Crows aren’t attacking you – they’re just being protective parents. Have you ever been swooped or dive-bombed by a crow? Rather than “attacking”, this behaviour is simply a warning from the birds to stay away from their young. They will swoop down from trees, fly close and may even brush against you. The first time can be un-nerving, but once you know, you can take steps to prevent it from happening again.
Why are crows dive-bombing me?
Springtime to early summer is crow nesting season and the crabby crows you may encounter are just anxious bird parents protecting their young.
Nesting season is a vulnerable time for babies and parents, with eggs and young chicks at risk of predation. This risk is amplified as fledgling birds begin to leave the nest. For their first few days they can’t fully fly, and rely heavily on their parents to keep them safe as they hop around on the ground and work their flight muscles.
Once baby crows leave the nest, they spend the first few days fluttering from branch to branch within their nest tree as they build up their muscles and flight skills. However, in cities we often remove the lower tree branches for safety and visibility. This means these fliers-in-training end up down on the ground, often in quite exposed areas – which increases the need for vigilant parental protection to ward off danger.
How can I protect myself when crows dive-bomb?
- Temporarily alter your travel routes during nesting season, to keep a little more distance around known nest sites.
- Post friendly warning signs in high traffic areas.
- Carry an umbrella as a portable visual barrier to add a little extra distance between you and the concerned parents.
When does crow nesting season end?
By July, the babies are well on their way to independence and the adults become much calmer at this point.
What do I do if I see a baby crow on the ground?
Many times, the young birds are fine to be left alone. However, if you spot a young crow in a vulnerable area, with an injury, or with no adult birds visible in the area, call the BC SPCA Animal Helpline 1-855-622-7722 for advice and assistance.
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