Signs have been posted, warning people to steer clear of nesting hawks
POSTED: 09:36 PM MDT Aug 08, 2014 UPDATED: 09:52 PM MDT Aug 08, 2014
ONLY ON ABC-7: Nesting hawks attack NMSU students
EL PASO, Texas -
Students and faculty at New Mexico State University are on alert. Signs have been posted, urging them to steer clear of one particular place on campus to avoid being attacked.
"(I was at the) wrong place at the wrong time," said Neva Williams.
The NMSU lifeguard was headed to the campus pool with her boyfriend.
"And just out of nowhere, I got hit in the back of the head," she said.
The attack left a slash on her face -- nearly touching her left eye and stretching across the bridge of her nose.
"It was less than a second," said Williams. "I was hit so hard in the back of the head I was jolted forward and had to take a couple steps so I wouldn't fall over."
ABC-7 spotted the feathery assailant out in the open on the NMSU campus.
"I couldn't believe it at first. I didn't think it could be a bird," Williams said.
A hawk, to be exact. To be more precise -- a hawk defending its young. The pair of Swainson's Hawks have built their nest in a tree around Rentfrow Gymnasium.
Since Williams was attacked, signs have been posted on campus, warning people to steer clear of the nesting grounds.
"Hawks are defensive. They do have a young one," said Doña Ana Community College biology professor Jonathan Davis. He happened to be visiting NMSU to glimpse the birds while ABC-7 was on the campus.