Metro neighborhood always on the lookout this time of year for hawks

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People in one northeast Albuquerque neighborhood are are keeping a closer eye on their pets and sometimes ducking for cover after a couple of hawks moved in.

Neighbors who live near Marion Fox Park say for years, hawks have come and gone during migration season.

“Some of the neighbors really study them,” Leah Steimel said. “Anytime you’re walking in the park, people will comment.”

This time, it’s a pair. They’ve built their nest high above the ground in the middle of Marion Fox Park. It’s part of the Fair West neighborhood in the Northeast Heights. They’ve moved in and according to neighbors, these birds are not afraid to protect their territory.

Peter Kempert knows this for a fact. 

“I’ve been swooped,” he said. “I felt my hair move when they came by and let me know I was in their area.”

Kempert has even found one hanging out in his backyard. Other neighbors have too, and they don’t seem to mind. 

“The hawks come and sit on the umbrella of the picnic table and hang out at the water fountain,” Steimel said. 

However, KRQE News 13 spoke with some neighbors who say although the hawks don’t bother them all that much, they’re not fans. One neighbor said she’s seen how aggressive and intimidating these birds can be.

“This man throwing the Frisbee to the dog and that hawk did not like that Frisbee,” she said. “He kept diving at that Frisbee and finally the man packed up and went home. So the hawk won.”

Some neighbors also said they are always on the lookout for the hawks, especially the neighbors with smaller dogs.

Experts with U.S. Fish and Wildlife said about this time is when these birds start nesting. They said as long as people don’t taunt them, the hawks should leave them alone.    

Hawks are federally protected birds. U.S. Fish and Wildlife said it’s illegal to try and capture them or even move or knock down their nest.

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