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Canary in cage attacked by bird of prey
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Author:  Hotcook [ Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Canary in cage attacked by bird of prey

We live up Chipmunk/Montaña Blanca, Villas De Artenara. Yesterday morning as I sat on settee putting together a light/fan fitting I saw a huge dark shape swoop past the patio window. I shouted at my husband to go out at once as I had to put all the componants in my lap down, some of them breakable. He shouted a huge bird was attacking our canary's cage. I ran outside and he had managed to push the bird off the cage. The large hawk just hopped onto the settee we have outside next to the cage and showed no fear. My husband continued to shout and wave his arms at the bird, and he is a very large man and the bird just looked at him. I grabbed a brush and waved it about and the bird flew from the settee to the wall a couple of metres away. I then ran for my camera as I wanted to identify the bird but when I ran outside with the camera the flash must have gone off and the hawk finally flew away fast.
It was approx 18 inches high and with a wingspan of at least 3 ft. It was mostly dark brown on it's back and speckled on it's front.
We immediately took our canary and cage inside.
When on the canary's cage it's wings completely covered the whole cage and it was obviously trying to dislodge the cage and get our little Freddie! Because of the rain the other night we had the large umbrella up over the cage, which was hanging from a large hook against the wall in the corner of the patio. The hawk could not have made a descent onto the cage because of the umbrella but instead made a swoop from the side. Our door was open, radio was on and we were chatting as we worked. In fact, the bird must have been able to see us as he made his swoop from the wall adjoining the next property, from where we can be seen quite clearly with the door open.
Luckily we witnessed the attack, and could quickly drive the hawk off, and Freddie was OK. He is used to us staring into his cage and interacting with him so it was not too much of a shock a large ugly thing suddenly presenting itself in front of him! (Apparently many small birds can die of a heart attack under such circumstances, a bird of prey attack, that is, not us shoving our ugly mugs in front of them!).But I shudder to think what would have happened if we had been at the back of the house, or even out! We have left Freddie for short periods as we felt he was safe. We know cats cannot get to his cage but we never even dreamt that he would be attacked by a bird of prey.
We now know differently!
We are not sure what the bird was. Seen kestrels around on occasion but seemed too large for a kestrel and the face wasn't right for a kestrel either. Not the rounded head that they have at all. We thought it may be a Barbary Peregrine as have seen a pair a couple of years ago mating on lamp posts just down the road on the Calle Virgen De La Peña, near to where the Travelers Rest used to be. Or even a Buzzard, as it was so large.
So, anyone with small pets or cage birds beware!
Secondly, has anyone any ideas of what the bird might have been? And even more importantly, how to protect Freddie from further attacks as he loves being out in the fresh air and until we think of a solution he has to stay inside.
And finally, why was the bird so unafraid of us?
Really look forward to your thoughts and suggestions.
Many thanks in advance.

Author:  Filbert Fox [ Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Canary in cage attacked by bird of prey

We live on Artenara too, but haven´t seen it! I´ll keep a look out as we´ve got an aviary with budgies and finches.

Author:  Deepdale Duck [ Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Canary in cage attacked by bird of prey

You'd expect a wild bird of prey to be afraid enough to stay clear of humans, so I wonder if it is an escapee.

Oasis Park has birds of prey, but so does the very small zoo at the entrance to Morro Jable. I think the small one actually has more, especially at the size you describe.

It does sound similar to a buzzard, but it is hard to say. I have only seen these from a distance and one time when there were three or four of them near the top of a hill I was climbing that took flight when they saw me before I saw them.

I'd have my camera at the ready in case he came back. In fact I'd go to the Chinese shop to by a plastic canary for bait.

Author:  Hotcook [ Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Canary in cage attacked by bird of prey

Good idea! We may just do that. Would love to get a pic of it.

As for the little zoo in Morro Jable, we tried to visit there just last month and it was all closed down? Tried to google it but could find nothing about it closing on internet, so maybe it was just closed for repairs etc., but there were no animals or birds there. Shame as we enjoyed taking visitors there who could not manage the size of La Lajita.

Will let you know if we have any luck with the decoy canary!

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