LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — In Lafayette, residents started having concerns after seeing hawks flying around their house and even into their windows.
Stevan Bell (Lafayette resident): “During the night, we kept hearing some pecking at the window like something was hitting it. We opened the blinds up and saw it was a bird. My son took a picture of the bird as it was stuck on the screen, called wildlife and they said it was a hawk.
Bells says the hawk running into his window occurred for several days, leading him to wonder if it’s common to see hawks in the area.
Robert Dobbs with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says the red-shouldered hawk pictured, also Mississippi Kite and Cooper’s Hawks are common in areas like Lafayette, especially near large trees and wooded areas.
Since many hawks of this size prey on insects and smaller mammals, there is no real threat to humans or their pets.
Robert Dobbs: “Occasionally a hawk will go after a person that gets too close to its nest. It’ll dive bomb that person, come close, or even pop that person on the head. Luckily these birds that are nesting in town are so used to people that it’s not so much an issue.”
With Bell’s main issue being the hawk flying into his windows, Dobbs says this is due to windows showing a reflection of the environment; giving the illusion there is more area for the bird to fly towards.
The hawks may also peck at their own relfection in the window or mirrors thinking it’s a rival coming after their nest.
Dobbs says window colissions are actually a major cause of bird deaths in suburban areas, and there are steps home and business owners can take to avoid birds flying into their windows.
Robert Dobbs: “Many many birds die each year because they’re hitting windows, and theres a few things people can do to reduce that. One being external screens, that’ll break that up. Keeping blinds and curtains closed when you’re not in the house or wanting that sunlight. Small pieces of tape or little dots in a pattern. There are many options that folks can find online.
The department of wildlife says this is the time of year for hawks to be mating so if you see them flying near your home remain patient. When the newborns are able to fly on their own, they should fly away.