Most bike riders in Australia are used to magpie attacks, less frequent are butcher bird attacks, then there are plovers. It's not widely known that crows will attack cyclists. Cycling through a local park about three weeks ago and completely oblivious to the potential for a crow attack, I was caught unaware when out of the blue I could hear overhead, the sound of a larger bird than I'd ever heard before. After decades of attacks from territorial birds, you get to know the sounds that each type of bird makes. I can always tell when a butcher bird attacks by the snap of it's beak, or an audacious magpie going for blood, typically the ear is a good target for these experienced beak wielding nest protectors. This time it was different I could sense something much larger and the rhythm of the wings was slower, then I looked around and the sky was momentarily blacked out by a pair of sinister wide beating wings.
Luckily this black crow is a beginner and lacks finesse in it's all out attack mode, the bird just swoops in and then takes off. Although I hadn't realised how close this crow gets until I reviewed the video footage. The crow claws only millimetres away from a grab at the neck. The first time the crow attacked I immediately pulled over and the crow perched itself on a low branch in the nearest tree. I deliberately rode back the other way, then past it's nest one more time. On the second pass the bird had another go, but this time stayed well away at about thirty metres.
Since the first crow attack, whenever I've ridden past the off leash dog enclosure at Norman Park, I've had the iphone hand held above my shoulder ready to record this black feathered aggressor. I'd almost given up on getting any footage at all of this attack crow, then this morning down it came straight for the camera. Perfection would have seen it's eyes and beak captured on film. It's tricky enough staying upright when magpies, plovers, butcher birds and now crows swoop down to throw your concentration.
I reckon these nesting crows have chosen the wrong tree to raise their offspring in, it's right next to an off leash area for playful dogs. So each morning and afternoon the crows nest is surrounded by dozens of barking canines, not to mention the cyclists pedalling along the cycleway. Hopefully this swooping crow won't gain too much experience and improve it's attacking manoeuvres.