SOMERVILLE (CBS) – Michael Doherty was walking by a Tufts University classroom building on Dearborn Road in Somerville when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, he was attacked.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Smith reports.

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Doherty had no idea what had hit him. He wound up with several stitches and a gash that just missed his eye.

Turns out, his attackers were two hawks.

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Michael Doherty shows off his wounds from a hawk attack at Tufts University in Somerville, May 7, 2011. (Credit: Michael Doherty)

The birds had been perched in two trees, not far from a nest they had built on a fire escape.

Tufts police think they were protecting their babies in that nest.

Doherty needed 15 stitches to close the cuts next to his eye and behind his ear.

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Tufts has since put up a fence and a warning sign.