30 Jul2013


Wasn’t there an Alfred Hitchcock movie with birds attacking humans? I distinctly recall a scene or two from that black and white film nightmare. Last weekend, at the beach, there were two cats that were hanging around our home (probably wondering why we had invaded their space since we rarely get to the shore these days) and they were sleeping under cars (both for the warmth from the engine and shelter from passing showers) and prancing about the small property. I will be honest and say I am NOT a cat person. Besides horrible allergies to their hair or dander, I just don’t like their temperament in general. Dogs are more my thing. But I was shocked when two incredibly aggressive birds started divebombing and attacking the cats just a few feet away from me. They seemed to be pecing at the sides of the cats rather fiercely!


At first I thought they might be after fleas (!?) , and I was stunned that the cats didn’t seem to react at all. Where was all the Tweety and Sylvester rivalry? Didn’t cats like to EAT birds? The cats would scurry off under a car, or else just keep walking along with paying any attention to the birds. Then I realized the birds must be protecting their nest, probably somewhere in the trees like this one I photographed years ago in the same area. A quick google today seems to suggest that same explanation, birds protecting the territory immediately surrounding their nests. Hmmm, lucky I didn’t get attacked by a bird over the weekend… :)


Best I could tell, the birds seemed to be protecting a radius of say 20-30 meters which is pretty wide if you ask me. As for these photos, I can tell you that I first noticed the attacks, ran into the house to get a camera, and a few minutes later asked the Teen to snap these shots, using a zoom lens (hence it is fuzzy)… But isn’t it just a bit bizarre?

Note: All photos by the Teen.



  1. cecil says:

    I had a similar experience with my dog before. There was particular bird that attacked my dog. The bird would even land on his back and peck him. It was a hilarious to watch… but I’m sure it wasn’t funny for my dog. I had 3 dogs then but it only attacked a one dog while it didn’t seem to bother the others.

    Jul 30, 2013 | 4:17 pm


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  3. Monty says:

    We used to have a red lori that was free to roam our garden and it attacked our dog whenever the mutt got within a certain area. Ironically, the bird got eaten by a large rat.

    Jul 30, 2013 | 6:50 pm

  4. Mary Lee says:

    Here in the NE U.S.A., jays are known to be quite aggressive about protecting their nests. In our neighborhood one year, fairly large jays would swoop down, track our 115-lb German Shepherd just above his shoulder and proceed to squawk and flap and dive bomb his head. It got so people walking their dogs would carry flyswatters to fend off these nutty birds. Poor dogs never understood why they were being attacked. Most animal bites in the U.S. are inflicted by birds, usually blue jays or others of that family.

    Jul 30, 2013 | 9:55 pm

  5. Footloose says:

    I wish the Toronto Blue Jays were just as aggressive. It has been twenty years since they last made the playoffs.

    Jul 30, 2013 | 10:15 pm

  6. J-Jay says:

    Are you getting all NatGeo on us, MM? : )

    Jul 31, 2013 | 12:02 am

  7. Marketman says:

    Jul 31, 2013 | 7:52 am

  8. trinim says:

    Yes. The movie is The Birds. It was scary. It was made from a book of the same title by Daphne Du Murier. I think I read this in high school. Even some of the pigeons at Union Square in San Francisco have become aggressive.

    Jul 31, 2013 | 9:44 am

  9. ami says:

    This happens in our house. The perpetrator is a different species from the common eurasian tree sparrow we have around the metro. Oddly enough, of our 5 dogs it only attacks 1 dog. My theory is that the bird is annoyed at that 1 dog because of its red orange fur. The only other time I’ve seen this happen was when the mother of that dog was still alive and it also had red orange fur.

    Jul 31, 2013 | 4:41 pm

  10. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    If it makes you feel any better Footloose, the Jays beat the As 5-0 in Oakland.

    Aug 1, 2013 | 2:26 am

  11. PITS, MANILA says:

    A movie by Hitchcock … i don’t remember if the ‘why’ was ever explained … just that some blamed it on the female who visited the town.

    Aug 1, 2013 | 9:37 am

  12. kate says:

    Aug 1, 2013 | 2:39 pm

  13. kate says:

    oh, and it is a black cat too :D what a funny coincidence.

    Aug 1, 2013 | 2:43 pm

  14. lee says:

    Bad luck for the black cat

    Aug 1, 2013 | 11:21 pm

  15. Alan says:

    I think these birds had a bad experience with some animals so when they see others with the same marking / colorings they decide to take the offensive. The wild malayan fantails we have here on our property attack the stray cats when they enter our property but leave the dogs alone. But one day, one of the dogs, in a playful way, chased one of the birds away from its food bowl, and ever since then whenever that dog comes close to one the trees they dive bomb him.

    Aug 2, 2013 | 5:15 pm

  16. Nikki says:

    I call the birds in my village “kamikaze” birds since once of them swooped in for the kill – leaving me with a bruised cheek and forehead for a few days. There is also a group of birds whom I call the “akyat-bahay gang” – complete with a lookout bird! they’d go in open windows and stay inside the apartment unit for a couple of minutes. I just wonder what they’re looking for….

    Aug 14, 2013 | 5:00 pm


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