“We invaded their territory”: Kazan attacked by aggressive crows

The strong birds have begun hunting for citizens against the background of lack of food and seasonal nesting

“We invaded their territory”: Kazan attacked by aggressive crows
Photo: vr-vyksa.ru

The unusual and frightening phenomenon has been recorded by the readers of Realnoe Vremya and the users of Kazan social networks. Aggressive crows, getting together in flocks, are terrorising passers-by, their pets, and even their relatives. This year, the aggressiveness of the birds is literally off the scale — they dive down on people and animals and attack small children on playgrounds, cawing frighteningly. It has even gone to the extent of “shooting”: Kazan citizens, exasperated, went out to hunt dangerous birds. Realnoe Vremya tried to find out the causes of this phenomenon and how it can be associated with self-isolation.

Aggressive birds terrorising Kazan

The aggressive behaviour of crows in recent months in the city has drawn the attention of readers of Realnoe Vremya: it is reported that the birds are flying close to housing and dive on people on the streets and stops, sometimes grabbing for clothes and bags. The incidents began this spring. Besides, the crows have become more active with the recent establishment of warm weather.

Reports of attacks by crows not only on people but also on animals can be found on social networks. At the end of May, birds attacked a kitten in a tree on Krasnokokshayskaya Street. . The kitten was eventually taken from the tree. Besides, in April, crows drove an adult owl into the entrance of the house. There are many cases of crows attacking pigeons — their stronger birds attack right in the air.

“There is a strange situation with the crows this year. There is an aggressive bird near our warehouse — workers complain that it attacks people and ask managers who come for goods to be careful. The bird is big, it is unclear what to expect from it," says one of the readers of Realnoe Vremya.

Many cases of crows attacking pigeons have been recorded. Photo: mail.ru

Kazan “shooters” have started hunting

The behaviour of crows has already forced some Kazan citizens to take up arms. The former assistant prosecutor of the Sovetsky District of Kazan, Andrey Baleyev, has recently been punished for shooting with an air gun while drunk by five days of arrest. He shot in the vicinity of the Privolzhsky district court and was detained by bailiffs who heard characteristic clapping. At the same time, dead birds were found on the territory of the court within a week. However, this does not appear in the protocol.

Interestingly, in January 2019, Baleyev found himself in a similar situation — then, as reported by the media, he shot crows from the balcony of his own house and even killed several birds. This cost the prosecutor the position, but the case was not opened against him.

A similar case occurred in March of this year — then shooting at feathered scavengers was opened by an unknown man in the courtyard of a house on Musina street. The news was even more disturbing because the incident occurred near a kindergarten, but the Kazan ministry of internal affairs then explained: an unknown person shot at the crows.

In January 2019, Baleyev shot crows from the balcony of his house and even killed a few birds. Photo: evening-kazan.ru

The season of the raven

Crows are mostly urban birds, and their life is connected with people: in particular, crows feed on urban landfills. Some readers have suggested that due to self-isolation and reduced activity of people, there is less garbage (for example, less waste is thrown out by public catering), and crows have become starved.

However, ornithologists point out that such aggression, first, has a seasonal character, and second, the reason for it is the behaviour of people. The thing is that now crows' fledglings have hatched, and the birds are taking care of the protection of their offspring. This was also pointed out by ornithologist from the KFU Ilgizar Rakhimov — although he also faced cases of attacks by crows.

“Aggression is manifested only in the event that if people show a certain carelessness. I was approached by a woman who told me that she was standing at a bus stop and was attacked by crows. If crows dive, it means that there is a nest nearby or a nestling (a young bird that is just learning to fly — editor's note). And there are a lot of such cases," the expert notes.

“There is a feeding tension”

Crows very often attack cats and owls, in principle. “They don't like cats because they climb trees. Dogs are annoying to a lesser extent. Sometimes the birds purposefully take something away from cats and dogs, performing real special operations — one distracts, the second takes the prey.”

“Birds have their own life, they live on Earth much longer than we do here as a social phenomenon. We invaded their territory, and we, by and large, worry them," Rakhimov added.

Vladimir Romanov, the head of the Russian Bird Protection Union, confirms the version with the protection of fledglings. “There is nothing strange about this, they just protect their offspring, this is an annual phenomenon," he notes.

At the same time, Romanov does not rule out that due to the self-isolation regime, crows have really been left without food — here he draws a parallel with other birds.

“Let's take, for example, ducks, their appearance on the streets of the city during self-isolation was really due to that they began to look for food and went far enough away from ponds. There is such a feeding tension, although it is unknown whether this affected the aggression," the expert emphasises.

Unfortunately, there is no single effective recipe for saving from strong, intelligent and angry birds. People can only wait for the birds to calm down and put their offspring on the wings. At the same time, retaliatory aggression can only increase the fighting spirit of crows — these birds are able not only to fight with an enemy of any size but also to take revenge. There are cases when crows deliberately damaged property, for example, the cars of their two-legged offenders.

By Alexander Artemyev
Tatarstan