Dive-bombing hawks plague Bradenton neighborhood - WFLA News Channel 8

Dive-bombing hawks plague Bradenton neighborhood

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Red-shouldered hawk on nest in Bradenton Red-shouldered hawk on nest in Bradenton
Why are the hawks so aggressive?  Because of their babies Why are the hawks so aggressive? Because of their babies
Residents protect themselves from the hawks with umbrellas Residents protect themselves from the hawks with umbrellas
BRADENTON, FL (WFLA) -

Residents keep looking at the sky in Cortez Villas, a retirement community in Bradenton.

They have been harassed by two red-shouldered hawks that built a nest in their quiet community on 36th Avenue West.  People out for a stroll use umbrellas to protect themselves from the birds, which swoop down and dive-bomb the unsuspecting.

The nest is in Beverly Brasgalla's front yard.  She says she's had four run-ins with the birds.  The first attack happened when she went outside to get the newspaper.

"It felt like I was hit with a basketball," Brasgalla said.  The hawk wasn't finished either; it came back for another pass before returning to the nest.

Judy Coker, who lives a few doors away from the nest, had to go to the hospital after her encounter.

"Next thing I knew I was bleeding, because her talons did catch a bit of my skin, and I ended up with a puncture wound," said Coker.  She needed a tetanus shot and antibiotics for her injury.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the hawks are a federally protected species, so they can't disturb their nest.  Residents can apply with the federal officials to have the nest moved.

That might not be necessary, though.  Wildlife officials say the chicks are nearly grown, and ready to leave the nest.  After the babies are gone, the adult hawks should be less aggressive.

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