Fairfield animal-control officers turned to the Fire Department on Friday afternoon for help in removing a nest suspected of being the home of an aggressive red-shouldered hawk that has attacked several people in the area around Fairfield Ludlowe High School.

The nest was built in a tall tree in front of the Unquowa Road school, and Animal Control Officer Paul Miller said it was removed for safety reasons.

At least four people have been attacked by the raptor on or near the school's campus over the last several weeks.

The latest incident took place Thursday when the hawk swept down on a student walking near Unquowa and Mill Plain roads, police said.

"It may not even be an active nest," Miller said, but added it was taken down because officials decided to err on the side of caution.

There was no sign of the hawk when fire trucks arrived Friday. At first, Miller suggested they use a hose to blast the nest out of the tree, but instead they used the extension ladder from Ladder truck 1 for a firefighter to climb up to the nest. Then, the firefighter used a pole to knock the nest to the ground.

Miller said the nest was empty and he couldn't tell from looking at the remains whether it was being used at present by the hawk. "It was just a lot of branches," he said. "Who knows if it was the nest."

And, he noted, the bird, or birds, "could end up building a new one tomorrow."

There has been at least one report of two hawks perched on a fence in front of the school, and Town Plan and Zoning Commission Chairman Bryan LeClerc was able to snap a photo of a hawk perched on his garage on nearby Henderson Road.