Orlando-area golf club warns patrons of aggressive hawks

- If you're a golfer at Orange Tree Golf Course, watch out! That's the message the club is getting out to its clients.

Signs are up warning golfers that they're sharing the golf course with more than humans, aggressive hawks are also on the links.

"Cover their heads and kind of protect the tops of their heads with either umbrellas or hats," says Asst. Golf Pro Jack Reidhead.

The warning comes after the golf club says clients have been previously attacked.

"Hawk kind of dive-bombed her and attacked her because there were rumors she was around the nest and the hawk was kind of just protecting its area,  says Reidhead.

Shawnlei Breeding with Audubon Center for Birds of Prey says that is exactly what red shouldered hawks will do: protect their young. 

Red-shouldered hawks are the most common type of hawk in Florida, and they're the kind you'll see at the course. They're also known to be aggressive.

"They may scratch or grab your hair, etc. You would definitely want to protect yourself because their talons are their weapons, and that's what they kill their food with," says Breeding.

The nesting season for red shouldered hawks doesn't start until April, but Breeding says it's not uncommon for birds to start nesting early.  The hawk nesting season ends in mid-summer.

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