VIERA, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The Holiday Inn in Viera, Florida tried some do-it-yourself remedies, in an attempt to keep hawks from dive-bombing hotel guests -- all fails. Hanging mirrors in the trees outside the lobby was also a waste of time.
The hawks weren’t bothered by the glare, and they made a permanent home where most people only stay for a night or two.
Amateur video, taken by wildlife trapper James Dean, gives us the sense that the hawk was not thrilled Dean was on scene.
“For it to send people to the hospital, that tells you how sharp their talons are,” Dean said.
On Friday, Dean said several hotel guests were attacked, as the red-shouldered hawks swooped down, right for folk’s heads.
“Four went to the hospital. I heard one gentleman received 17 stitches,” Dean added.
So on Monday morning, Dean went to work. First, he checked the nest making sure there were no eggs or babies inside. There were no offspring, so Dean destroyed the nest. Then, he tried to agitate the hawks, so they’d try to fight with him and he could snatch them with a net. It didn't work. The next strategy was to let them know this is a hostile area, and then presumably, they would leave.
“They’ll just go ahead and move on and build a nest someplace else,” Dean said.
Dean showed FOX 35 the fake owl someone thought might perturb the hawks. They built their nest on top it. Those mirrors dangling on strings had no effect.
“A couple years ago, I did a neighborhood where we had the same type of situation and literally people had to wear football helmets in order to cut the lawns until the federal permits and the state permits came in for us to go ahead and remove them,” Dean said.