The Portland Crow Attacks!!

While out biking around and taking care of some errands yesterday, I was attacked! For the third time in a row, a crow has swooped down and whacked me in the back of the head. Fortunately, it’s only been while wearing a helmet. Here’s a layout of the crow attacks. When approaching the Morrison Bridge from the western on-ramp you approach a point where cyclists and pedestrian pathways converge onto the shoulder of the bridge.

Approaches to Morrison Bridge. Click for full size image.

Approaches to Morrison Bridge. Click for full size image.

At the convergence, as shown with the “Crow Attacks” arrow above, is where the crow will swoop in and attack your head. This generally only happens to cyclists, and apparently only to certain cyclists. The bird has narrowed it down to some particular identifying characteristics that triggers it to attack. I’d love to know if you’ve had this experience. I’m curious why a crow is so perturbed about something, and what that something is, that it attacks people. Very strange thing for a bird.

As it hit me, I immediately went forward and got off my bike, grabbed my camera from my camera bag and tried to get some shots of the culprit. Here’s what I got. Nothing super clear, but as with other images, click for the giant full size image!

He's sitting on the light post. Hard to see as I had not had a change to adjust any settings to get the image clearer. Remember, click for full size image.

He’s sitting on the light post. Hard to see as I had not had a change to adjust any settings to get the image clearer. Remember, click for full size image.

The Crow escaping to safety after the dive bomb attack! Click for full size image.

The Crow escaping to safety after the dive bomb attack! Click for full size image.

 

A better shot of him sitting scruffely on the light post. Click for full size image!

A better shot of him sitting scruffely on the light post. Click for full size image!

 

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7 Comments

  1. That same bird attacked me today while I was on foot! It hit me square in the back of the head. I didn’t even see it coming. While trying to run to safety off the bridge, it swooped me another 3 times. WTH? Mean bird. Not only was it super embarassing as I jogged across the bridge in my dress, heels, and flailing my arms like a true spaz…it hurt! He hit my head hard! Left a few a scratches from his claws I’d assume. My husband found an article from last June at this exact same spot showing these bird attacks…and it looks like it’s a mama crow just protecting her nest. Ugh…she’s back this year. Watch out everyone!

    Reply

  2. HAVEN’T BEEN HIT BY THIS PARTICULAR CROW, BUT IN VANCOUVER, BPA AREA THERE ARE STARLINGS (DON’T THINK THEY ARE CROWS) THAT DIVE AT ME EVERYTIME I AM WALKING. HAVEN’T HIT ME YET. MAYBE I BETTER BUY A HELMET FOR WALKING!

    Reply

  3. I’ve been riding in to work this way for a few years now and our Crow only attacks in spring (April, May, June). I’m pretty sure the hormonal build up of nesting season compels it to protect its nest, which I suspect is in the cedars growing right next to the bridge ramp there. Eventually you just learn to deal with it, unless you’re my wife – she avoids that bird at all costs.

    Reply

  4. I JUST got attacked by that crow about an hour ago!!! SAME exact spot on the bridge, except it was a little further up towards the crest of the bridge… He attacked my backpack and pecked at it, then chased me while I rode waving my arms at him!!!

    Reply

  5. Holy sh*t. I’m glad to know i’m not the only one. It happened to me in that exact same spot on the Morrison Bridge about four weeks ago. I was on a jog and it hit my head four times. At first I thought it was an accident but not when I looked up and saw it dive bombing at me. Luckily it didn’t hurt me, just terrified me. I looked like an idiot flailing my arms and running for cover at the nearest building. I’m so glad to know I’m not alone but it has terrified me from going on a run ever since.

    Reply

    1. You are definitely not the only one Laurie! 🙂 I’ve had this conversation over and over again lately. The crow is seriously protective & slightly vengeful. It seems that the crow does attack far more than just cyclists. That’s just what I saw the day I was out for a few minutes on the bridge.

      Reply

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