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Can a great-horned owl snatch a 17 pound dog?

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Writer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-10-10 01:38 AM
Original message
Can a great-horned owl snatch a 17 pound dog?
We live near an open space and have one hanging around our yard. We know that they'll snatch cats, but what about a miniature American Eskimo?

Great-Horned Owl


Miniature American Eskimo
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cherokeeprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-10-10 01:43 AM
Response to Original message
1. I'm thinking no. Don't owls do their hunting at night?
We live in Big Bear Lake, and have a four pound Chihuahua who likes to sun herself on our back deck. My wife absolutely refuses to let her out there because she's afraid Luna will be carried off by a Red Tailed Hawk. I'm not sure any of the Red Tail Hawks I've seen could carry off a four pound dog. Seventeen pounds? I don't think ANY bird could fly carrying that much weight.
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underseasurveyor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-10-10 02:57 AM
Response to Original message
2. A Great Horned can certainly do great damage
and could very well kill that precious little one. Owls don't usually carry their prey alive. They make sure it's dead and safe to carry and that it's light enough to carry. Don't take any chances.

I had an eskimo years ago. Great little dogs.
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alphafemale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-10-10 04:23 AM
Response to Original message
3. Umm...no
An Owl is maybe 3lbs or so. They're mostly feathers on the bulk.

But you might think about coyotes. They're just about everywhere nowadays.
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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-10-10 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. Yeah. A unusually big great horned owl would weigh about 4 lbs
and wouldn't be strong enough to carry off a 17 lb dog. It could attack the dog and cause serious injury but there's no reason to do that if there are easier size prey around like rodents. A puppy on the other hand could look like easy food.

I agree with you about coyotes. They'll hunt cats and small dogs if their range is an urban area. We live near a large open space where many coyotes live and their principal food source is ground squirrel but in years when the rodent population is low they have come down to the neighborhoods at night and killed cats.
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dmr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-10-10 04:58 AM
Response to Original message
4. Yes, there is a danger (inside)
Edited on Sun Oct-10-10 04:59 AM by dmr
http://www.owlpages.com/owls.php?genus=Bubo&species=vir...

Hunting & Food: Great Horned Owls hunt by perching on snags and poles and watching for prey, or by gliding slowly above the ground. From high perches they dive down to the ground with wings folded, before snatching prey. Prey are usually killed instantly when grasped by its large talons. They also hunt by walking on the ground to capture small prey or wading into water to snatch frogs and fish. They have been known to walk into chicken coops to take domestic fowl. Rodents and small rabbits can be swallowed whole while larger prey are carried off and ripped apart at feeding perches or at the nest. Birds are often plucked first, and legs and wing tips discarded. An extremely wide range of prey species (over 250 identified) are captured, but rabbits and hares are its preferred prey. Mammalian prey includes all coexisting rodents, squirrels, mink, skunks, raccoons, armadillos, porcupines, shrews, moles, muskrats, and bats. They may sometimes take small domestic dogs and cats. Bird prey includes all other Owls (except Snowy Owl), grouse, woodpeckers, crows, turkeys, pigeons, Red-tailed Hawks, bitterns, Great Blue Heron, ducks, swans, gulls, etc. Reptiles include snakes, turtles, lizards, and young alligators. Amphibians include frogs, toads, and salamanders. Other foods include fish, large insects, scorpions, centipedes, crayfish, worms, spiders, and road killed animals. A Great Horned Owl is powerful enough to take prey 2 to 3 times heavier than itself.

Pellets are very large, about 7.6 to 10.2 cm (3- 4") long and 3.8 cm (1.5") thick. Pellets are dark greyish-black and compact. Skulls as wide as 3 cm (1.2") are regurgitated whole. Pellets are regurgitated 6 to 10 hours after eating.


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tigereye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-10-10 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. great blue heron? Those are huge!


:wow:
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Rhiannon12866 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-10-10 05:20 AM
Response to Original message
5. Your dog is adorable!
And when I lived where there were often hawks overhead, I stayed very close to my 8-lb. Brussels Griffon when we were outside... :scared:

:loveya:
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In_The_Wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-10-10 09:17 AM
Response to Original message
6. It is possible.
The Great Horned Owl hunts during daylight and night hours so watch your beloved pet closely!
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Heidi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-10-10 09:28 AM
Response to Original message
7. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says no.
"A great horned owl weighs only 3 to 4 pounds, and can carry prey up to perhaps twice its own weight."
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/young_naturalists/owladventu...

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