WESTLAKE, Ohio (CNN/WJW) -- An Ohio man faces a challenge when he goes out in his yard; attack hawks perched in a nest in his front yard.
Richard Varvir says, "We'll I'm cutting the grass over there on the riding mover and boom, it hit me."
The "it" Varvir of Westlake is talking about is a hawk. His wife Fran says, "We had a problem with it swooping down on him once before but this particular day it landed square on his head with it's talons, right through his stocking cap." Richard says, "When it hit me I put my hand on my head and I was bleeding,"
You can see where the hawk's talons went in during the attack last Thursday. According to Univeristy of Wisconsin, hawks have been known to attack people when they get too close to their young in the nest.
The Varvirs feel in this case the nest was built a bit too close to people. Richard says, "But now it's gotten to the point when I walk out to the mailbox I don't know if that thing's watching me or not."
Richard now carries an umbrella outside, or he wears a helmet when he mows the lawn.
According to Purdue University, hawks tend to return to the same area each spring to nest. The Varvir's say next year this tree won't be here. The Varvirs had planned to have the tree removed before the birds arrived, but hawks are federally protected so they will have to wait for the eggs to hatch and the birds to leave before they can take any action."
The Varvirs want others to be careful around hawk nests in their area and not to ruffle any feathers. Fran says, "My biggest fear is if a child walks out here and I wouldn't want to see that happen,"
All hawks and all raptors are federally protected so it is illegal to disturb their nests or harm the birds in any way.
Back to the golden rule of nature - if you leave them alone, they should leave you alone.