Nesting hawks force campuses to re-route students

Jul 23, 2018, 9:50 AM | Updated: 10:23 am

A red-tailed hawk soars in the sky...

This Shutterstock image shows a red-tailed hawk in flight. According to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, it is the state's most commonly seen bird of prey.

PROVO — A pair of nesting hawks, apparently protecting their fledglings, are threatening walking students, faculty and staff at BYU. And they’re not the only hawks getting a little close and personal with college campus pedestrians in Utah.

In Provo, the Daily Universe reports the hawks have been dive-bombing¬†pedestrians walking by their nest behind the Karl G. Maeser building on the campus of Brigham Young University Campus. According to the paper, several people walking by have heard a “whoosh,” then been hit on the head by wings. Campus officials closed a portion of the sidewalk to protect pedestrians as well as the birds, whose fledglings appear to be getting ready to fly.

Hawks are protective parents

In June, 11 passers-by were attacked by a pair of hawks at Dixie State University, and one person was slightly hurt. Taking it in stride, some employees named DSU’s nesters “Dixie and Rebel,” and their chicks “Storm and Blaze.”

In May 2016, another nesting hawk attacked teachers and students at BYU. And in August 2017, similar activity troubled Syracuse residents.


The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources says red-tailed hawks are the most commonly seen birds of prey in the state. Their range runs from Alaska to Central America, which means they can be found in all parts of Utah. While most commonly they build their nests in the tallest trees, they mate for life and often return to the same nesting area for multiple years.

While Swoop, the University of Utah mascot, is also a red-tailed hawk, there is no truth to the rumor that Swoop is, in fact, attacking students at BYU. However, Cosmo the Cougar was spotted giving Swoop a little side-eye just in case. Cougars, also known as mountain lions, generally prefer to prey on small mammals; red-tailed hawks are one of the creatures considered to be at the top of the food chain, but they tend to prefer other birds and rodents to big cats.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.


FILE: Jerry Monson helps his grandson Logan Webb with his orange while in camp above the Strawberry...

Alexandrea Bonilla

Bill would reduce amount of orange Utah hunters must wear

A bill would reduce the amount of orange required by hunters.

49 minutes ago

Brent Warner works on training and obedience as he helps Rudy over the ramp. Smokey waits his turn....

Michael Camit

Tooele dog trainers urge pet owners to retrain instead of surrender

Keeping a pet that is unruly may be as simple as seeking out training, some of which can be found for free.

4 hours ago

FILE: Citizens crowd in classrooms at Mt. Logan Middle School in Logan, Utah a Republican caucus me...

Peter Johnston

Utah Republican and Democratic caucuses are coming up. Here’s how they work

One Utah party will hold a caucus next week to determine a presidential preference, another will meet, but ultimately decide by mail.

6 hours ago

Utah MLB...

Aimee Cobabe

Legislature approves bill funding Utah MLB stadium, Fairpark District

As it reads now, House Bill 562 retains an increased tax on car rentals, but removes a hike in the hotel tax.

9 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks during a rally at the Noorda Center for the Pe...

Adam Small

‘I’m going to keep fighting,’ says Nikki Haley as she looks to swing Utah voters

While in Utah, Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley said she believes she's giving Americans a better choice.

11 hours ago

A woman found unresponsive by police in Box Elder Creek was pronounced dead at a hospital on Tuesda...

Simone Seikaly

Woman found unresponsive in Box Elder Creek pronounced dead

Brigham City police were investigating a possible missing person when they said they found a body in Box Elder Creek

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

overhead view of a few aisles in a department store...

Big Deal Outlet

There is a Big Deal coming to Midvale: Local discount chain opens 8th store

If you love the thrill of finding good deals, check out the grand opening of Big Deal Outlet in Midvale from February 29 - March 2.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Nesting hawks force campuses to re-route students