Rats! A Bald Eagle is scoping out my girls!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by NurseELB, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. NurseELB

    NurseELB Songster

    Oct 16, 2008
    Lacey, WA
    My DH and I just spent two days cleaning out the rat feces from the crawl space- evidently they moved in during the "big snow". We did the respirators and the whole bit to get it cleaned out, then laid snap traps down. Next, after all the little nasties are gone, we'll have to replace most of the insulation. Needless to say, we are so sore from the commando crawling under there, we can hardly move!

    To add insult to injury, as I was napping in preparation for work yesterday (night shift, ER), My Rottweiller/Austrailian Shepherd mix started barking and practically howling at my bedroom window (from inside, next to me). Scared the bejeepers out of me! I sent my daughter to let her out, and she (DD) came running back to my room to inform me there is a BALD EAGLE sitting in the neighbors tree, casually scoping out my yard, and my three chickens! [​IMG]
    It took off when the dogs went outside, but I know its gonna come back.

    AACK!! Rats and Eagles! I don't want to know what's next! [​IMG]
  2. Eastins Eggs

    Eastins Eggs Songster

    Jan 11, 2009
    Ceresco Nebraska
    Leave the dog outside in a pen if you can.
  3. NurseELB

    NurseELB Songster

    Oct 16, 2008
    Lacey, WA
    Poor thing, she's just gonna know we hate If we start leaving her out all the time! No pen, but she's safe around the girls- little treat machines in her view (EEWWW). I figure we'll leave her out as much as possible, and I'll be doing all those outdoor chores I keep putting off. I must say, JoJo got treats, hugs, and a nap on my bed for scaring off the big birdie.

    I guess the back yard will never look better, Thank You, Mr. Bald Eagle!
  4. spook

    spook Songster

    Be cautious leaving your dogs out, according to size, a Bald Eagle can lift a fawn up off the ground. They are very powerful birds and are not fussy over what makes their lunch.
    This past summer I had a juvinille Bald Eagle looking for a chicken dinner. We scared it that time, but the hawks had taken their toll.
    Good luck, get some netting and let the raptors find dinner else where!
  5. Thers a good and a bad side to this.

    Good side is that you're dog is somewhat a deterent to it.

    Bad side if it truely is a bald eagle, theres no "critter control" method you could do to it, like you would a racoon or possum, due to it being protected.

    Keep the dog outside for a while and keep an eye on you're girls. A close eye!! Good Luck
  6. NurseELB

    NurseELB Songster

    Oct 16, 2008
    Lacey, WA
    I thought about leaving them in their cage for a few days, but it's really cramped. Then I thought about taking them to my mom's for a few days (a couple miles down the road), but then I remembered that's where the nest is! Hadn't worried before because I'd never seen it near our house.

    I think the girls are going to get out only when I'm out there, and when JoJo's with me (the big dog). Oh, did I mention I have a miniature dacshound? Maybe I could, um, offer a sacrifice? Take the little dog, please! [​IMG] (okay, just kidding, the DD would kill me, and I like the little destructive beast, kind of)
  7. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Songster

    Nov 8, 2008
    Portage County, Ohio
    I nearly had a litter of kittens in my computer chair when I read the suggestion about leaving the dogs out. Bald Eagle's wingspan is EASILY 6 feet across. They are HUGE birds, and quite powerful. If the're hungry enough, or they have young to feed (which they won't now but... ) they'll risk a lot.

    They probably wouldn't go after a large noisy dog... probably, but I wouldn't want to bet my dog's life on it. Maybe a Pyrenees would be safe, maybe. They WOULD, WILL, and DO grab a small dog in a heartbeat, less than a heartbeat, as NurseELB obviously knows. A medium or large sized dog, they might just give a try and even if they only injured the dog, they can do a lot of damage. They may prefer their normal diet, but they're big enough to to decide to give it a try.

    I lived 7 years in Alaska where it was unusual NOT to see them. They're super opportunistic eaters though, they want as easy a meal as possible, they will choose road kill over anything that requires real effort. Though the mini-dachsund would be barely an hors d'oeuvres! A veritable cocktail weenie! (sorry I couldn't resist!! don't show this to your dd Nurse ELB!!)

    Excuse me now, I have to go wipe the coffee off of my monitor at the thought of sending a dog out for lunch... if you get my meaning.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2009
  8. birdnutz

    birdnutz Songster

    Mar 6, 2007
    I'd worry more about a red tailed hawk then an eagle.

    Facts on bald eagles-weight- 10-14 lbs.
    wingspan-72-90 inches.
    maximum lifting power- 4 pounds.
    Rarely take chicken but are an opportunist feader.

    Golden eagles-weight 6-15 lbs.
    wing span- 6-7.5 feet.
    weight- 6- 15 lbs.
    Have been known to attack full grown deer. Their prefered food is rabbits,marmots,ground squirrels and will take your chickens.
    I have a baldie that visits every morning. I do keep an eye on him but I'm not to worried. mainly aboout my ducks being on the menu. They're bantam size. He's not showing a lot of interest in coming to close to me. The red tailed hawk that visited for a while really had me worried though.
  9. spook

    spook Songster

    I don't know about which one I'd worry about, both can and will attack anything if they are hungry. Even if you have a large dog or full grown deer, it will shred it with its tallons. I had 2 hawk attacks last year, one was a very small hawk that killed a bantam chick, it could not lift it off the ground. It was hungry enough to kill something its own size, It was just terrible, but then a real chicken hawk, being very large, had another. I did not take time to allow the Eagle to get a free lunch. It was terrible to see my girls so fearful! Yes, they are affected by the preditors and went into a horrible hard molt.
    So take care and regardless to size, lunch is lunch.
  10. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    i had either a golden eagle or it was a young bald eagle get 1 of my hens..and then came back another day for more...*thankfully we ran outside and it took off and the hen survived that attack.. she was minus alot of breast feathers though....* be very careful..they are smart birds! and they will not go away!...[​IMG]

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