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Beware Of Dive-Bombing Hawks In Westminster

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A hawk (credit: CBS)

A hawk (credit: CBS)

WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) – They fly overhead all the time, but most people don’t think of hawks as a threat. But one Westminster woman now has a different opinion.

Imagine just walking the children to school and a hawk comes flying down and attacks. It’s every mother’s instinct to protect her young.

“You try to keep your kids safe. When you don’t feel safe, how can you keep them safe?” Linda Dotson said.

Whether she’s walking them to school, or literally guarding them in the nest.

“This is definitely the time of year when birds are going to start fledging,” Jennifer Churchill with Colorado Parks and Wildlife said. “Mom is going to be extra cautious of anyone that’s in the vicinity.”

“All of a sudden I got hit in the back of the head, and I was like, ‘What was that?’ ” Dotson said. “I had blood on my hands.”

She had several small cuts, but it was the idea that traumatized her the most.

“I don’t want to get hurt, and I don’t want my children to get hurt, or anyone else,” Dotson said.

Her Westminster neighbors in the area of 76th Avenue and Raliegh say hawk sightings are common these days.

“They have been screeching like somebody made them mad,” a neighbor said.

Churchill says hawks will sometimes dive bomb at humans for protection.

“They’ll fly at people, and they’re really trying to scare you off and push you away from the nest,” Churchill said.

She hopes people will view the proximity to wildlife in their neighborhoods as a positive. But Dotson won’t take any chances — at least for now. She’s searching for a different path to school.

“It’s probably going to be a very long while,” she said.

Wildlife experts say the season when hawks are aggressive should only last about another week. In the meantime, for those you can’t avoid them, they say try wearing a hat and carrying an umbrella for protection.

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