Calgary

Workers at southeast business have to stay hawk-eyed to avoid dive-bombing birds

Workers at southeast business have been doing a lot of ducking and dodging this summer.

A family of Swainson's hawks has been nesting near TEJA Food Group, swooping down on unsuspecting people

A family of hawks has been swooping down on unsuspecting people near a southeast Calgary business. (Tom Grande )

Workers at a southeast business have been doing a lot of ducking and dodging this summer.

A family of Swainson's hawks began nesting in a tree next to the parking lot for TEJA Food Group on Ninth Street S.E. about three months ago, and they're pretty protective of their territory.

Tom Grande's office window overlooks the hawks' nest, giving him a bird's-eye view of their defensive tactics. He's seen them swoop down more than a dozen times on unsuspecting people.

"The hawks are just being good parents like we all would be and are just protecting their young," he told the Calgary Eyeopener.

"There's probably been about three people who have actually been hit," he said.

"They'll swoop down and they've got their talons out… so they have hit some people and drawn blood."

The hawks have even forced the Canada Post carriers to get creative when making their rounds.

"There's a Joey's Seafood food truck parked at the far end of our parking lot," said Grande. "So they kind of pop the mail there, and the rest of the businesses around the area will go retrieve their mail."

While the hawks have been a welcome addition to bird watchers in the area, other small mammals probably aren't as happy to have them around.

"I used to see lots of gophers kicking around and scurrying about, but they've disappeared," said Grande.

With files from the Eyeopener

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