Dive-bombing birds strike Kamloops with the return of fledgling season - InfoNews

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Dive-bombing birds strike Kamloops with the return of fledgling season

Crows become vigilant and defensive this time of year when their young leave the nest.
Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
June 04, 2019 - 2:44 PM

KAMLOOPS - A real-life, less dramatic version of Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 classic The Birds is being re-enacted on Kamloops streets.

Many residents have taken note of a heightened level of aggression from crows during what's called fledgling season. During this time, young birds will fly down from their nests but may not have the strength to fly back up. These birds are called fledglings, and their parents are often nearby and very protective.

Marc Rousseau experienced the wrath of protective birds for the first time in his backyard and fears for the safety of his chihuahua and papillon, two small dogs that he fears could be harmed by the defensive crows.

“I went to take them out in the yard, and I threw the ball. I have a big blue spruce tree in the corner of my lot, and when I threw the ball it went under the tree. The dog ran after it, and he had come nose-to-nose with a crow fledgling,” he said.

Rousseau said when he went to distance the fledgling from his dog, the adult crows started cawing and dive-bombing him.

“When I shooed (the fledgling) out, he went after the dogs. He had his wings stretched out and he was cawing like crazy and the dogs were barking at him, but I managed to get the dogs back in the house,” he said.

Rousseau has never had an experience like this before, and quickly learned that these birds were not leaving until their baby does. He says he saw a woman with a stroller walking along his street and he told her she should cross the street to avoid the birds. Just as he said that to her, he was dive-bombed.

According to Rousseau, there was no response from bylaw or animal control.

Tammy Blundell, acting bylaw services manager, says there’s not much that can be done by the city in these situations.

Marc Rousseau captured an image of one of the crows.
Marc Rousseau captured an image of one of the crows.
Image Credit: Marc Rousseau

“We don’t usually have a process for fledglings, because we are reactive to birds or animals when they’re dead or injured,” she said. “When it comes to fledglings, we let nature take its course.”

According to the Wildlife Rescue Association, it is perfectly normal for these fledglings to fall or fly to the ground. They stress that the birds with feathers, hopping around on the ground, are likely being watched and protected for the one to two weeks they need to gain flight and life skills. Often times, people will mistake these birds as injured and try to help them, which causes a reaction from the parents. The Wildlife Rescue Association suggests altering your route or carrying an umbrella as an added barrier between you and the birds.

“The best thing is not to go outside, the situation will pass,” said Blundell.

For some, it’s just the cawing of crows that irritate. For people like Rousseau with a battleground in his backyard, it’s a period of fear.

“I was terrified,” he said. “I just went out this afternoon to let the dogs out, and they’re coming at me, and I’ve got a big lawn rake I’m waving over my head to keep them out of the way.”

The Wildlife Rescue Association states that if you see a fledgling, in most situations you should leave it be. If it is in immediate danger they suggest picking it up and putting it in a nearby tree or bush, If you are concerned that it is injured or abandoned keep an eye on it for two to four hours and call animal services if the parents don’t return.


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