Hawk guarding nest whacks E. Ore. bicyclists

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PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) -- In Eastern Oregon, bicyclists in Pendleton report they're getting dive-bombed.

It's a male hawk, they say, who's guarding a nest in an old cottonwood tree. And the bicyclists are getting too close for his comfort.

One rider tells the East Oregonian the bird came in from behind like a fighter plane and whacked his helmet. Another, also hit on the helmet, said it felt like a baseball bat.

The raptor is identified as a Swainson's hawk. The riders say he's been vigilant for a few nesting seasons, but not so aggressive as this year.

Birders say the hawk will ease up on the bicyclists once the brood his mate has hatched learns to fly.

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Information from: East Oregonian, http://www.eastoregonian.info