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Posted: 11/14/2008 3:43:46 PM EDT
I have 2 Great Horned Owls in my yard (20 acres).
I have a small, 9-10 lb dog. How much weight can this bird pick up?
Now, I think I know what kind of bird has been in the barn, killing sparrows- there is nothing left but a few feathers- there are no cats around.

Might I now be going out with the dog on a long leash for safety?

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Posted: 11/14/2008 3:57:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/14/2008 3:58:44 PM EDT by KG5S]
I don't think you have anything to worry about !

They never mess with my cats , although I wish they would.....
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Posted: 11/14/2008 4:40:10 PM EDT
If you like your dog you better worry. A great horned owl can easily kill a 10 pound dog. These are big strong birds and your 10 pound dog would be semi-concious after they struck it once. I don't know if it could actually carry off the body but if you let it out at night alone it would look like a good snack to a large owl.

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Posted: 11/14/2008 5:09:22 PM EDT
I never let her out at night- I even stand next to her when she pees when it is dark. there are other predatory animals in this area of the US.

What about during the day?

I saw this one, because another was calling- about 700 feet away- then I turned around and this one was only about 100 feet away, sitting on a electric pole.

There are many rabbits and mice here in the country, but a small dog ?.....

Any bird experts out there?
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Posted: 11/26/2008 6:40:27 PM EDT
Originally Posted By KG5S:
I don't think you have anything to worry about !

They never mess with my cats , although I wish they would.....

Well in that case you are in luck because great horned owls are cat killing SOBs. They kill and eat skunks so as you can imagine a cat is pretty well just the right size.

Around our place we are constantly resupplying our barn cat population due to predation by owls and coyotes.

If you are calling coyotes in the evening and put on a cat distress call you'll often get a great horned in the area just to check stuff out. As to what they can lift I have no idea.
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Posted: 12/13/2008 11:00:22 PM EDT
They can definately take your 10 lbs. dog for a ride to the great farm in the sky. I would be cautious. My mom's neighborhood has a couple owls in it and she won't let her little 8 lbs. yorkie out at night without her being right there with her. A friend of my moms had her cat attacked and taken by an owl while she was standing in the kitchen. Talk about freaky stuff....
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Posted: 12/18/2008 10:08:36 PM EDT
At my work (im a security guard at a gated community) theres a few owls out every night, and I've seen them pick pretty large rabbits up, and attempt to take cats. I'd keep an eye out. Here in AZ, on the news not to long ago, an owl tried to nab someones dog but failed, due to the dog being a bit over weight

Up in Northern MI, I remember a hawk tried to nab my grandmas cat a few times. After a few failed attempts over a weeks time, and it not letting up, something had to be done It just sat there outside our house in the trees waiting, sneaky little bastard. Beatiful bird though.
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Posted: 6/25/2009 4:10:13 AM EDT
I got home from work one night at 0200 hrs. The headlights showed a VERY large skunk (equal to a good sized coon in size) walking across the driveway - a Great Horned Owl picked it right off the ground in its talons. Didn't seem to be working very hard as it flew away. I know that skunk was well over 10 pounds.
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Posted: 6/25/2009 5:36:39 AM EDT
I do know that a great horned out with one leg in a trap can kick the shit out of the 40 pound dog. Happened to a family member many years ago.
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Posted: 8/2/2009 7:58:52 PM EDT
My dad had the same problem, but with a bit smaller dog. My parents had a court yard they would let the dog out to take care of business. My dad ran nylon string spaced at 10 inch intervals across the court yard. This would prevent the owls, or any other flying predator from landing as they spread their wings to slow down during landing. If your worried you might try something like that.

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Posted: 8/25/2009 9:50:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/25/2009 9:58:05 PM EDT by Church]
Great Horned owls weigh in at right around 3-4lb, and can lift almost twice their body wight (actually lift more wight for their size than any other raptor in NA). I have seen one snatch a toy poodle out of a lady's yard. We chased the owl (and screaming dog) 3 houses down, the owl decided it wasn't worth it and drooped the dog. Also have a friend who lost 15 peacocks in one spring to a group of young owls that had hatched that winter. So I would keep a close eye on you dog at night, these guys are opportunist an will eat anything.