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Hawks are terrorizing a Texas neighborhood, with mail delivery suspended due to attacks

The hawks have drawn blood on several occasions.

Territorial hawks have ambushed an Austin neighborhood, causing several injuries and prompting a pause in mail delivery out of safety concerns for mail carriers.

In recent weeks, hawks have attacked multiple people in Austin’s Travis Heights neighborhood, the Austin American-Statesman reported. The birds use their talons to scratch the heads, necks and backs of people running down the street, mowing their lawns or simply walking to their cars.

On several occasions, the hawks have drawn blood, the newspaper reported.


“They’re majestic, beautiful animals, but like, it sucks,” Alfredo Del Barrio, who lives in the house behind the hawks’ tree, told the Statesman. “We can’t even walk out to an Uber. I run out to Ubers with my arms covering my head.”

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Other neighbors carry large umbrellas or colorful streamers to protect themselves against the hawks.

Travis Heights resident Eric Klein shows his new umbrella he bought to protect himself from local hawks on Friday, July 14, 2023. After many run-ins with the local hawks, he purchased an extra large umbrella for protection when walking around the neighborhood. (Kara Hawley)

Residents said the hawks have lived in the neighborhood for at least three years. From early March to mid-July, they tend to their nests and feed their hatchlings. Their species is not known, the paper reported, but some have guessed the birds are red-shouldered or broad-winged hawks.

Neighbors have few options for getting rid of the hawks, which are protected by both Texas and federal law. It is illegal to destroy a nest that has eggs or chicks in it or if the fledglings are still dependent on the nest for survival, Blake Hendon, a wildlife biologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife, told Axios.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service said that mail carriers have resumed delivery on a day-to-day basis “where and when it is safe to do so,” the Statesman reported.


Eric Klein, who was caught on a security camera being attacked, said he and his neighbors have experienced something similar to post traumatic stress disorder because of the hawks.

“It’s a really big deal. I’m standing in my driveway with an umbrella, and I’ve had neighbors walk by and laugh,” Klein told the newspaper. “I kind of think to myself, ‘Yeah, I get it. I would laugh too, but you haven’t been cut open by this guy.’”

A giant tree sits on Milan Place in Travis Heights on July 12, 2023. The tree is home to a hawk and its fledglings, as residents have reported attacks every spring, dating back two years.(Kara Hawley)