Employees at a southeast Calgary transportation business are keeping a close eye on the sky after one of their co-workers was attacked by a hawk.
The man was walking into his workplace Wednesday morning when the incident is said to have happened.
“One of our co-workers, when he got to work, (the hawks) swooped down and pegged his head,” employee Lisa Kozak told Global News.
Kozak said she as far as she knows the coworker wasn’t seriously hurt, but added he did need to receive medical care.
The incident doesn’t surprise another employee, Drake Brown, who said it happens regularly.
“Every single day somebody gets swooped on,” he said. “Every day.”
Global News observed at least three hawks sitting in the trees right beside the business.
Brown said at first there was only one, but then several others appeared.
That’s when he said he started getting nervous.
“You’ve just really got to be watching because they move quickly,” he added.
“Sometimes they’re in the other trees and you can’t really tell. You just feel a clip on the back of your head and you look up and there’s this big bird flying away from ya.”
Alberta Fish & Wildlife officials said hawks are no strangers to Calgary or Alberta and they get complaints about them being aggressive every summer.
Officials were notified about this latest incident, and figure it’s a family of hawks that have taken up residence in the trees near the business.
“It sounds like it’s likely an adult or an adult pair, with a couple of young ones,” Matt Michaud told Global News.
“When those young are getting ready to leave the nest it’s very common for the parents to be more territorial or more defensive.”
Michaud added a defensive hawk will often try to attack, but you can’t attack back because they are protected under a number of provincial acts.
He added if you notice the birds starting to build a nest, you can proactively try and remove it while it’s in the building stages.
“But once there’s eggs in that nest, you can’t,” he pointed out. “You can’t destroy or alter the nest in any manner.”
Protecting yourself from hawk attacks
Michaud suggested avoiding the area where the hawks are, if at all possible. If you can’t, there are other ways to protect yourself.
“What the hawks will do is swoop down and try and make contact with, usually, whatever is the highest off of the ground.
“What we recommend is carry and umbrella, carry a stick, shake or wave a hat over the top of your head if you know there are hawks in the area.”
The good news, Michaud said, is they will eventually move on.
“This swooping and dive-bombing behaviour typically only lasts a few weeks.”
Brown and Kozak can’t wait until that time comes, adding they too want to leave the “nest.”
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