Police Warn Pet Owners Of Dangerous Hawks In Hinsdale

HINSDALE, Ill. (CBS) — Police in west suburban Hinsdale are warning owners of small pets about an airborne predator.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports, at least twice in the past month, a hawk has swooped down and attacked small dogs. Hinsdale police say in one case, the dog suffered serious injuries and required extensive medical treatment.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports

Both dogs weighed less than 20 pounds.

The Willowbrook Wildlife Center tells police and pet owners that cats, rabbits and small dogs are all easy prey for hawks, even if the pets are fenced in.

They say one way to scare off a hawk is to keep an umbrella or coat nearby to make yourself appear larger.

Numerous species of hawks are found in Illinois, including the red-tailed hawk, the Cooper’s hawk, the northern harrier, the rough-legged hawk, the broad-winged hawk and the red-shouldered hawk.

Hawks are outfitted with sharp talons to tear flesh from their prey, as well as eyesight as acute as 20/2 – about eight times better than the ideal eyesight for humans, according to Avian Web.

They hunt by dashing suddenly from concealed perches, Avian Web explains.

  • zatso

    I root for the hawk.


    • Cameltoe Rancher


      Do you know how the hawk gets those hard to reach pets? “STRETTTTTCH!!!”

  • kennith

    Nature will eake its course

  • hanz

    Hawks are doing a great job near the Jefferson Park blue line station thinning down the pigeon herd.

  • Mouse

    LOVE the Hawks! Had one perch on my front railing right in front of my window last week. Looking for mice and robins and other little critters. They’re beautiful and I’m so glad they’re here.

    • zatso

      Agree, there are two sides to the story.

      I wish the hawks could be more selective though, and only go after the dog owner’s

      pet that the owner only pretends to pick up its Skit in
      the neighborhood.


      • Chris

        When one of my neighbors ‘pretends’, I assume the simply forgot it and I deposit it on their front step.Works for a few weeks, then they must be retrained with another return of their forgotten treasure. At some point this summer (year two of this charade), our code control officer will be notified complete with photos of negligent pet owner.

      • G-Lep

        “Deposit it on their front step”? Wow, that’s not nice, Chris. I mean, I used to just smear it all over their storm doors.

  • Woofiness

    Go out and buy one of the swivelheaded owls and perch it on your fench or deck – the hawks will not come in your yard. We did this when we had a pool and the neighbor commented that he hadn’t seen the hawks for a while

  • Chris

    This is not just a suburban warning – I’ve seen hawks soaring along the banks of the rivers paralleling the Stevenson. Anyplace small animals can be found. Hawks can lift up to three times their weight, so an adult red tail at 7 pounds would have no trouble with a cat or small dog, or even an unattended infant, though that is more unlikely. Why anyone lets their cat out to roam anymore is beyond me, they don’t ‘need’ to be put in danger from cars, sick people and predators like hawks or coyotes to have a ‘natural’ life. If you’re going to leave your dog out, or even a cat, get an enclosed exercise pen with a top to keep them in and danger out.

    I feed birds, squirrels and the occassional duck pair at my feeder, and my pond is another attraction. I don’t like the thought of a hawk nailing any of them, especially the breeding females, and hate seeing it even more. But these are wild creatures. There is NO excuse for pet owners with all the means of getting information today to say they didn’t know about hawks, coyotes and animal users/abusers (see pit bull on the beach story). If you’re following rules about vaccinations and pet care, you would get exposed constantly by your vet, the news, and the internet.

    • zatso

      Nice reply Chris.

      But, you read some of the comments, some people wouldn’t know a brick wall unless they walked into it head first.


  • http://urbanperegrines.wordpress.com urbanperegrines

    Reblogged this on urbanperegrines and commented:
    Do read the roster of comments after this piece, especially the exceptionally stupid one about hawks making off with human infants. If only, since people can’t seem to be bothered about birth control.

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