PORT ORANGE, Fla. - In addition to books, library patrons in Port Orange are checking out umbrellas after a pair of hawks nesting in a nearby tree attacked six people.
[PICS: Hawks dive-bomb visitors]
The two red-shouldered hawks are protecting their young outside the Port Orange Regional Library, according to county officials, and have dive-bombed patrons walking in and out, as well as one library employee.
Of the six attacked, three people suffered scratches to their heads.
Fran Thomas says her head is still sore after the hawk landed on her last week.
"Something hit the top of my head; I thought it was bird poop. So it wasn't that, so I kept walking. Son of a gun, he came back and he got me on the back of my head right here," she said.
"I'm ready, hopefully it doesn't happen, but just in case," said Rose Zurawski, who is one of dozens bringing their umbrellas to the library.
Others are using books to shield their heads.
"I just don't want to take a chance; have my scalp torn off by hawks," said library visitor Mark Taimsh.
County spokesperson Dave Byron says none of the people attacked have been hospitalized.
Still, signs have been put up around the library warning people of the highly protective hawks.
"I've seen mockingbirds do that. I guess all creatures do. We do it too," said library visitor Kathleen Jordan.
Bird experts say the babies should be out of the nest in two to four weeks, and the parents should become less aggressive.
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