As promised, I went to Auntie NuNu’s to try to see the bird of prey she claims is menacing her little dog, Ava. My strategy was simple: I took Ava out into the yard to act as bait. While we waited for a bird of prey to show up, I tried to enjoy what is left of the formerly-fantastic birding in Auntie NuNu’s garden.
Ava spent the whole time we were outside terrorizing house sparrows. As soon as she scared one off, the puppy was off like a shot to chase another one. Occasionally Ava sat on the grass to catch her breath, her pink tongue lolled out of her mouth and panting. But even then she did not stop hunting – it seemed to me I could see her mind working to figure out how to get up into the tree branches in order to continue the chase.
We were outside for quite a long time without seeing any birds of prey. But then, at about 4 pm, I saw a red-shouldered hawk soar into view. I wondered if that was the bird Auntie NuNu was worried about as I watched it fly right on by. That was the only action I have to report.
I informed NuNu that if she was worried about that bird, there was no need. My understanding is that red-shouldered hawks cannot carry more than their own body weight, which is a mere 1.5 pounds. Ava may have been an appropriate dinner for a red-shouldered hawk when she was closer to newborn status, but she now weighs ten pounds, which is too much for the bird to be able to fly off with.
I have no way of knowing if the red-shouldered hawk I saw is the bird Auntie NuNu is worried about. Perhaps the next time I go to her house I will see another kind of bird of prey. I will let you know if I do!