FAIR HAVEN — A 25-pound French bulldog that was scooped up by a hawk is expected to make a full recovery.

Chris Gooch told News 12 New Jersey that his dog Phoebe was in the front yard when the suspected red-tailed hawk tried to pick up the 25-pound dog.

The bird of prey then attacked Phoebe, injuring her underbelly and legs with its sharp talons.

Mating season is coming for the hawk's preferred diet of rabbits, mice and squirrels, according to Popcorn Park Park manager John Bergmann, but right now they are wintering underground making small dogs targets.

"Their food sources are getting a little scarce right now because of the cold weather. They'll even take small dogs. I've heard of a couple instances over the past couple of years," Bergmann said. Hawks stay in the area during the winter.

Bergmann said he has seen an increase in the red tail hawk and other raptors in the past 10 years.

If a hawk can't lift their prey they'll fight them on the ground, according to Bergmann.

"They'll grab something on the ground and eat it right there."

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ


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