Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 1 votes, 5.00 average.
Old Monday 24th March 2008, 05:34   #1
shawna954
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 1
Question Hawk Attack?

Orange County, California

Hi all,

I'm college student/lifeguard. Recently I was lifeguarding when two birds, (what I think were a hawk and a dove) landed almost at my feat in the middle of quite a battle. (The hawk was winning). I honestly was terrified and had no idea what to do (this isn't something they teach you in lifeguard training). Eventually the hawk 'picked up' the dove but only made it a few feat and dropped the dove in the pool (luckily no one was swimming in that lane). What I didn't really think of as strange at the time was that the hawk just flew away and left the his prey floating in the pool. So, I radioed the maintenance guy and he came with a net and took the dead bird away (there was no saving it : ( ). About 15 minutes later the hawk returned. I realized at this point that the hawk was probably looking for the bird that he had killed. The hawk stuck around the pool and honestly scared me to death for a good hour or two. I tried walking around the pool but the hawk always positioned himself to my back.

So here are my questions:

I live in Orange County, CA, does anyone know if hawks here would be willing to attack people?

What kind of hawk do you think this one was? It was brown and kind of small. I am from the the High Desert of California and the hawks we have there seem significantly larger. Maybe this is just a young hawk?

Are there doves in Orange County, CA?

Well, thanks to those of you that read this. I thought this was quite an interesting story to share. I don't know how often people witness hawk attacks, but I thought this one was well worth sharing.

THANKS!

Last edited by shawna954 : Monday 24th March 2008 at 05:38. Reason: mention location earlier.
shawna954 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 24th March 2008, 13:25   #2
ceasar
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: NE Pennsylvania
Posts: 8,139
Hi Shawna,
To answer a few questions: Mourning Doves are year round residents in southern California. Hawks rarely attack humans but have been known to harass people by flying close to them if they get too close to their nests during nesting season.

It's not easy to determine what kind of hawk attacked the dove. You say it was small and brown. If it was about the same size as the dove it could have been a Sharp-shinned hawk. Both are about 11 inches long. It would have had trouble trying to carry off the dove although it probably could have killed it and feasted on it at the site. A more likely possibility is a Cooper's hawk, which looks almost exactly like a Sharp-shin but is larger, averaging about 16 inches in length. The juveniles (1st year birds) of both species are brown in color on their backs which turns to gray as they mature. Both of these hawks winter over in your area. Another possiblity is a Merlin, which is a small Falcon, but the western variety is dark gray to almost black on it's back.

Why don't you go to a Barnes & Noble book store in your area and take look into a bird guide like Peterson's or Sibley's or Kaufman's. Find the illustrations for the above birds and try to determine for yourself what it was? You might even like it and buy it! And welcome to Bird Forum!
Cordially,
Bob
ceasar is online now  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2010
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Monday 24th March 2008, 16:34   #3
joannec
Registered User
 
joannec's Avatar

 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Sussex, England
Posts: 6,873
Hi Shawna

Welcome to Birdforum. What an exciting account but I don't think you personally have to worry about being attacked! Agree with what Caeser says. BF has a fantastic resource at the top of the page. Go to Opus, then type in Sharp-shinned hawk or Coopers hawk and you'll get pictures and a discription.
__________________
It is easier to criticize somebody else than to see yourself. G Harrison
joannec is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2007 2009
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Monday 24th March 2008, 16:44   #4
Chato
Registered User
 
Chato's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: New York City
Posts: 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by ceasar View Post
Hi Shawna,
To answer a few questions: Mourning Doves are year round residents in southern California. Hawks rarely attack humans but have been known to harass people by flying close to them if they get too close to their nests during nesting season.

It's not easy to determine what kind of hawk attacked the dove. You say it was small and brown. If it was about the same size as the dove it could have been a Sharp-shinned hawk. Both are about 11 inches long. It would have had trouble trying to carry off the dove although it probably could have killed it and feasted on it at the site. A more likely possibility is a Cooper's hawk, which looks almost exactly like a Sharp-shin but is larger, averaging about 16 inches in length. The juveniles (1st year birds) of both species are brown in color on their backs which turns to gray as they mature. Both of these hawks winter over in your area. Another possiblity is a Merlin, which is a small Falcon, but the western variety is dark gray to almost black on it's back.

Why don't you go to a Barnes & Noble book store in your area and take look into a bird guide like Peterson's or Sibley's or Kaufman's. Find the illustrations for the above birds and try to determine for yourself what it was? You might even like it and buy it! And welcome to Bird Forum!
Cordially,
Bob
Good post!

A number of birds can get quite aggressive when protecting their young. Although I'm out and about shooting birds almost every day, I've only been "warned" off by Hawks on one occasion. On the other hand Terns often attack me, and Willets apparently regard entire marsh areas as their territory. There's one place that I haunt, where from early June to July they attack me every day.

Nor are they "kidding" around. I always wonder who's paying them for all the time they spend harrassing me.

Mockingbirds seem to attack for the hell of it...

