Red-shouldered Hawks terrorizing family in bay area

Posted at 5:17 PM, Feb 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-28 17:19:47-05

A pair of Red-shouldered Hawks have been guarding an active nest in Palmetto and they are now ambushing the homeowners when they step outside. 

One of the hawks were caught on camera ambushing a wildlife expert when it turned its back on the bird of prey. 

Justin Matthews with Matthews Wildlife Rescue was showing how the ambush birds won't attack if you make eye contact with them, but when he turned his back and walked under the nest, he was swooped with its talons. 

"These are ambush predators," he said, "if they know that you're looking at them, if they know that you know where they are, they won't hit you."




This is video in slow motion showing how fast the birds swoop a person in the back of the head. 

Larry Kinney watched as his daughter was hit on the top of the head while she went to go check the mail. 

That's when they called Matthews who put warning signs out on the front lawn. 

Photo Courtesy Justin Matthews

Matthews put two 'Keep away signs' -- with the warning "Nesting hawks may be aggressive!"

"People that read that sign, it will get them looking up in the tree," Matthews said. "that will help any one walking by make eye contact with hawk."

Since the nest has eggs in it, it can not be removed unless a person receives a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services.