Hawks are classified as birds of prey and they are very fierce hunters. Unfortunately, a large percentage of their habitat has been overtaken by urbanization. With their territory under development, they’ve had to adapt to the growing presence of humans.
Hawks have had to contend with humans unintentionally entering their most guarded areas, their nesting sites. If a human wanders too close to a specific hawk’s nest, the hawk will turn very territorial and aggressive.
If a hawk feels threatened, it’ll swoop down and attack you. To deflect and repel the incoming assault; don’t run, stand your ground. When it gets closer, start making as much noise as you can to spook it and thrash your arms around to appear larger and more hostile.
Due to the ever-growing presence of humans in the hawk’s natural habitat, there are more and more instances of hawks becoming threatened and territorial. With varying degrees of attacks occurring, you need to be prepared, just in case you find yourself amid a hostile hawk.
What to Do If A Hawk Attacks Your Dog
Hawks are carnivorous birds, which means they consume meat and have a vast array of prey. They are also opportunistic hunters; if they think they can eat it- they will. Some species of hawks even eat up to five pounds of meat each day.
A hawk’s strong talons can lift and even fly away with animals weighing up to five pounds. Smaller dogs, and cats, have often been mistaken as prey by hawks and become their next meal. If you own a smaller breed of dog or even an outdoor cat, you need to be mindful of areas known for the presence of hawks.
If you encounter a hungry hawk while outside with your small animal, the first thing you need to do is lift the animal and hold it in your arms. The hawk will likely disregard capturing your pet since it is no longer an easy target. If the hawk still looks threatening, start waving your arms around ferociously and make as much noise as you can. The noise and abrupt movements will scare the hawk away.
If, by chance, the hawk did get a hold of your pet, and hopefully dropped it after realizing its weight was too heavy to swiftly fly away, immediately take your pet to the veterinarian. Your pet needs to get checked out for any fractures from the fall or punctures from the hawk’s talons.
What to Do If A Hawk Attacks Your Child
Due to deforestation, many hawks have been forced to cohabitate with humans and share land closer in proximity than the hawks would be comfortable with. Since the development of the hawks’ habitat has caused a decline in natural vegetation, hawks have had to contend with less than ideal locations for their nests.
By existing closer to humans, there has been a steady rise in hawks attacking humans. The attacks have not only been from territorial hazards but small children, or even babies, appearing as a potential meal. Although the potential for a hawk to attack a child is minimal at best, it is still a situation you should be prepared for before it occurs.
If you find yourself outdoors with your child and a hawk starts circling overhead and coming closer you should gather your child in your arms and get inside quickly. In the instance the hawk has managed to get closer in proximity to your child than you would like, you must scare the hawk away before it can further assess whether your child is tolerable prey.
To fend off the potential attack, make yourself appear larger and more aggressive than the hawk. To scare it away, run in the hawk’s direction and start screaming as loud as you can while flailing your arms up and down. The hawk will fly away if it feels like its own safety is being compromised by a larger predator.
How to Prevent Potential Hawk Attacks
Whether you are trying to protect yourself, your child, or your small pet; there are many ways to prevent a potential hawk attack. By being prepared and ever vigilant, you can ensure your safety and the safety of others around you. There are certain tactics you can utilize that will discourage a hawk from even coming near you, or convince them to stop nesting in your backyard.
The best way to avoid a potential hawk attack is to avoid entering a hawk’s territory at all costs. If you happen to come across a hawk’s nest in nature, it is best to leave the nest alone. Don’t try to touch the nest, just walk away from it. If a hawk doesn’t feel threatened, it most likely won’t initiate an attack.
A hawk will be deterred by something as simple as an open umbrella, so take an umbrella with you outside if you know hawks frequent the area. The umbrella will not only shield your head from a potential aggressive dive, but it eliminates the hawk’s vantage point over you. The hawk will not be able to see what is under the umbrella, therefore it won’t gain an interest in what could be under it.
If you suspect hawks are nesting on your property, you can install scarecrows or hang reflective surfaces from your trees to encourage the hawk to find a new territory. Scarecrows appear as larger predators to hawks and will deter the hawk from continuing to nest nearby. By hanging objects with a reflective surface, like old CDs, from your trees, the reflection of shiny light will scare off hawks by confusing them.
As a result of the growing human population, the territory owned by hawks is continually threatened. Due to the hawk’s territory becoming compromised it causes hawks to intermingle more frequently in areas heavy with human habitation.
To decrease the likelihood of a hawk attack, you should avoid their known nesting areas and deter them from nesting on your property. If a hawk should attack, you must make yourself appear larger and make as much noise as possible to scare them away. If the off chance arises and you, or your pet, are the victim of a hawk attack, you should seek medical attention immediately following the encounter.