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Police Warn Pet Owners Of Dangerous Hawks In Hinsdale

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Red-Tailed Hawk

A red-tailed hawk during the Chicago Christmas Day bird watch. (Credit: Tim Wallace)

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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.

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