Monday, January 9, 2012

Bad birds flying under the radar

To my chagrin, I recently discovered that a considerable amount of bad bird behavior has been sneaking past me.

To be fair, this blog has been on the case even when birds are trying to avoid scrutiny by being in the news in a language other than English. We also did not miss the annual Thanksgiving update on the dangers of turkeys.

But then I spent part of the slow internet season over the holidays catching up on the always interesting Nothing to Do With Arbroath, where I found the story reported last time of the hawk flying into a woman's home to attack her Chihuahua.

And upon further perusal, I found that this blog is a trove of bird stories from the past couple of months. We've got some run-of-the-mill destructiveness:

-In England, a car dealership has had to supply umbrellas to customers even in fair weather to protect them from seagulls. Otherwise they're bombarded by both bird poo and trash from a nearby dump. "If you don't run to the showroom from your car, you will look like a dalmatian. We have had chicken carcasses and tea bags dropped on our forecourt. Chicken carcasses, dropped from a great height, will dent the cars."

-In Oklahoma, starlings tried to ruin Christmas by eating the lightbulbs in a courthouse Christmas star, costing the town $1,200 for replacements.

But, in some more interesting cases, we've got birds using a variety of strategies to get humans in hot water:

-In Wales a woman who caused a firey car crash claimed she had been distracted by a magpie flying alongside her car. To be fair, the fact that her alcohol level was over three times the legal limit may have contributed to the situation.

-But working with human vices isn't their only approach - playing on people's sympathies works too: in Lynn, Massachusetts, an 80-year-old woman is facing criminal charges for illegally feeding ducks and geese.

-And in New York, a pigeon nicknamed Fred has been dive-bombing police assigned to patrol the construction site at the former World Trade Center. Not only is Fred pooping on them, the officers have been reprimanded for defending themselves. Allegedly due to public complaints, a source told the New York Post, “We were told that if we didn’t go easy on the bird, we would get in trouble.”

Yet another warning from Flickr user Andrew Eason.

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