owl to eat. It happened over a period of several years before the owl finally disappeared and didn't come anymore.

Last edited by NC_Native; 03-23-2021 at 05:56 AM.
Old 03-23-2021, 05:50 AM
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Probably a warning fly by being they have little ones around. I have had them buzz my Rat Terrier before but abort at the last second. She would snap at them.

Those talons are lethal though and if one did take a swipe your probably going to be headed to the vet.

Maybe they will kill some of the feral cats around here so I don't mess with them.
Old 03-23-2021, 05:51 AM
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That is 100% a Barred owl. If they have a nest nearby they will nest there till they die or the tree disapears.
Old 03-23-2021, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by flotsam35 View Post
Doubt it.....Pics are not that good but they look way more like Horned Owls ....Barred are usually less than 2 lbs and wing span of 2 feet super nocturnal. No way would a barred swoop a 13-15 lb dog
I believe you must have a barred owl mixed up with something else, because they are actually quite large.
I see barred owls all the time while deer hunting on my farm. I even had one land on the rail of my tripod stand to check me out a couple of years ago. Scared the schit outta me.

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