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Purdue looks for ways to move 2 aggressive hawks

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -– Purdue is consulting with state officials to determine the best way to remove two red-tailed hawks that reportedly scratched two graduate students in the past month in a grassy area just west of the Birck Nanotechnology Center.

The most recent injury occurred Friday (Nov. 5). The injuries in both cases were minor, but individuals in that area have been encouraged to carry umbrellas to ward off potential attacks until the problem is addressed.

In the past, the hawks have occasionally been aggressive during nesting season, but not during this time of year, said Ronald Mundell, who supervises the university’s pest control area. During nesting season, the problem often is solved by moving the nests.

Mundell’s office will work with the wildlife services of USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to determine the best approach to trapping or otherwise encouraging the birds to move on. Generally, he said, if one of the hawks is captured or chased away, its mate will follow.

Like all birds of prey, red-tailed hawks are protected by federal and state laws.

How to identify a red-tailed hawk

The image above describes characteristics of red-tail hawks that aid in identification. Perhaps 'strongly dislikes grad students' should be added to the list.

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