Saturday, 7 August 2010

Dive-bombing hawks send posties running

By QMI Agency

Postal workers in Moose Jaw, Sask., are taking cover after hawks have started to dive-bomb them.

Residents in about four city blocks have been told their mail delivery will be suspended because the Swainson's hawks pose a threat to workers, Teresa Williams of Canada Post told QMI Agency Friday.

"They're defending their nest," she said, adding the birds' talons could seriously injure someone. "It can be quite dangerous."

While residents might not be happy with having to go to the post office to pick up their mail, Williams said many people understand because this is the second year in a row the birds have behaved this way.

"They weren't aggressive for quite some time. I don't know why they became aggressive now. Maybe their young hatched," Williams said.

"We can't shoo it away," she added. "Nature has to take its course."

Williams said they're unsure how long home delivery will have to be suspended. Last year, people had to go to the post office for their mail for several weeks.

The Peregrine Fund says Swainson's hawks are often found in open grasslands, prairies, farmlands and deserts that have some trees for nesting. The female hawk will lay two or three eggs, which are incubated for 34 days, and then the young fledge about six weeks later.

"At one time, hawks avoided the city but now they're moving in," Williams said, noting Canada Post is watching the birds this year to come up with a plan if they return to the same nest next summer.

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