5 ways to avoid being attacked by crows
Crow attacks on the rise during nesting season
The crow is an iconic bird in Vancouver, but it is also territorial, and prone to attack during nesting season which generally runs from April to early July and is just winding down now.
Mike Vojnovich is no stranger to aggressive crows. He works around power lines, and often encounters crows' nests.
"They often fly at you and come right in your face and try to get you away from their nest," he says.
"We don't disturb the nest, we leave it alone if we see eggs."
George Clulow with B.C. Field Ornithologists says that's the right approach.
1. Leave them alone
Clulow says the birds are fierce, but they won't bully you without reason. He says crows will only attack if they feel threatened, so it's best to avoid any interaction.
"Just keep walking, and don't make any aggressive moves towards the crow," he says.
2. Don't approach young birds
Crows will guard their nests carefully, and young from previous years will also help their parents raise fledglings. It's no accident that most attacks happen during nesting season.
"They really do take care of their young," says Clulow.
"They're defending their territory, and they don't like people getting close to their nests."
3. Change your route
Crows are extremely intelligent birds, who can recognize individuals.
Clulow says if you do anger a bird, it will hold a grudge against you, and it doesn't stop there.
"When the first one gets upset with you, the others watch what's going on, and they recognize you too, says Clulow.
"It can spread through the network of crows pretty rapidly."
Clulow says if you've been marked as a target, it's best to give up the turf, and find a different route to avoid the birds.
4. Keep it clean
Crows are scavengers, who thrive on human garbage. Clulow says the large number of crows in the Lower Mainland is directly linked to the amount of food humans provide for them.
"Our influence on the landscape, providing food for them, that's really caused their numbers to boom."
Clulow says fewer open garbage cans, and fewer open dump sites, means fewer crows.
5. Wait it out
Nesting season ends by early July. After that, crows move to the communal roost, and are much less likely to attack.