A ‘hawkward’ encounter: California cyclist’s cam captures hawk’s dive


CLOVIS, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) —  A California cyclist had a close encounter with a hawk and caught the entire incident on his helmet cam.

Chief Photographer Kevin Mahan at Nexstar’s YourCentralValley.com was dive-bombed while riding in the City of Clovis and was able to capture the hawk as it buzzed his head.

(Courtesy: Kevin Mahan)

“As I’m going I notice there’s a few birds in the air and I don’t think much of it, I just put my head down and keep pedaling,” Mahan recalled. “All of a sudden, I hear a ‘tic tic’.”

The hawk swooped down over Mahan’s head, appearing to try to snatch the camera off his helmet.

Mahan said the hawk flies around the area and has buzzed other riders protecting its nest, but this time he captured it on video.

“Once I posted the video in my cycling groups a number of people asked, ‘Where abouts was that?'” he said.

Mahan said the stories poured out after his post; he said that the hawk had buzzed one friend at least four times, once nearly knocking him off his bike.

Others reported feeling the scratches on their helmets from the bird’s sizable talons.

“I didn’t realize how big and sharp those were until I did the screengrab,” Mahan said. “I was like, ‘Holy cow, that could have been a lot worse than it was.'”

It’s not the first time the avid cyclist has escaped serious injury. He said he’s been hit by three cars and chased by a number of dogs.

“Knock on wood I haven’t yet been caught by a dog,” Mahan laughed. “They really have upped my speed.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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