Calgary mail carriers watching the skies as Hawk targets postal workers because they ‘look like predators’

About 80 homes in a wealthy Calgary suburb are once again facing sporadic mail delivery due to the antics of an aggressive, brooding hawk. For three years, the predatory avian has made her nest in Lake Bonavista. And once the chicks hatch, mama hawk has taken a particular dislike to Canada Post mail carriers. The problem typically resolves itself when the baby birds leave the nest and the hawks migrate to Argentina. Until then, however, letter carriers are making the daily delivery with caution. The Post’s Jen Gerson spoke to Canada Post employee Rick Tobin about braving the slightly too wild suburbs of Calgary’s southeast.

Q How long have you been a letter carrier in that area?

A I’m actually a superintendent for the facility and I’ve been delivering the mail during this situation because I’m comfortable with it. Most days we split up the mail, put one person on one side of the street and another person on the other side of the street so we can look for it. And when the bird comes out, we have one person deliver, the other person watches. If the bird starts swooping, and we feel it’s unsafe at that point in time, we stop our delivery and bring the mail back to the facility.

Q Now your situation is you’re going out with another carrier and you’re the lookout? And you take a tennis racket, is that right?

A I am the gentleman who walks with the tennis racket. The whole purpose of the tennis racket is to put it straight up in the air so if the bird does swoop, it will misjudge itself. It goes for your high point. It would hit my tennis racket before it hit me. It’s never come at me with its claws out, its claws have always been tucked behind. Every carrier who has come out to assist me in delivery has enjoyed their experience. They have enjoyed watching the bird — because usually they’re new and the bird only focuses on me — so they enjoy that experience.

Q Basically you’re saying that they enjoy watching their boss get swooped by a hawk?

Totally — via

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