How to Prevent a Swooping Bird Attack
I always heard about people being attacked or swooped by a nesting bird. The whole concept is comical because it is after all – a bird. You hear anecdotal tales about runners, cyclists and even folks just out walking their dogs getting attacked. I once witnessed this woman who I thought was doing some kind of dance, swing her arms in the air. But at closer look, she was swatting a magpie away. As soon as she thought she was in the clear she was dive bombed ten seconds later. I can’t think about the incident without chuckling. Most folks my age didn’t see The Birds until they were in film school and avian horror has other competition these days.
This was always giggle fit causing and pant-pee inducing for me until today. Today, when I was out for a walk with my dog, who happens to be a 210 pound American mastiff, we were attacked by a bird. Like many folks who live in the north eastern part of the United States, we are experience the first few days of summer that are actually not swamp hot and skin singeing. We were basking in the weather and the general splendor of all the green. I decided to walk us down a block we had never gone down before. We are new to the area and there are certain blocks that remain uncharted so down Waldorf Court we went. Did I mention it was a dead end? It was and it wasn’t a long block but it certainly wasn’t a short one. We got towards the end of one side and I heard a swoosh by my ear followed by a curt screech. At first I thought it was some odd car alarm system because I had walked too close to a car parked in a driveway, so I stepped away from the car and apparently led us closer to the nest.
Then I heard it again but this time I felt the distinct presence of wind. The kind of wind that comes before an attack – a screech followed I turned around and there was the perp. I normally would be embarrassed by not being able to identify the species of bird but to do so would only glorify and further its actions of passerby terrorism. Did I mention I had my 210 pound dog with me? His reaction was to duck. I quickly guided us across the street where our pokey feathered friend followed. We were now trapped on this dead end street. The street I had brought us down because I want to be more adventurous. So what did I do? I yelled for help.
Yep and sure enough a little old man appeared and asked me what was wrong. I told him we were being held hostage by a bird. The man responded with, “Oh um yeah that’s a really aggressive bird you need to avoid it, we don’t walk on this side of the street now”. I was stunned – an entire block of families is being held hostage by one uppity bird and accepting it. I was appalled by the complacency. I have never killed anything bigger than a fly and never plan on it but I had just about had it with the wildlife in my new neighborhood. Just the night before we were cornered by a gang of salty cats with pendulous balls that had just been sitting in AA circle fashion on a number of porches.
I’d had it and my giant dog was thirsty. The old man said we should walk slow and cross the street. I reminded him that we already had tried crossing the street but slow we went. The bird let out one final curt screech before letting us go. The screech quickening our steps. I once read that swooping birds attack with their beaks and aim for the scalp, face or eyes.
So what can you do to prevent or in the event of an attack?
• Don’t be too adventurous – if an idyllic block with pretty trees is empty of playing children there’s a reason for it. It’s either chitty-chitty bang-bang time or there’s an attack bird.
• If you notice a nest steer clear – there are several reasons to stay away from a nest an attack being only one of them.
• If a bird is swooping walk slow and as far away from the general direction where the initial attack happened.
• If all else fails and you are being attacked look for a garbage can lid that you can borrow as a shield and slam that sucker down and feed the eggs to your dog.
This post was written by Julee Whalin. Julee is an avid writer on tech, wellness, lifestyle, humor and gadget topics.