WEATHER ALERT

Hawks terrorize Transcona neighbourhood

Residents demand action after latest bird attack

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After her mother was attacked and forced to the ground by a Cooper’s hawk a couple weeks ago, Krista Gerbrandt is asking the province to do something about the birds nesting in a Transcona neighbourhood.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/06/2020 (829 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

After her mother was attacked and forced to the ground by a Cooper’s hawk a couple weeks ago, Krista Gerbrandt is asking the province to do something about the birds nesting in a Transcona neighbourhood.

“She had lacerations all on her scalp, her face, near her eye, her forehead,” said Gerbrandt. “She’s 64 years old and it shook her pretty hard, so that was really the final straw for me.”

A family of Cooper’s hawks has been nesting in the area for years, but Gerbrandt said they’re more aggressive than ever. She lives on Rosseau Avenue East in Transcona and said this is the first year the hawks nested on her street — they’ve been holed up one street over on Ravelston Avenue East for the past few years.

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE Press Files A Cooper’s hawk leaves its nest along Ravelston Avenue last June. A woman in Transcona was recently attacked, leading to a call for action.

Gerbrandt said the hawks have attacked her children in the past, but with school cancelled because of COVID-19 there is less opportunity for an attack to happen. However, she is still worried about it. “I mean if they did that to my mom I would hate to think what it would do to a seven-year-old walking to school,” she said.

The hawks aren’t just attacking residents — Gerbrandt said they’re also preventing mail from being delivered to their home.

“We don’t get mail because the mail man gets attacked,” said Gerbrandt. “For the last two months we’ve had to go to the depot to get the mail if we want our mail. It’s little inconveniences for sure, but we shouldn’t need to feel unsafe on our own street.”

The province said the nest can’t be removed, but the hawks should be less aggressive in about two weeks as their young grow older and leave the area.

“Legislation prevents the removal of the hawk, nestlings, and nest,” said a provincial spokesperson. “Learning to cohabitate with wildlife is important and children should be made aware that this is not a common occurrence.”

The province also said they are aware of the nest, but conservation officers have not been able to locate it. They are currently talking to other avian experts to see if additional action can be taken.

“I think it’s a little ridiculous to be honest,” said Gerbrandt. “These are Cooper’s hawks, they’re not endangered, and they’re not a protected species. So, why there’s provincial legislation protecting them is sort of beyond me.”

The province said if people are walking around the area, they should be aware and keep their eye on the hawks, travel in groups, raise their arms or hat to scare the bird away and if they are overly concerned, they should pass through the area with an umbrella.

“I’m pretty pissed that I’m being told by the province that the lives of these birds are more important than the safety and well-being of the people on this street,” said Gerbrandt.

kellen.taniguchi@freepress.mb.ca

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