If Alfred Hitchcock’s movie The Birds is the kind of flick that makes your skin crawl, you should probably stay away from Vancouver. Because the infamous “crow attack” season has officially begun.
That’s right, the west coast city has a season specifically dedicated to when overly-aggressive crows swoop down from their perches to attack humans at random. It runs from April to July. And the reason for the hostile behaviour is because it’s also crow-nesting season, which marks the time when many feathered parents are teaching their chicks to fly.
In other words, these crows want their nesting areas entirely clear of any potential predators, including us humans.
While you might assume that this is a phenomenon that only affects lesser populated areas of the city, the reality is that crows are nesting right in the heart of the downtown area. Garbage from various eateries provide a source of food, while the many trees that line Vancouver streets offer an area to settle.
In fact, crow attacks are getting so out of hand this year, that two Langara College instructors have created an interactive map where residents can log where they were attacked and how aggressive their winged-assailant was. For example, one resident reports “walking along in the afternoon minding my own business then wham right across my hair. Squawking crow!” “One of them followed me three blocks,” another report reads.
While there’s definitely a little humour in all this, some of the attacks actually sound pretty scary. Multiple entries describe the crow actually drawing blood, so it’s safe to say these birds mean business. Some areas also seem much more prone to crow attacks (such as Jervis and Nelson Streets), so read the map carefully if you want to steer clear.
For protection, until the season dies down in July, you might want to consider walking around with an open umbrella or at least wearing a hat to protect your head. It’s also good to keep in mind that if you’ve already been attacked, it will likely happen again. Crows are intelligent and can remember faces. Chances are, if they’ve seen you as a threat before, they still see you as one now. And word is, one crow in Vancouver may actually be flying around with a knife in its beak, so be careful.
For more information on crow attack season, check out the video above.