74-year-old Richard VarVir was attacked by a hawk in May this year, while mowing his lawn in Westlake, Ohio.
reported that this was not the first time the hawk was seen in the area, but it had never attempted to attack a human before.
“This particular day it landed square on his head with its talons, right through his stocking cap,” Mrs. Varvir said describing her husband's ordeal.
“When it hit me, I put my hand on my head and I was bleeding and I ended up going to the Cleveland Clinic and getting a tetanus shot,” Mr. Varvir added.
The Varvirs fear for the safety of children in the neighborhood.
“My biggest fear is if a child walks out here and I wouldn’t want to see that happen,” Richard Varvir explains.
A similar unsettling event took place in August in Calgary, in the Canadian Alberta region. A hawk swooped in on a man while he was jogging in close proximity to the Alberta Children's Hospital, leaving him with a few ugly cuts.
“[When] I got in the car and my hands were covered in blood and my shirt was all covered in blood,” Peter Laycock, the victim of the attack, told CBC
Hawk attacks on humans are extremely rare. These predators are known to attack humans only when they feel their nests are being endangered. Perhaps this is the case here, as the nest is located in the proximity of Mr. Varvir's home.
When they do attack, it's usually a case of mothers trying to rid their young of potential dangers. Nicola Murphy at the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society confirmed to CBC that in the Calgary attack the hawk was also a protective mother.
In the US, the hawk is a protected species, and its nest cannot be moved until all its eggs have hatched. However, the Varvirs must remove the tree in which the hawk nested completely to prevent other attacks, as these birds tend to revisit their former nesting area each spring.