PORT ST. JOHN, Fla. - You don't see or hear them until they swoop in. It feels like being hit by a falling tree branch.
A family of hawks have taken up residence in a pine tree in Ursula Andreu's front yard on Hundred Acre Drive in Port St. John, just off Falcon Boulevard. They're dive-bombing residents.
Andreu exits her home carefully, often wearing a pink bicycle helmet. She said she's been hit seven or eight times. They've even drawn blood, Local 6 News partner Florida Today reported.
Jeanette Ranow, a nearby neighbor, said she's also been hit. It knocked her to the ground and prompted a trip to a hospital.
"Well, you know when you get your scalp ripped open by their talons and you're bleeding everywhere, I felt it pretty urgent to go to a doctor," Ranow said.
She's worried about them hurting a little neighborhood girl with long hair who likes to ride a scooter up and down the street.
But there's nothing they can do.
It's nesting season, and it's illegal to mess with the nest or the birds, according to Officer Lenny Salberg of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Salberg said his agency got a call about the birds on April 28, but no officer has been out to the neighborhood. Andreu could potentially file for a permit to have a trapper remove the nest after nesting season. But for now, they're here to stay. Salberg recommended residents wear a hat or carry an umbrella.
He said his agency sporadically gets these types of complaints this time of year.
"It's basically just hawks doing what hawks are supposed to do."
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