CORRALES, N.M. (KRQE) - A New Mexico family says they have to use umbrellas when they step out of their back door to keep a swooping mother hawk out of their hair -- and there's nothing they can do to force her to move out of their yard.
The Reeves family just moved into this home about a year ago. Soon enough though, a hawk moved in too.
"She's relentless in protecting her nest," said Andrew Reeves, describing the hawk.
A few weeks ago, this hawk began raising her young in a tree right in the middle of the Corrales family's backyard.
This forced the Reeves family to turn the backyard into a ropes course in order to keep the protective mom from dive-bombing too low.
"I have to mow the lawn at night or at dusk, or we have to carry umbrellas. It's frustrating and I can't do anything about it," said Reeves.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife says hawks are very aggressive when their eggs hatch. However, they say the nightmare should be over soon since baby hawks are only live with their parents for about a month.
Still, due to federal protections for hawks under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Reeves can't do anything to remove the mother hawk.
"The federal guy says you're stuck with it and if anything happens to that bird, this call has been logged so we know it's there, and if anything happens to that bird you could be liable," said Reeves.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife says if a hawk gets too aggressive and makes physical contact, you do have a right to defend yourself. They add that the owner can remove the nest in the winter time to discourage the hawk from coming back.