46 thoughts on “Birds attacking people

  1. Mockingbirds are well known dive bombers. We have one that has been standing guard at the top of a phone pole at the edge of our property. I believe me and the cats are too far away for it to dive bomb. It is doing some kind of display dance as it jumps a couple of feet up in the air, flashes its wings, and then goes straight back down to its pole.

  2. If you need some cathartic revenge after those angry bird attacks, there’s always that video of Randy Johnson exploding a bird with a fastball.

    1. As I recall, the Yankees’ Dave Winfield clipped a seagull while tossing a ball in the outfield in Toronto, too.

      1. It depends on the context. I have LOTS of Canada Geese, in their natural environment. At times they’ll be hundreds in the creek behind my house. They’re pretty shy and will take off when approached. Hundreds of geese exploding off the water into the air at once is a sight. They’re hunted.

        Urban geese, on the other hand, shit all over the parks and golf courses and cemeteries, get sucked into airplane engines, and insolently attack people who get too close. They’re not hunted.

        1. When I worked in a park, they used to clog up the park roads and hiss at the cars. I learned to just keep driving at a reasonable speed (I think the speed was only 20kph in the park) and the birds would move but they’d hiss the whole time which was amusing.

        2. My comment was partly tongue in cheek. 🙂 I’m aware of the differing behaviours in the various environments, and so far, the local geese in our neighbourhood get along with people. There are the rare uber aggressive ones who attack even speeding cars when the goslings are out and about. Others just peacefully forage on the grassy boulevards and crap all over the sidewalks. All the residents tolerate that downside, and slow down and stop for the goose parades across busy thoroughfares. I think part of the respect for wildlife comes from the knowledge that this used to be *their* moraine, till the developers built up a large part of it.

          I miss the huge flocks of purple finches that used to nest behind our house. That’s all gone now, and they have to bunch up by the creek or find other territory.

  3. Swans are very aggressive when they want your food. My sister and I were in a paddle boat in Canterbury, UK quietly eating our sandwiches when a swan came up and wanted them. If I remember correctly, we gave it a piece and got the hell out of there.

  4. This reminds me of the Hili dialogue tweet from the other day where an airport platform was closed due to a goose.

    1. Poor Deets! Now if it were voles ganging up on him, I could kind of understand it. He’s dispatched a few of those, IIRC.

  5. It reminds me of the day my husband and I saw a flightless baby robin on the fog line up the road. So we stopped to save its precious little life, knowing that Mom might be upset. She was. She immediately attacked my husband multiple times as he carried the baby into the woods to safety. He came out bleeding all over his head. The baby was fine.

  6. “Birds attacking people

    This is a good video of birds going after humans,” ……

    “My favorite, Ceiling Cat help me, is when the duckling goes for the dog’s penis at 43 seconds in.”

    Did Prof Ceiling Cat just equate a dog to ‘people’ 😉

    I’m not sure that was an attack, btw, I think maybe the dickling thought it was an edible titbit.


        1. Well, they’re certainly succeeding, then!

          (Though in some other WEIT thread we’ve mentioned the always-possible post-posting meaning-changing editing you see some times when someone decides to deny that s/he said what s/he said originally.)

  7. I really don’t know what the pelican was doing at 0:58. It didn’t look like an attack to me. Maybe more like an attempt to see if the lady was edible? Was it just being affectionate? Really can’t tell from the video, but I like that clip.


    1. Birds like that tend to eat whatever they can fit in their months so I think it was “tasting” the woman, so to speak.


      1. In that case I’d say it was suffering from serious delusions and lacked a sense of scale. 😉


    1. I remember that as a child my mother always warned me to keep a healthy distance from swans (mute swans).

  8. Dinosaurs.
    And they didn’t even show Ostriches, Emus and Cassowaries. Ostriches kill about 7 people a year, mostly in animal husbandry (I do not trust this number 100%, appears very high). Apparently there are only 5 people killed by emus on record. Despite their reputation, there is only one report of a cassowary killing a human. However, it is thought they have some undocumented killings of tribal people on their tally. They certainly do attack and have a dangerous toenail.
    Could not find comparative data for severely wounded humans, but I know a guy who lost his eye to an ostrich.
    I was once attacked from behind by a Spotted Eagle-owl, but no serious injury, just some scratches on the skull.

    1. A friend of mine who lives on a ranch in the Texas Hill Country told me that a man had shown up in the local emergency room one night with lots of serious bruises and gashes. The man spoke only Spanish, and told the ER personnel that he’d been attacked by a giant bird. The patient wasn’t intoxicated or lying about the cause of his injuries – turns out he’d been trespassing on, or mistakenly hiked through, an ostrich farm.

  9. I beg to differ: red wing black birds ARE evil (the males anyway). One even made national news when it kept dive bombing runners; the city set up a sign telling people to avoid the sidewalk near the tree where it was nesting.

    I try to spot them early and then yell at them when they try to bomb me…

  10. A Russian taxi driver was left in a flap when he got too close to a mother duck and her ducklings in Moscow on Friday. The man was no match for the mighty duck who scared the man into running away, like a chicken!

  11. We’ve had a crow bullying our cat. It’s only picking on our cat – it ignores other cats completely. It follows her around and croaks at her from rooftops. Occasionally dive bombing her – she’s come in with scratched ears twice.

    It’s been going on for weeks. And all day. It’s like this crow quit it’s job and told it’s spouse “Honey, I’ve decided to follow my dreams and make that cat’s life a living hell”.

    Then, a few days ago she cam in with someone else’s blood on her, looking pleased as punch. We haven’t heard from the crow since.

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