hawk dog
The hawk and Pico, after the attack. Photos by Nicole.

One of the hawk parents raising adorable hawk babies on a 16th-floor fire escape at West 72nd street saw a juicy chihuahua on a neighbor’s balcony and swooped down to snatch him, the neighbor tells us.

“On Tuesday around 6 p.m., my chihuahua Picasso stepped out into our balcony as he usually does… Suddenly I hear a whimper and I see the hawk,” wrote Nicole. “The hawk attacked Pico! He had to get four stitches.”

Poor Pico!

Apparently, the hawk likes to perch on a nearby water tower; when he saw the chihuahua, he swooped toward him like any other prey. Check out the dog’s head injuries below.


Nicole said the hawk later tried to swoop at her 75 pound pit bull. That could get messy.

This is not the first time we’ve covered tumultuous hawk-canine relationships. A hawk stalked a chihuahua living in a 22nd floor apartment. And one of our columnists recounted the story (perhaps apocryphal) of a hawk that flew off with a chihuahua in Riverside Park.

To sign up for our email newsletter, click here!

NEWS, OUTDOORS | 14 comments | permalink
    1. Sherman says:

      I remember in the early 2000s there was a program to bring trained falcons into Bryant Park to attack rats. There was a woman walking her chihuahua and a falcon mistook it for a rat and attacked it in front of the horrified woman.

    2. B.W. says:

      Poor Picasso!

    3. Finnegan says:

      The hawks provide a valuable service to the city and the rodent population, the “dog” provides nothing.

      • George says:

        And you only occupy space Finnegan… I’d rather the dog stay and you leave!

      • Chuck says:

        Read up on the positive impact dogs (and other domestic animals) have on the lives and well-being of their families and neighbors. A bit less negativity, please.

    4. m.pipik says:

      The hawk sees an animal that is not on ground level as a possible flying animal and a threat to her child. A hawk, like any other parent, will do whatever it takes to protect her offspring.

      On a similar note, I noticed that the door on the west side of the fire escape was open and a crouching human was on the escape, perhaps taking pictures. The parent was not on the nest. This is dangerous to the baby and illegal. It is considered a threat to the young hawks and whoever is doing this can be fined by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. Others have seen this and are upset.

    5. ScooterStan says:

      Re: “There was a woman walking her chihuahua and a falcon mistook it for a rat and attacked it….”

      SOME, mostly misanthropic-cynics (guilty as charged) would have thought it neat had the woman dragged her mangled-mutt away by its leash, as in a scene from the wonderful 1981 film “Under the Rainbow”

      That film (according to Internet Movie Data Base) involved “a visiting dignitary, a CIA agent, a Nazi spy, Japanese tourists, an assassin and a group of “midget” actors from The Wizard of Oz (1939) all checking into an elite Los Angeles hotel called Under the Rainbow.”

      And a dog, which had checked-in but never checked-out !

    6. m.pipik says:

      Has the 2nd hawk been seen recently? Are there now 1 or 2 babies (eyasses) on the nest?

    7. Steve in Manhattan says:

      That bird is a raptor, and that’s what they do. If they can carry it off, they will. Don’t leave small dogs unattended. If there are eagles around, don’t leave newborns unattended. They have astonishingly good hearing and vision.

    8. CM says:

      The hawk saw the dog as a threat to the chicks and not as a meal. Please keep the dog off the balcony until the chicks have fledged. The hawks provide a service by eating RATS.

    9. Jack St.Mary says:

      Mother Nature. Let’s just calm down. The hawk is feeding it’s young. The dog is innocent, but prey in the hawks world. And Picasso is fine.

    10. UWSSurfer says:

      Oh no! So glad the chi survived.

    11. WP says:

      My family in LA learned the hard way never to let a dog out on a balcony. One day we called their dog as we were leaving and he ran and took a flying leap off the balcony before anyone could stop him. It was eight floors high and he did not survive. No matter what, balconies are dangerous for animals and also for children.