Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Attacked By Birds

The email to my Bio teacher:

Hello Sister Jeffries,
My name is James Hales and I took your Bio 100 class last Fall and loved it.  I have a question for you.  First of all, I served my mission in Melbourne Australia and become well acquainted with the Australian Magpie because they like to swoop and hit people on the head.  Well at the location  40°16'11.64"N 111°39'25.70"W here in Provo I have been attacked by swooping birds more than once and they seem to be getting more aggressive.  If you copy and paste the coordinates on the search bar at http://maps.google.com you can see the exact location where this occurs, it's on University Parkway in Provo.
Anyways, I go running about three times a week and seriously get scared every time I run this little stretch.  There are about six mid - small sized black birds that swoop me.  Do you know what kind of birds they are?  I did a google search for swooping birds in Utah and wasn't able to find anything.  I know you're busy and so if you completely disregard this email than I understand.  Thanks for reading!

Her Response:

Hey James!!!

Good to hear from you!

When you described your dive-bombing black bird I though immedately of the crow, Corvus brachyrhyncos, one of the larger members of the family Passeriformes .   I've seen them around Provo.  After a quick search of the internet, I found several sites that talk about crows attacking people.  Here's a link to such an event in Everett, Washington:    -http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/06/12/angry-birds-crows-attack-police-in-everett-wash/
This next link is an article about crows.  Down at the bottom is a place to click that will let you hear their raucous call:   http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/American_Crow
Let me know if this is the culprit that's been attacking you.  I wonder what is making them aggressive?  Maybe you are passing too near their nestlings?  Maybe they are just grouchy, aggressive birds?  The place they attack you is near a huge golf course that surrounds Provo River... good habitat for crows to nest.  I've heard that crows are mischievous and they like to make up games.  If you have time, watch them and see where they go when they are through bothering you.

I'm not so busy anymore.  I just finished my last BIO 100 class and am waiting for a senior couples mission call which may come tomorrow... or maybe next week.  You know how it is to wait for a mission call, right?


Sister Jefferies

After finals I might go take a video of them attacking me.  We'll see I guess. 


  1. Lol. How unfortunate to get attacked by birds. However, I just envision the movie and it puts it into perspective. Your teacher probably wouldn't agree, but bring a air soft gun. :)

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  3. "their raucous call"
    raucous indeed