Crows terrorize neighbourhood 0
WINNIPEG -- It's a quiet street in east Winnipeg, though its residents are under attack -- and screaming murder.
A group -- or a murder, to be more technically correct -- of crows is swooping down to attack just about anyone who walks by their nest in a large tree on Ralph Avenue West in Transcona. And one homeowner says she sees some of Alfred Hitchcock's classic suspense movie The Birds in the horror.
"I'm petrified," Bernice Sokol, a resident of the street for nearly 50 years, said Friday.
"When they swarm at you, they really swarm."
It isn't only the residents on Ralph feeling the threat. Canada Post told several homeowners on Tuesday that because of the crows' attacks, its regular mail carrier would avoid much of the block for a few days.
Sokol, her neighbour Leonard Chapko and other residents are trying to protect themselves with umbrellas after about three weeks of the attacks from what they describe as vicious birds apparently trying to guard their young, and possibly what they see as their territory.
One crow brushed the back of Sokol's head days ago while diving at her as she carried her pet dog.
Though Canada Post didn't confirm it, Chapko said he believed that the mail carrier had a "chunk taken out of him" by one of the birds.
"I've had one come after me. It's a very aggressive crow," Chapko said, adding that "nothing has been done" about the birds, despite calls by residents to the city and to a wildlife organization.
"It was funny at the beginning, but it's not any more. My wife has to take an umbrella with her to go to work by bus."
During one of his wife's recent walks home from a bus stop, he said, one crow "went from one tree to the next" while following her.
"When they know you're scared, they'll take advantage of you," said Chapko, 65. "And we're getting a lot older -- we can't run fast."
After at least two days without mail delivery on the street, a Canada Post supervisor went door to door there with mail on Friday.
"We want to protect the safety of our carrier," Canada Post spokesman Eugene Knapik said.
"It looked clear for today, so we were able to do deliveries. We're going to assess it again tomorrow to make sure it's still clear and safe for our regular carrier to go out there."
A provincial Conservation Department spokeswoman said such problems with aggressive crows generally last only until their babies are able to fly. The department has no plans to do anything about the crows, she said.