Dave
__________________
"Everyone who has ever lived, has lived in modern times."
Chato is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 24th March 2008, 16:55   #5
Jim M.
Choose Civility

 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 6,039
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chato View Post
Although I'm out and about shooting birds almost every day
Hi Dave,

Just wanted to clarify to the first time poster who started this thread that you mean "shooting birds" with a camera!

Best,
Jim
Jim M. is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2013
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Monday 24th March 2008, 17:16   #6
AlexC
Opus Editor
 
AlexC's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Posts: 4,679
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawna954 View Post
I live in Orange County, CA, does anyone know if hawks here would be willing to attack people?
As stated above, only if you get too close to nests - but don't worry, nesting shouldn't begin for another 1-3 months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shawna954 View Post
What kind of hawk do you think this one was?
I would agree on the 1st year Coop hypothesis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shawna954 View Post
Maybe this is just a young hawk?
Contrary to many non-birders' beliefs, young birds are not smaller than adult birds. When fledglings leave the nest, they are in fact usually BIGGER than their adult counterparts, as they have more fat tissue on them. They must go through this rapid growth so that they can safely survive in the wild - in the case of hawks, to catch food!
__________________
--Alex (formerly 'overworkedirish')
My Gallery | My Life List of Life (live GoogleDoc)
Latest Lifer: White-headed Woodpecker (621 World, 533/524 ABA).
Latest '14er: Brown Creeper (289/286 ABA; 254/249 CA; 225/220 LA Co.).
AlexC is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Monday 24th March 2008, 17:45   #7
Chato
Registered User
 
Chato's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: New York City
Posts: 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Moore View Post
Hi Dave,

Just wanted to clarify to the first time poster who started this thread that you mean "shooting birds" with a camera!

Best,
Jim
Oh, sorry, I meant a 12 guage D2x...

On photography boards I often joke about taking a shotgun with me to deal with the Willets. I've heard people complain about Terns, who can be pretty aggressive, and as far as I know I'm the only one who whines and snivels about Willets. But on this particular beach, they go for me!

I enjoy complaining more that I dislike the birds.

But here's a "Dave's" eye view of a Willet attack...

BTW, when I say, "they," sometimes as many as five or six will go after me at the same time. Odd. These are not really a bird that "flocks," or at least not like Terns.

Dave
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	WILLET333.jpg
Views:	97
Size:	71.6 KB
ID:	131359  Click image for larger version

Name:	WILLET6.JPG
Views:	105
Size:	31.1 KB
ID:	131360  
__________________
"Everyone who has ever lived, has lived in modern times."
Chato is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 4th April 2008, 13:43   #8
ceasar
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: NE Pennsylvania
Posts: 8,139
Here is a link describing an attack by a Red-tailed hawk that took place in Fenway Park, Boston yesterday. The bird had a nest nearby.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...MPLATE=DEFAULT

Bob
ceasar is online now  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2010
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Friday 4th April 2008, 14:06   #9
Jim M.
Choose Civility

 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 6,039
Quote:
Originally Posted by ceasar View Post
Here is a link describing an attack by a Red-tailed hawk that took place in Fenway Park, Boston yesterday. The bird had a nest nearby.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...MPLATE=DEFAULT

Bob
Another article stated she was about 40 feet from the nest (which has now been removed by wildlife officials). Also, it should be noted that the "attack" only resulted in a scratch.

Best,
Jim
Jim M. is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2013
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Friday 4th April 2008, 15:07   #10
Gentoo
Registered Member

 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: california
Posts: 2,624
My guess is a Cooper's. Sharp-Shins and Merlin's are usually gone from California by April. Could be one passing through though, although the bold behavior of this bird point more to Cooper's as well as they seem to have less fear of people than other hawks.

Mourning Dove is most likely the dove you saw although Spotted Doves also live in Orange County.

As far as the attacking goes, most hawks rarely attack people (Harriers are a major exception!). You're much more likely to be attacked as mentioned above by Mockingbirds. Brewer's Blackbirds are the same way as Mockingbirds.

But let me tell you, there's nothing like being dive bombed by enraged Western Gulls who's young have jumped off the roof top where they nested and are now wondering around a theme park.
Gentoo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 4th April 2008, 16:36   #11
PONYRCR
Registered User
 
PONYRCR's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: El Segundo, CA
Posts: 537
American Crows will go after you as well.

Last year we had people getting attacked at my work. A pair of crows nested in a tree that's right next to the door of the main executive building. The crows were attacking people coming and going through that door.

The labor guys had to get in a cherry picker and don hard hats to move the nest. Even then the attacks continued. Once the babies fledged and were learning to fly the parents attacked anyone who came near a 'downed' fledgling.

This lasted for about a month.
__________________
Resident Horse Racing Nut.
PONYRCR is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Attack!! BirdGal Garden Birds, Bird Feeding & Nestboxes 3 Friday 17th March 2006 02:40
Please ID Bird That Survived a Hawk Attack sharingsunshine Bird Identification Q&A 5 Friday 15th July 2005 01:29
Another Attack snapper Garden Birds, Bird Feeding & Nestboxes 21 Monday 16th May 2005 12:30
Owl Attack stepsus Birds Of Prey 7 Thursday 28th October 2004 10:56

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.17360091 seconds with 23 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 11:51.