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Aggressive hawk attacking Suffolk County residents, Northport officials say

At least one hawk attacking Northport residents, officials say 02:31

NORTHPORT, N.Y. -- Northport officials say at least one hawk has attacked nearly a dozen people since last summer.

In the picturesque, waterfront village, locals are sounding the alarm about a not-so-inviting neighbor.

"It seems to be following you down Main Street and making a screechy, scary sound," Northport resident Anne Canadeo said.

As CBS2's Andrea Grymes reports, the aggressive hawk is living in a tree near Main and Church streets.

Terence O'Brien's home is near the nest.

 "Attacked me. Twice," he said.

He was the hawk's target a few weeks ago.

"The talons went right through my head," O'Brien said. "I screamed, actually. It didn't hurt or anything, but it was, like, right here."

As he was telling Grymes he hasn't seen the bird in several days, it appeared.

"Oh wait, is that it?" Grymes asked.

"That's it. That's the female," O'Brien said. "That's the other one. They're both here. Yeah, they're both here."

He says the male hawk lived there at least a year with no trouble, until he found his mate. He believes the larger female is the aggressor.

O'Brien is not the only victim. Village trustee Dave Weber says they've had issues with hawks since last July.

"There's been 15 reported incidents. Eleven of those have been actual attacks. Seven of those attacks have required medical attention," he said. "The bird swooped down and scratched their head, shoulder."

Last August, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says they trapped a juvenile, red-tailed hawk from the area, put a tracking band on it and relocated it to a Suffolk County park, but the incidents did not stop.

Weber says the village is working with the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the USDA to get this resolved as quickly as possible.

The DEC says the public should remain alert. If you see a hawk approaching, they recommend facing it, since hawks generally approach humans from behind. Be loud, wave your arms, be intimidating, and if all else fails, be ready to duck.

The village is not publicizing the exact location of the nest. They don't want people congregating to take pictures or disturbing efforts to capture the bird, which is a federally protected species.

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