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.