When birds attack!!!

22 07 2009

My dad sent me this story from England about Buzzards attacking joggers. Good to see the guy who was hit seemed to take it all in his stride as opposed to the usual levels of hysteria one encounters when these kind of things happen. Anyway it made me remember my own close encounter with a rather upset Northern Goshawk pair.

I was taking a hike through the property around the Saugatuck reservoir when I heard the screeching calls of a Goshawk (listen here) as it bombed through the dense Hemlocks, making something of a beeline towards my head. I admit I was momentarily drawn between admiring this stunning bird as it gracefully weaved through the trees and throwing myself head first in the dirt. As it closed upon me I quickly ducked and it passed just a couple of feet above my head. Terrifying and exhilarating at the same time.

I moved on down the path realizing that I had probably stumbled upon a nest site and needed to withdraw to a distance that the bird no longer perceived me to be a threat. Of course the way I was heading was taking me back into the path that the bird had taken, giving him another chance to have a pass at my head. Ducking away at the last second as it came in again, I felt somewhat like a matador must feel as I skipped away from further attack.

By this time I noticed that the second adult had arrived and they began to work like a wrestling tag team, one sitting up watching my movements as the second bird came in for a bash. It was all over in a couple of minutes but felt much longer as I retreated carefully but fairly sharpishly from their domain. A pretty exciting experience and quite an adrenalin rush, although a couple of their passes were a little too close to my head for comfort. Who says birding isn’t an extreme sport!

Thought I’d also stick up this clip of ‘The Birds’ trailer. Pretty fun. I like old Alfreds little sarcastic digs at our relationship with our feathered friends.

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2 responses

23 07 2009
Dawn Fine

Yikes! glad u survived without a scratch!

24 07 2009
Chrissie T

can’t beat the old ones!

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