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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Someone called the police and said I had a wolf hybrid of some sort, with inadequate fencing. Seriously ???? LOL

The police in town know my dog so it was a humorous call to my house, but they had to come by nonetheless. Was not anyone on my block as they all know and like Valor. All the kids play in the dead end and are in and out of my pool. So it was not any of them. Must have been a passing dog walker (a few turn down my dead end to walk their dogs)

We get that sorted. That was actually like 3 weeks ago. Someone called AGAIN and was asking if wolf dogs were allowed in town. Cops called me about it, said they told the complainer they know the dog and it is licensed etc etc.

THEN..we are all in the yard and I am watching a mylar balloon dance around the transformer behind my house. Had called public service and they were on their way.

SUDDENLY a giant raptor with a leather tether and bright yellow band around his giant clawed leg starts DIVE BOMBING my kids ?!?!?! Valor rushed up barking and snapping, bird swoops away, sits on top of pole for a few seconds watching my dog go spare, flies away and disappears.

So I call the police and tell them about it. They think I am joking because of the wolf thing. No, dude..seriously...call Medieval Times which is like less than a mile away and ask IF THEY ARE MISSING A GIANT TRAINED RAPTOR PLEASE. lolol

Called all around the local sanctuaries etc. How weird! I mean I live next to Newark NJ. We of course have falcons and eagles but this thing was seriously large and obviously distressed. I mean, it must depend on people for food so maybe that is why he was swooping down on the kids? They had hotdogs in their hands. He never got close to them (maybe 10ft above them or more) of course my 11 year old claims she felt talons on her head lol

I am just running a North American urban sanctuary here aren't I ? lol

My 10 year old and his wolf. Fence is 48" high at the peak.
 

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Can you give a call to the closest falconry club in your area? Maybe New Jersey Falconry Club ?

The handful of people I know involved with raptors would be there in a heartbeat, if one of their birds was missing and someone called.

Talk about a weird day. I think yesterday was a full moon...... Yikes?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Alright I messaged them too. He is probably hungry and if raised in captivity may not know how to hunt :/ I know a lot are fed prekilled. My pythons are used to prekilled and if I try to live feed they are like "ewwww my food is moving!!!"

I did message all local FB pages and said to keep an eye on your little dogs :eek:
 

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A lot of them are trapped as juveniles, and then kept for a hunting season (or longer) depending on the species and the permit/status of the person keeping it. Apprentices can only keep certain species, masters have more flexibility, etc. It's kind of a fascinating ancient pursuit, subject nowadays to some pretty strict regulations. :)
 

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At our YMCA pool, we have huge black crows that dive-bomb unattended tables.
I have seen them snatch up entire hotdogs, baggies of goldfish, whatever they can get! They will also walk around and poke their heads into your bag, if it is gaping open! So yes, I agree that it might have been after the hotdog...

It's dangerous out there in the wilds of NJ -
look out for those wolves and raptors!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
LOL yep!

Well I have a bit more education on Raptors and NJ now. I have hunting with a Red Tail Hawk on my bucket list now.

So from the size I recall (which your memory can play serious games with sudden events) which was huge to the point it was like...scary...it is unlikely it was a legally owned falcon for hunting.

Possibilities are...

1) escaped show bird. I called NJ Fish and Game and all other relative entities so they can check with any permitted compounds and/or travelling shows around. However, most pros who lose a bird would be all over it, calling everywhere right away.

2) more likely - a sick wild bird. We do have Golden Eagles around here which are huge and also making a comeback. They are often tagged and GPS'ed which would explain the yellow contraption he was sporting on his leg. And they are often sick from toxins and need lead treatment and such. The "tether" could have just been debris or something he picked up on his bracelet. The bracelet I am SURE of..the tether was just that..a long tether about 3 feet long off his leg. Easily could have been junk he picked up.

They are also often illegally owned/trapped and released when they get to be too much. But one would usually remove bracelets and such before doing that.

And to keep this GSD related..I can now attest that Valor will protect from threats above. Raptors, Pterodactyls. Eyes to skies folks, eyes to the skies.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I wish I knew. It was large. Dark brown. Didn't make any noise, was buzzing my kids. I know if you can look at the tips of their wings you can tell a lot but there was no time to be counting feathers lol I had a brief vision of my 52 lb 11 year old being carried off by her hair lol He never got too close though. He was definitely not exhibiting typical Raptor behavior. I hope it is found and helped, whatever it was.
 

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3 feet long is too long for the sort of tether falconers use on their birds. It would be a danger to the bird, and possibly get tangled in tree branches.
 

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I used to work with raptors at a local wildlife hospital, so I wanted to chime in.
3’ would not be the length of any kind of raptor tether I am aware of. There are 2 kinds of tethers: the ones to clip the bird to your hand while perched there, and longer ones called creance for work flying or exercising the birds. The gloved kind consist of a leather ring around each ankle with straps hanging from each that are a couple of inches long which are then attached to a single cord that is a couple of inches long with a clip on the end of it to attach to one’s glove. A creance attaches to the leather straps on the ankles, also, but is much longer to allow the bird to fly from one person to another while holding the cord. It’s around 20 feet long.
A large brown raptor could be a Golden Eagle, although birds do always look larger as they are dive bombing you! Red-tailed hawks are also brown with red tails. Harris hawks are dark brown and about the same size as a red-tail with a bright yellow beak. Swainson’s hawks are also brownish and around red-tailed hawk size with white around the beak. Those are all Western US birds, though some live in other areas, too; I don’t know where you live.
You are right that dive-bombing kids is not normal for either wild or captive hawks, but it does indicate a familiarity with people that would indicate he has been captive. The other possibility is that she has a nest nearby, but it isn’t the right time of year for that.
 

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I feel like someone who call the cops on my dog as well if not for his colors due to his size. People are so ignorant. I've never seen a raptor. While that's neat, still a scary situation for the bird if it escaped from somewhere :(
 
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