I heard that a small, unleashed dog was taken by a red hawk on the trails at Elena Gallegos.  Is it safe for a small dog to roam in her yard in the NE Heights?  What about the far NE Heights?

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If a red-tailed hawk took a dog, that must have been a very small dog indeed. If this happened, I wonder if it was actually a golden eagle, which is much larger. In any case, it was a very rare occurrence and not one you should worry about happening again. Coyotes are probably a much bigger concern where dogs are concerned.

A lady who lives in the Country Club area, about six blocks from Tingley Beach, told me that an owl grabbed one of her cats, then (if I recall correctly) dropped it. The cat did not survive. :(  She told me this story after I told her I had seen a hawk sitting in a tree across from her home. Hawks have a nest in the park there and this year raised at least one baby. Given the size of adult sharp-shinned (or Cooper) hawks, I expect they find it easier to go after plump pigeons and doves, rats, mice and maybe small rabbits and squirrels.  While I think it's cool to have wildlife in the city, even downtown, it means one must be aware of the possibility that small pets may be in danger of becoming lunch.

I did see a what I think was a Cooper's Hawk in Hyder Park eying an extremely tiny little dog as it trotted after its owner off-leash, but it didn't try to catch it. I've certainly heard stories about bird of prey making off with small dogs around Albuquerque. I may even actually happen once in a great while, but it would have to be a very small dog and a very determined bird.


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