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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 June, 2005, 11:36 GMT 12:36 UK
Cyclists wary as buzzard returns
A buzzard
The buzzard is thought to be protecting its chicks.
A buzzard which has been terrorising cyclists in north Devon has just claimed its latest victim.

Residents of Holsworthy had hoped that the bird of prey had either left or died, but now it has attacked a theme park attendant on his way to work.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is calling on cyclists to give the bird a wide berth during the nesting season.

However some locals are calling for a more permanent solution.

Luke Bonhay recently became the bird's 22nd victim.
I felt its feathers rubbing against the side of my face and when I saw it was huge
Luke Bonhay, cyclist

He said: " It was very quick. If you can imagine riding a bike and somebody throwing a rock at the back of your helmet - it was fast.

"It just came down and belted me on the back of the head. I just went into the side of the road because I was so distracted. For some reason it doesn't like cyclists."

There is a "beware of the buzzard" sign for cyclists in the local Kings Arms Hotel.

But he wants more drastic action, otherwise he believes the bird will keep coming back.

Peter Exley from the RSPB said: "In eight years of working for the RSPB I've never heard of incidents of a buzzard behaving in this way.

"The buzzard is most likely protecting its nest in the same way as we would if a giant came along and threatened our family.

"We're asking humans to keep away from the nest for say four to six weeks until this buzzard has got its family reared and out of its nest."




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