Over-protective bird of prey terrorizing Jonesboro neighborhood

Over-protective bird of prey terrorizing Jonesboro neighborhood
Animal Control officer ducks as hawk dives (Source: KAIT)
Animal Control officer ducks as hawk dives (Source: KAIT)
AGFC employee looks for hawk (Source: KAIT)
AGFC employee looks for hawk (Source: KAIT)
Nest high above James Street (Source: KAIT)
Nest high above James Street (Source: KAIT)
(Source: Dr. Mary Jackson Pitts)
(Source: Dr. Mary Jackson Pitts)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - People in one Jonesboro neighborhood have been terrorized for weeks, not by someone, but by something.

On James Street and James Cove, multiple people have been attacked by a hawk.

Tuesday, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Jonesboro Animal Control were on scene to try and solve the problem.

Unfortunately for people in that area, they said nothing can be done.

"Wear a hat, wear a helmet if you have to," Mike Owens with Jonesboro Animal Control said.

Owens said the hawk, whose signature move is a dive bomb, is simply protecting its young.

"Even if we caught it and we took it to Kansas City, the hawk is going to come back," Owens said.

He stated the hawk cannot be removed and relocated, and even if it were, he said the hawk knows where its nest is.

"No matter how far we take them off, they're going to come back," Owens said. "So the best thing we can do is work with them for a little while, another month maybe and the babies will be gone, and the Hawk will be gone."

For neighbors, that's not the answer they want to hear.

Some have been injured by the protective bird of prey.

Dr. Mary Jackson-Pitts lives on the corner of Neville and James Street and walks her dogs in the area everyday/

Thursday, she was walking where she thought was a safe zone under the pine trees.

She ended up being a main target suffering a minor cut to her scalp after the bird swooped down and hit her on the head.

"I'm just walking along down through here and all of a sudden I get this BAM right here on the side of my head and I though oh my goodness what is that," said Pitts.

"I've talked to several people that's been injured, that's had scratches on their head," Owens said. "We've been told that a man had seven stitches on his head. It's their nature. That's what they're doing to protect their babies. You can't really blame them. I know it's really aggravating to people, especially people who live around here close and walk every afternoon."

However, he said until the baby birds leave and the over protective parents leave, it's best to stay far away.

"Because I can guarantee you that hawk is gonna take a dive at you," Owens said.

Though Arkansas Game and Fish said there's nothing to be done about the bird's location, Pitts is more concerned that that location is near the city pool.

"Now we do have a lot kids riding bicycle, don't want them to get popped in the head," said Pitts. "I wasn't wearing my hat this morning but I am wearing my hat this afternoon."

Pitts said she's always had a fear of birds after watching Alfred Hitchcock's film The Birds but she said she's not going to let that stop her from her daily walks.

A biologist with AGFC suggested neighbors or those walking on James Street carry something like an umbrella and act aggressive back to the hawk.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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