As the summer season kicks in, outdoor enthusiasts are being urged to exercise caution and remain vigilant, particularly when near trees that may house hawk nests.

Recent hawk attacks have caught people off guard, resulting in injuries and highlighting the need for awareness.

According to Mark Hart, a representative from Arizona Game and Fish Tucson, these attacks are not uncommon during this time of year. Hawks can become defensive, especially when their offspring are present in the nest.

He also said since May, there have been four reported attacks, all with minor injuries.

“It’s happening now because hawks are in the nest, and when there are young ones in the nest, they can become very defensive when they perceive a threat,” explained Hart.

Hawks are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, direct action against them is prohibited.

Hart suggests a proactive approach for individuals venturing outdoors. Carrying an opened umbrella, positioned against the shoulder to shield the head and neck, is an effective measure against potential strikes.

“I’ve got a clipboard; I’d put it on my head if I had to protect myself. A backpack, anything that protects your head and shoulder areas,” advised Hart.

For those residing near hawk nests, Hart recommends keeping a safe distance as most hawks will leave once their offspring can fly.

“In the meantime, setting up traffic barricades, using safety tape, and informing neighbors about the situation can help raise awareness and prevent incidents,” he said.