Hawk Attacks Man On Herriman Trail, Bird Expert Said Raptors Are Protective Of Chicks In Summer

Jul 24, 2019, 6:15 PM | Updated: 10:16 pm

HERRIMAN, Utah – An encounter with a hawk on a Herriman trail left a man with scratches on his head Tuesday evening. The incident happened along the Juniper Crest trail.

According to the man’s wife, he was hiking on the trail and did not provoke the bird when it flew at him and attacked him. The man was not seriously injured, but a picture showed several scratches near his ear.

Kate Lyngle-Cowand, curator of exhibit collections at Tracy Aviary, said this is nesting season for hawks. Chicks are learning to fly and hunt. While that is happening, she said, the parents become very protective and may attack a person if they come near a nest.

“It’s pretty wonderful to be able to see that, but we also want everyone to keep safe. Keeping your distance, watching them, making sure they’re not making any short attempts. It’s hard to avoid, because they do blend in to their environment,” Lyngle-Cowand said. “Very often, you’re out hiking or biking and you sneak up on wildlife without even realizing, so just being really aware of your surroundings and being respectful of the space between you and the animal you’re observing,”

Lyngle-Cowand said nesting season should end within the next few weeks and the hawks’ protective behavior should subside. The best defense if attacked, she said, is to protect your face and head and leave the area. Birds of prey are protected by law in Utah.

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Hawk Attacks Man On Herriman Trail, Bird Expert Said Raptors Are Protective Of Chicks In Summer