Homeowners under attack by hawks in West University

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Homeowners under siege by hawk, Miya Shay reports. (KTRK)

Allyson Cunius never thought she'd be wearing a bike helmet in her tranquil West University backyard, but a pair of broad-wing hawks have left her no other choice.

"We have an attack hawk living in our backyard. It's attacking our families, the neighbors and our pool guy," said Cunius, who has spent a lot time figuring out how to deal with the hawk issue.

Last week, just as the pool guy was finishing up work in her backyard, one of the hawks attacked him. A few hours later, Cunius' husband went outside with a baseball bat. For some reason, he thought a bat would deter the hawk. No such luck. He was attacked too, and it was also caught on video.

"We've gotten a lot of advice," said Cunius, who quickly heard from neighbors in the same predicament.

Around the corner at Allison Laird's house, she's put up netting over her backyard. The same pair of hawks attacked her husband twice in one day. The second time, it left a clear V shaped mark on his scalp.

"It's like funny not funny, because my husband got scratched on the head," said Laird, who added that her kids are fascinated. "The story, sounds like a party joke. It sounds like it's made up."

Except it's all too real.

Initially, Laird called 911, which sent Houston Animal Control. Then, she called a professional falconer. The experts told her the same thing: It's breeding season, and the hawks are protecting their young.

That means until the baby hawks grow up a bit and can be on their own, the pair of mom and dad hawks will continue to protect their young. For the West University neighbors, that means keeping those bike helmets close by.

"It's making for great cocktail conversation, but I'm ready for the hawk to calm down, and its babies to leave so we can enjoy our backyard," added Cunius.
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