Florida

‘I can’t run or move fast enough’: Elderly woman imprisoned by hawk outside home

A hawk perches atop a for sale sign outside the former Jocks & Jills Sports Grill on Sheraton Drive Thursday morning.
A hawk perches atop a for sale sign outside the former Jocks & Jills Sports Grill on Sheraton Drive Thursday morning. jvorhees@macon.com

June Miller feels like a prisoner in her own home.

The Florida woman doesn’t have agoraphobia, a fear of open places, and there’s nothing physically wrong with her.

Miller’s problem is a hawk. Its nest is perched on top of her second-floor bay window.

The 91-year-old retiree told News 6 in Orlando that she first noticed it the hawk’s nest in December at her house at Pelican Bay Golf Community in Daytona Beach.

“I can’t go out my back door. I can’t go out my front door. I can’t even sit on my driveway in my garage,” she said. “It is a huge nest. And he’s being very aggressive. I can’t run or move fast enough.”

Past interactions have proven painful. She told the station she was attacked three separate times. The bird swooped in on her head, leaving scars. It has also slammed against her windows.

Miller is desperate.

“If the babies are in it, take them with them. I just want help,” she said.

A spokesman for Pelican Bay Golf Community told the Miami Herald that he wasn’t surprised about the situation.

“There’s a lot of wildlife on this property,” he said. “Hawks, eagles, lots of different stuff lives out there.”

He suggested the resident call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to get a permit approved to get a professional out there and remove it.

Ron Magill of Zoo Miami, sympathizes with Miller.

“This is an ongoing issue at this time of the year with a wide variety of birds!” he told the Herald. “Though mockingbirds are the ones most mentioned, any bird that happens to nest in an area that is frequented by people or pets is likely to dive bomb whatever they interpret as a threat to the eggs and chicks.”

Hawks are not nearly as common because they usually nest far from human traffic, he said, this woman had some bad luck.

But her problem is not to be taken lightly.

“Hawks can do some serious damage with not only their beaks, but even more so with their talons and can inflict a fairly serious injury that may even need stitches,” Magill added. “The bad news is that these birds are indeed protected and that unless you can demonstrate a real threat of serious bodily injury to yourself or others, you cannot do anything to hurt them. The bottom line is that this is not as much aggressive behavior as it is defensive behavior from a mother/father that is simply protecting its nest and family from what it perceives as a serious threat.”

The bright spot for Miller? As soon as the chicks fledge the nest, the behavior will stop — though that may not be until well into July, he concluded.

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