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Syracuse residents 'dive-bombed' by hawks


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Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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SYRACUSE — Barbara Packer jogs in the same area nearly every morning, something she has done for more than a decade. The last two mornings, however, brought an unexpected guest.

"I just felt this swoop, right across my head," Packer explained. "I expected to see six birds, and then it was a hawk."

The next morning, it happened again. This time, drawing a bit of blood.

"Suddenly, like in the same place, I felt this crash on my head," she said. She then said she picked up a piece of metal off the ground to cover her head. "As I bent down to pick it up, suddenly it came and it was far away, and it just swooped right across my head again."

Packer is not the only one. Frank Dankwa said one of the hawks came for him in front of his house.

"I kind of quickly felt a smack on the top of my head," Dankwa said. "I looked up and saw this hawk traveling across the street."

Just up the street from Dankwa, DeAnn Patterson said her 12-year-old son Seth had a close call with one of the birds. He then started taking precautions outside.

"I was nervous about him mowing the lawn," Patterson explained. "So he agreed with me that he would wear his bike helmet to mow the lawn."

Division of Wildlife Resources biologist Adam Brewerton told KSL it's likely a case of older hawks protecting their young. He explained that the behavior would likely go away once the younger hawks are able to leave the nest in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, the hawks' presence can be a bit intimidating, but Packer said it's not enough to put a stop to her morning jog.

"I still don't have a plan if I see one, what I'm going to do," she said laughing.

Editor's note: Shortly after reporting on the hawks on live TV, KSL reporter Mike Anderson had a close call with one himself. He crouched down as one flew just a few feet above his head. Unfortunately, this was not captured in the attached video.

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