ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Red Winged Black Bird-On the Attack

Updated on November 9, 2014
Red Winged Black Bird
Red Winged Black Bird | Source

The Red Winged Black Bird looks harmless but looks can be deceiving! I have such a bird living in my backyard and raising his family in the cattails at the edge of my lake. Why they build their nest so low to the ground is beyond me but I will say he is ever vigilant and attacks me whenever I attempt to pull weeds or plant flowers in my berm.

I have felt him graze my back and have heard the flapping of his wings so close to my ears that I was certain he was going to land on my head! Yesterday I decided to take a bright yellow rubber kneeling pad for gardeners to the berm with me. I waved it over my head the whole time I was working out there.

I'm sure I looked liked a lunatic (and my arm was pretty achy) but it worked! He stayed on the branch and did one of his irritating danger calls continuously but he didn't attack me.

The Red Winged Black Bird

  • The male Red Winged Black Bird is about 8 inches long and weighs about 2 ounces.
  • He's black with a red shoulder patch bordered below by a yellow stripe on his wings.
  • The female has a brown streaky coat and is much more dowdy looking.
  • These birds migrate south for the winter and return in the spring.
  • As it turns out the male is polygamus and has up to 10 females that he mates with!
  • He may have up to five nests in a small area that he is hovering around and protecting.
  • They are attracted to bodies of water, low lying marshes and bogs and that's where they build their nests.
  • By mid-June their nests have been settled and that's when the attacks begin.

Red Winged Black Bird Attacks in the City of Chicago

Apparently the attacks in the City of Chicago are worse than those in the suburban areas. They are attacking city workers and pedestrians walking down Michigan Avenue.

There is a particularly aggressive bird that has been nick-named "Hitchcock" after "The Birds" director. One woman walking down a Chicago street said "Hitchcock" flew down, pecked her head, grabbed her hair and flew away. She said many of her co-workers found a new route home or wear a helmet if they need to pass the territory he's guarding.

The Red Winged Black Birds are swooping down and pecking at Bikers and Joggers along Lake Michigan Shores. People need to be watchful in the parks and around ponds.

I was reading a cyclists' forum where people were discussing ways to thwart the attacks so they could concentrate on riding safely. One person suggested sticking "eyes" on the back of their helmet because the Red Winged Black Bird only attacks from the back but would be less likely to attack if the helmet was "looking at him". From what I have read those are words of wisdom.

Red Winged Black Bird staring at me while I take his picture.
Red Winged Black Bird staring at me while I take his picture. | Source

Do Not Engage in the Attack!

For anyone considering engaging in the attack, that is out of the question. They are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Intentionally causing harm to a Red Winged Black Bird can bring with it a fine of $250,000.00 and up to 2 years incarceration on a felony conviction!

A few words of advice from a conservation Ornithologist at the Field Museum: If targeted by a Red Winged Black Bird, stare directly into it's eyes. If that fails, bark like a dog and that should keep the bird at bay.

Of course you could just avoid their territories all together!

The Red Winged Black Bird is now Attacking my Cat!!

I have an update on this crazy bird: He is now ignoring me completely and has turned his aggressions toward my cat!

He's been swooping down on Oscar and chasing him onto the deck. He then perches on a Tiki torch within a couple of feet of him and does his danger calls while the cat answers with meows. It's irritating but at the same time rather humorous! The only place Oscar can find refuge is under the paddle boat.

Oscar hiding under the boat!
Oscar hiding under the boat! | Source

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)