WATCH: Sneaky blackbird pecks people's heads


#1

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#2

The camera person seems to enjoy it, too.

And now I am.


#3

Daddy Red Winged Blackbird when the nest's nearby. The only bird I've encountered that goes for a more aggressive defense is a Catbird when you're picking "its" berries.


#4

There's a mockingbird that acts like this near where I live. It rarely hits people though. It's more of an aggressive swoop. I walk my cat and dog by it's nest and it'll try to take on the three of us at the same time. All three of us usually scatter and run like little wimps. We're three animals that could whoop that bird's ass, yet we all run. I've come to respect that bird. Whenever I get nervous about something I think of that damn bird. I think to myself, "If that stupid little bird can make a cat, dog, and a grown man run away in fear, you can do this!"

For what is this really but a classic David and Goliath story? Albeit one where Goliath is just minding his own business while David is being extra obnoxious.


#5

There was a bluejay that had a nest in a nearby tree that used to do this.

The first time I got hit, I had my headphones on and had no clue what happened.

After that, coming up on the tree, I used to let my lab run the full length of his lead and take the hit for me. He never saw the bird coming, or going, and every time he made this hilarious "WTF" face at me I just shrugged.


#6

One: people are not wearing enough hats.


#7

Oh, that Allen Funt...


#8

Those starlings look like amateur hour compared to the master of swoop and peck, the kookaburra.

Do Not Fuck With Kookaburra. Thinking about it is just as bad, as far as Kookaburra is concerned. You've been warned. Pecking and maniacal taunting laughter afterward are the only options, according to Kookaburra.


#9

Swallows are the go-to assholes of the avian world in my book. They will swoop and peck and generally go crazy if you get within what seems to be a pretty massive radius of their little roost.

My aunt's barn was a no man's land for a few weeks unless you had some kind of helmet.


#10

If this was a wild mammal of any appreciable size, animal control would have already shot it.

Curious that we seem to tolerate birds being pissed at us for bulldozing their environment and putting up houses in what is, biologically speaking, their territory, but for many other animals we bring out the murder machines.


#11

Helmets might actually provoke things, too.



#12

Glitch:
If this was a wild mammal of any appreciable size, animal control would have already shot it... Curious that we seem to tolerate birds being pissed at us for ... but for many other animals we bring out the murder machines.

It's for the same reason that we have dog catchers, but not cat catchers. Birds are not considered a possible threat to your safety, just a minor nuisance.

However, if you had an ostrich running at people like that, we might make an exception...


#13

That is awesome! I really hope someone won an IgNobel for that!


#14

smile Aw c'mon, that's not really the problem here. The problem is that the birds are nesting, and the aggressive behavior is temporary only while the birds are nesting. So just like elephants that are "in season" - it's best to stay out of these birds' way.

We actually left them environment that suits their use, and they're using it. If we'd bulldozed the all environment these birds prefer, they'd have already gone the way of the Carolina parakeet. That bird died out completely from deforestation and disease, and was one of only two parrot species that lived natively in the U.S. We also got rid of the passenger pigeon because it was a social bird, big and tasty, and we wanted land. We're great at eradicating species.


#15

Me too. No idea if he officially published though.

During swooping season, local news and community groups set up crowd-sourced online maps* to show where problem birds are. As Australian Magpies are a protected species, it takes a fair bit to get the bird relocated and often it's far easier just to avoid them during the nesting season.

*That one's from Adelaide, so it's probably a crowed-sourced map.


#16

That's fantastic!


#17

They're walking past its nest.

I used to get divebombed by a mockingbird when it built a nest outside my front door. It was like getting hit in the head with a beanbag.


#18

Mockingbirds are rascals, and I have seen them gang up on a cat while the cat pretends nothing is happening. They will also pester hawks to no end

But they do push their luck too far, and I once saw several crows kill a mockingbird. I also recently found a circle of feathers in the yard where a mockingbird apparently lost to the local hawk.


#19

This bird's nesting hormones have it on the alert for "attacking" passersby to dive-bomb from sunup to sundown on long summer days, and it may also need to provide its mate/offspring with food at the same time. The huge amount of energy birds expend and the risks they run (as they usually/healthfully avoid humans) to feed, protect, and raise a new generation has probably been measured in the bio-journals, and can be appreciated by birdwatchers. We all live in the territory of one bird or another; you can hear their territory-establishing calls going back and forth, their pair-bonding "duets," their warning calls, etc. This bird is of course going right to the close-encounters-of-the-third-kind level....


#20

I don't know if it's the Jared icon helping out, but "the go-to assholes of the avian world in my book" is the funniest phrase I've read this week. Thanks!