CALGARY — Ducking the hawks has become a daily ritual of self-preservation in one Calgary business area.
The birds of prey, who have nested in a nearby tree, are highly territorial and have taken some swipes at passersby.
It’s perfectly natural behaviour for the hawks, but it doesn’t make things feel any better for the victims who’ve needed to get stitches because of the birds’ razor-sharp talons.
Officials with Alberta Fish and Wildlife say the hawks are protected in the province and there is nothing that can be done to remove them.
Tom Grande, who works at one of the businesses in the area, tells CTV Calgary he’s never seen hawks roost in the trees like this in the three or four years he’s been there.
Grande says he’s seen three hawks and the birds often come down on targets from different angles, so people always need to be cautious.
“We’ve probably had about a dozen people really get swooped and hit,” he says. “We’ve had two or three people who’ve been hit in the back of the head and had stitches.
"Yesterday, we had a lady who was hit from behind and knocked to the ground. I think they said she had a bit of a concussion and they had to put another stitch in the back of her head.”
Many people who are aware of the issue have started bringing umbrellas to shelter themselves from attack and the problem has gotten so bad for the Canada Post letter carrier that they refuse to deliver to either business in the vicinity of the nest.
Grande says that all mail for his business and Rainbow Construction next door is delivered to another business out of harm’s way.