WATCH: They’re mischievous. Wickedly intelligent, and they fly in groups called murders. Kori Sidaway has the story on the black marauders who are wreaking havoc on the island, and how to avoid them.
They swoop and squawk. These dark dive-bombers of the skies are out terrifying unsuspecting passerby once again.
“They’re very clever birds, they’re very playful birds, they’re very fiercely protective of their young,” said Ann Nightingale with Rocky Point Bird Observatory.
It’s baby crow season, and Nightingale said the highly-intelligent crows become particularly protective when their young are learning how to fly.
“Crows, like most birds, are very attentive parents,” said Nightingale.
“Crows are smart, and they know people are trouble in a lot of cases, and if you get too close to their nest they’ll often warn you off.”
Local restaurant owner Dimitri Adamopoulos knows this all too well. The Adamopoulos family has owned Ithaka Greek restaurant for years, and every spring sees the same scary story play out. Dimitri says people stop to take pictures of the flowers but instead, make an unlikely foe – a crow.
“You see people walking by doing a funky dance and you’re like, what’s going on?”
But, there are ways of avoiding the blackbirds.
CrowTrax, is an online interactive map which shows the locations of recent crow attacks. You can even rate their level of aggressiveness on a scale of one to five.
“If I was afraid of birds, I would take a look at CrowTrax just to make sure I didn’t get anywhere near them,” said Nightingale.
Nightingale adds that their attacks go from territorial to very personal, very quick.
“They are known to be able to recognize human faces, and they remember if you’ve been good to them, or bad to them,” said Nightingale.
They also spread the word. Crows teach their families to recognize people they don’t like.
“You not only get hassled by the parents, but maybe by the half brothers and sisters, or cousins our other family members as well,” said Nightingale.
But, both Nightingale and Adamopoulos agree the beady-eyed marauders of the skies are not out to hurt us.
“It’s their home, and you can’t evict them,” said Adamopoulos.
“This won’t take very long before it’s all over, until next year and we’ll do it all over again,” said Nightingale.
Until then, run, don’t walk.