Angry birds halt mail in Winnipeg neighbourhood

Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep mail carriers from their appointed rounds, but nobody said anything about angry birds.

Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep mail carriers from their appointed rounds, but nobody said anything about angry birds.

Several residents on Ralph Avenue in Winnipeg's Transcona neighbourhood have been unable to receive their mail due to crows or ravens dive-bombing their mail carrier.

"Due to the ongoing safety concern caused by the aggressive crows attacking your letter carrier all mail delivery is temporarily suspended until Canada Post and the City of Winnipeg can determine a solution," states a notice from Canada Post, delivered to residents on Tuesday.

Canada Post says 30 houses are not getting their mail and as a result, the homeowners need to go to the depot at Nairn Avenue and Panet Road, about five kilometres away.

Len Chapko, who has lived on Ralph Avenue for about 45 years, said he has also been attacked by the birds, who are nesting in a tree in front of his house.

"He come so close, he raised the hair on the back of my head. So I looked up and the neighbours are laughing because he came after me!" he told CBC News on Thursday.

Afraid to go outside

Bernice Sokol, whose house is next to the nest, said she has been the target of the dive-bombing crows as well.

"They come out of that tree there, and so he went and grabbed me by the hair. I went across the street; he followed me," she said.

"Yeah, he followed me all around. I'm scared to go down the street here."

Sokol said the birds have also attacked cats and even people's vehicles.

"It's not a normal hazard our carriers face everyday," said Steven Keown with Canada Post in Winnipeg.

"The bird in the area, or the birds, have been attacking him. They're also attacking other neighbours in the area."

For now, Sokol said she won't go outside — even to mow her lawn — unless she is armed with an umbrella.

May be protecting their young

Manitoba Conservation says crows and many other bird species usually defend their young while they are vulnerable to predators — including humans and pets — between the time that they leave the nest and the time when they can fly.

The period in which young birds are vulnerable can range between a day and a week, but it can be even longer if it is injured, a government spokesperson said.

Provincial wildlife experts are advising people to avoid the area if possible, for a day or so, until the young birds can fly away.

Those who must walk in the area could carry an umbrella or "wear a hat with large eyes painted on the back" since most birds would not approach the front of a predator, the spokesperson said.

Last month, women jogging along the Rideau Canal in Ottawa were similarly attacked by red-winged blackbirds that were nesting in the area.

Canada Post's notice to Ralph Avenue residents: