To The Daily Sun,
I am writing this letter in the hope that it will prevent heartache and loss for the citizens of our area. I am referring to the increase in the population of the red-tailed hawk which the New Hampshire General Court declared as a protected species in one of their latter sessions of 2016. The bill was proposed by a class of fourth-graders who asked that it be named New Hampshire's state raptor. I was born and raised in the Laconia./Belmont area and always loved and cared for all God's creatures.
Recently I began noticing the hawks appearing in greater numbers than before. When I checked with New Hampshire Fish and Game, I was informed that they can easily pick up any small animal or human up to their weight of 15 to 18 pounds, and seriously injure larger beings while trying to carry them. They also said that these birds might fly south for the winter but were not sure.
Having recently bought an 8-week-old puppy myself, I have had to be extra vigilant when it is in the yard, fearing that if I looked away it might be snatched in their talons and carried off.
Last weekend, two adult dobermans (85-95 pounds each) were playing in my yard when we noticed six red-tailed hawks circling the yard when suddenly one swooped down in an attempt to pick one up. Finding it too large, it flew back up and the group continued to circle for several more minutes. Neighbors who have free-range chickens are losing seven to eight chickens at a time and have seen as many as nine hawks all at once.
My purpose for writing this is to warn my neighbors and friends, and the general population in the area, of the danger of these hawks. I am told that perhaps a loud horn would scare them off, or an owl figure, but I have seen an owl actually flying with a red-tailed hawk, so I don't know if that's an answer.
I would really like to see this law rescinded, for if the population of red-tailed hawks has increased to this extent in just one year, what will it be in the future?
Carolyn M. Bancroft