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Red-tail hawks will not attack and carry off pets

To The Daily Sun,

This is in reply to the letter to the editor written by Carolyn Bancroft of Belmont relative to red-tail hawks.

Ms. Bancroft, I’m not sure who you spoke to at New Hampshire Fish and Game, but that person needs a refresher course in raptor identification and characteristics. Red-tail hawks do not weigh 15 to 18 pounds. Bald eagles can weigh that much, but not red-tails. Red-tails weigh from 1.5 to 3.5 pounds, TOPS. They feed on small rodents such as mice, moles and voles.

Yes, they will take the occasional chicken, thus their moniker “chicken hawk.” Those who choose to raise chickens in the Northeast as free range understand that risk, and must account for it.

No, they will NOT take small animals such as your new puppy, up to 15 to 18 pounds. There is absolutely no way a 3.5 pound red-tail could possibly take such a large animal. At most, they can take the occasional animal that is slightly smaller than a hedgehog. They will only take after a human to scare that person off if they get too close to a nest.

Red-tails do migrate in the winter, but more have stayed in recent years due to recent warming in the Northeast climate. As for noticing six-red tails circling the yard, that is also most unlikely. Red-tails are largely singular hunters, and when they migrate, they only travel in twos or threes. They sometimes will join a kettle of broad-wing hawks in migration, but, again, only in pairs or threes. If you saw that many birds circling in Belmont at once, you were more likely seeing turkey vultures, who also will not attack small children or pets. Turkey vultures tend to want to eat animals that are already dead.

So, please, residents of this area, do not lose any sleep over the “danger” from the red-tail hawk. It is a local species that does a very good job of keeping the rodent population in the area under control. Its numbers have not been increasing over recent years; in fact, they have been in somewhat of a decline due to habitat destruction. So, let’s keep our heads on straight, and appreciate these magnificent raptors and the benefits they provide us all.

Dick de Seve
Gilmanton

  • Written by Ginger Kozlowski
  • Category: Letters
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We're left waiting for Trump to display a shred of leadership

To The Daily Sun,
If the Las Vegas shooter was a Muslim, we’d call this a terrorist attack. This was a terrorist attack committed by a 64-year-old white American. It’s hypocritical that the term “terrorist” is very easily used for Muslim extremists but rarely used to describe white Caucasian gunmen.
A recent letter writer is naïve to believe that if the Vegas shooter had been a Muslim or illegal immigrant, that Trump and the NRA would not have jumped at the chance to politicize this horrific tradegy. Trump would have instantly tweeted – “I told you so,” and branded it a terrorist attack, so it could be used to justify his travel ban. If the shooter had been Hispanic, it would be the reason, “We can’t let these people into our country.” Whether he was an illegal would have been irrelevant, as Trump bleats about massive deportations and building walls. If the shooter was Middle Eastern or Muslim, Trump could add half the Middle East to his travel ban list and justify it through 24-hour news coverage of fleeing survivors. It wouldn’t matter if the killer was a U.S. citizen, born and raised in Vegas or if there were any ties to any known terrorist organization. He’d have done everything in his power to show us what a big, tough guy he is when it comes to protecting Americans. But instead of a Muslim, illegal immigrant or ISIS, the shooter is a white guy with murder on his mind for reasons we may never know.
Mass shootings remain an almost exclusively American phenomenon among advances countries. The common thread linking these acts of terror are that the weapons used in these assaults are manufactured and supplied by the American gun industry – aided and abetted by the NRA.
Trump did respond to this catastrophe with a tepid statement, repeating all the obligatory lines of condolence, sorrow and grief, but it was quite obvious he avoided saying anything that would upset the NRA or his minions.
The only guidance our president can muster is to tell us we should lower the flag to half-mast. No guidance or call for action. No path forward. No nothing.
Every time we expect somebody – literally anybody – to display a shred of leadership and do what’s right, were left waiting.
Robert Miller
Alton

  • Written by Ginger Kozlowski
  • Category: Letters
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