Torontonians Flee Area as Birds Become More Aggressive

"They're very vicious. They dive right into you."

Signs all throughout Toronto’s downtown waterfront are warning locals about birds that are becoming more aggressive, and in some cases, attacking people.

People have been experiencing bird attacks over the last few weeks, and the aggressive behaviour is expected to continue. This is because the redwinged-blackbird is in the midst of breeding season. As their eggs hatch all over the park, the bird become very defensive.

Steven Price, President of Bird Studies Canada, told CBC the behaviour comes from a parental desire to protect their offspring.

“They’re doing what we would do as people,” he said. “They’re protecting their young from what they think are threats from the outside.”

However, for the people living in the area, the attacks are strong.

“They’re very vicious,” said Maureen Doolub, a nearby resident. “They dive right into you; they’ve poked me a couple of times.” Doolub walks her dog regularly through the park and keeps a towel with her to shoo the birds away.

Another local resident, Maureen Callaghan, also described the fierce attack.

“It feels like the other end of a small hammer,” she said. “It’s pretty strong.”

Price said that the small birds are unlikely to cause permanent damage, but will definitely leave people surprised.

“This is a 50-60 gram bird, two ounces in the old measures,” he said. “It’s unlikely to hurt you, which is not to say that some people won’t be surprised or afraid.”

Breeding season for the birds is expected to conclude in the next month or two.
 

Photo by tony fortunato on Unsplash