Following Si Guim’s account of his encounter with House Crows (Corvus splendens) when he simply looked at the injured bird, Timothy Pwee had a similar but more serious experience:
“Saturday (22nd April) was Earth Day and I spent the afternoon helping the Singapore Environment Council’s Waste to Wow! interschool competition. After the competition at around 6pm, I was headed down Victoria Street to the newly reopened National Museum of Singapore for a movie (Film Festival). That was when I got hit from the back! Now, I’ve been dive bombed by crows before, but this is the first time I’m been hit full force by one. Retreating to a safe distance, I tried to spot the nest (which I presumed the silly crows were defending) in the trees. It took me a while before I spotted a third crow in the bushes near the ground.
“Watching the crows, I realised they were attacking every other pedestrian. Especially loved the sight of a large tough-looking young man who got hit. He stood there for several minutes glaring at the crows. Several tourists exiting a nearby hotel got attacked too.
“I tried several times to grab the grounded crow which I suspect is a fledgling. However, I was driven back each time by the two guardian crows who would repeatedly attack my head and shoulders. Think I was hit about a dozen times. At least one of the strikes on my shoulders left a stinging cut though no blood was drawn. My shoulders have another three or four red lines that don’t hurt. My scalp was a different story. There I have at least two cuts though I didn’t realise it till much later when I found my hair had little scattered clots.
“Around nightfall, I made a final attempt at the bird with the help of a manager from the nearby hotel. While the manager fended off the attacks, I tried to grab the grounded crow with a tee-shirt. However, the bushes were too thick and I got tangled in the branches. The grounded crow promptly hopped out onto the road and immediately got rolled over – Ouch!
“Should I have left it alone? Well, its guardians were attacking passers-by initially – at least my attempts to catch the grounded crow made the crows concentrate their attacks on me, sparing the passing people. Also, after nightfall, I’m sure the grounded crow would have fallen prey to a sewer rat.
“Well, it’s now destined to become a specimen so its death has some meaning at least.”
Note:“I forgot to add that after the crow got run over, one of its guardians landed to check it for a moment before flying back into the trees. I then waited for the next break in the traffic to grab the corpse – and promptly got attacked again. On the other side of the road, I put the corpse into a plastic bag and walked back across the road, expecting to get attacked again. However, the other crows seemed to have lost interest once the corpse was bagged.”
Text and images (left fledgling, right adult) by Timothy Pwee. You may wish to check Tim’s link.
Comment by YC: This is an exciting account of sustained attacks by crows on passersby. I am sure Tim has the dubious honour of taking the most number of hits by these crows. Unlike Si Guim’s experience, extremely mild, to say the least, these crows assumed that anyone and everyone who were around were potential enemy. No body language involved here. Thanks Tim for an exciting account. Must have been exciting for you too.
Thailand Bird Watching
Hi there this is a really cool website and I hope you continue to keep it up. I will be checking it regularly for new information.
Bird Ecology Study Group » Collared Kingfisher: Protective instinct
[…] they would attack birders and photographers who come too near their nest? Like in the case of the House Crow (Corvus […]