Aggressive hawk attacks Forest Hills woman
Despite the warm, sunny weather on Sunday afternoon, neighbors on Filmore Road in Forest Hills watched the skies with apprehension.
A pair of red-shouldered hawks have been swooping at residents of the 400 block for the past two weeks. An attack on Saturday sent Eileen Bridge to Forbes Regional Hospital when one of the raptors crashed into her head as she washed her car in her driveway.
“All of a sudden, he came at me at 100 mph,” said Bridge, 64, who had a blackened right eye, a cut above her eyebrow and scrapes on her head and ear. “He hit me and knocked me down on my butt... I was a bloody mess.”
She lost consciousness for 15-20 seconds after the collision, and went to Forbes for a head scan to make sure she didn't have a concussion or some other injury, she said.
Bridge said representatives of the Pennsylvania Game Commission told her they'd try this week to climb the 70-foot pine tree on the hill behind her house to possibly move the hawks' nest and two or three chicks, leaving her afraid to use her back deck or front yard for several more days. A backyard cookout with her mother, son and grandchildren was moved indoors, she said.
Game Commission officials could not be reached.
“We've been keeping our kids inside after yesterday,” said neighbor Cathleen Perry, 44, who said the hawks have swooped low several times and intimidated her and her children, 6 and 2 years old.
“We're all kind of scared, because there are a lot of young, really small kids in the neighborhood,” Perry said. “I've been telling my 6-year-old to wear a hat when he goes outside, for all the good that will do.”
Sara Gorney got home about 2 p.m. Saturday and saw Bridge holding a towel against her head, with police cars around her.
“I thought she got hit (by a car). (Another) neighbor told me it was a hawk,” said Gorney, 38. “It's ridiculous. I live five minutes from the city. We've seen them out.”
“We've had hawks in Forest Hills for five or six years now,” said Mayor Marty O'Malley, who said he saw one in the top of a nearby tree.
Kurt Hundgen, director of animal collections at The National Aviary on the North Side, said the swooping was typical behavior for some types of hawk, especially as their chicks get older and prepare to leave the nest. It can take six to eight weeks for the chicks to leave the nest and the parents to move on, so it could be mid- to late June before Filmore Road residents can go outside without checking the skies and treetops.
“There's really not much advice for people; just to stay away from the area because it's a natural behavior,” Hundgen said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Allegheny County councilwoman Danko dies at 61
- Witness: Driver who caused fatal Route 28 accident ‘came out of nowhere’
- Pitt joins Giant Eagle, sets goal to put more disabled on payroll
- Controller releases report on Allegheny County finances
- High-speed police chase ends with crash in Ross
- Judge rules for railroad in suit over death of Homewood man
- Woman drove over, damaged fire hose while going to store, Penn Hills official says
- Pittsburgh police searching for man who robbed bank in Deutschtown
- Uptown neighborhood in Pittsburgh on verge of breakthrough
- Candidates for Allegheny County controller blame each other for 35 percent pay raise
- McConway & Torley steel foundry under fire in trendy Lawrenceville