This sounds unlikely but I have no doubt it is true. Last year our cattle dog spent half an hour going completely off his head in the garden. Nothing I did would shut him up and I couldn’t work out what he was on about until I went outside. There, slightly above tree height and circling their intended prey , were two wedge-tailed eagles.
We get them here regularly but they are using the thermals off the hills to get around more than swooping into our gardens and eating pets.
This time though, it was quite obvious what they were after and once I put the dog inside they cleared off in a matter of minutes. Of course, after half an hour of incessant barking I was almost ready to leave him to his fate! I suspected that the eagle would come off second best to the bitey little bugger though, so I was really doing them a favour, although I am sure the birds were not happy with his escape.
I’m not happy with young Watts killing the bird with a stick to the back of the head. Unfortunately, if the dog had bitten the wing hard enough the bird would have likely met its end fairly horribly, being unable to fly. A bad ending for the feathered fiend either way. Back then farmers were convinced that eagles were responsible for lambs being taken and hunted them unmercifully. This eagle didn’t do its kind any favours on that day in 1898, and certainly gave local farmers more reason to mistrust them!