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Bird attempts to attack dog in Akinsdale

Bird expert says the culprit is likely a hawk
1409 birddog jlh
A bird of prey was scared off in mid-flight as it dived for Cody, a 20-month-old, 10-pound Yorkie.

Karen Huculak was in her backyard with the family dog Cody this past week when suddenly a bird appeared on a branch.

Cody, a 20-month-old, 10-pound Yorkie, usually lives in Edmonton with Huculak’s son, but was out for a visit to her Akinsdale home when a bird of prey launched down and tried to attack the small dog.

On Wednesday morning, Huculak saw the bird perched on the branch when she suddenly realized the bird might want little Cody.

Huculak went to grab him but soon the bird disappeared from the branch. The next thing Huculak saw, it was heading straight toward her pup.

“Just out of the blue this bird flew overtop of the fence ... and right almost onto Cody. And I’m screaming and the bird flew off.”

Huculak said the upsetting incident happened in a few split seconds but was very upsetting for both her and the pup. Huculak said she cried after the incident because it was so awful.

“It is just such a terrible thing because I love him so much.”

The report comes less than a week after a Grandin mom's Chihuahua survived a hawk attack.

Jim Lange, a bird expert who works at the Wildbird General Store in Edmonton, told the Gazette the bird that attacked Cody is likely a Swainson's Hawk, which nests in urban areas. Lange said the hawks have been known to attack people and animals if they get close to their nests during breeding season.

“This species arrives here in late April and leaves anytime now, heading to South America for the winter,” Lange said.

The birds set up nests in pine trees or in boulevard trees, and if any animals or humans of any size come too close to the nest, they will attack.

“The adult birds for the most part are very docile but once it comes to the defence of the nest they become very aggressive.”

On top of the hawks, great horned owls have also been known in the past to swoop at pets, but Lange guesses the birds responsible for the attack on the dogs in St. Albert is the hawk.

Lange said the birds should be heading south for the winter soon and the animals of St. Albert should be safe in a few weeks.

Jennifer Henderson

About the Author: Jennifer Henderson

Jennifer Henderson is the editor of the St. Albert Gazette and has been with Great West Media since 2015
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