Watch As This Bird Divebombs Unsuspecting People From Behind

By Carl Engelking | August 22, 2014 3:32 pm

Angry Birds becomes a lot less fun when that bird is in real life, and it’s dive-bombing your head.

This aggressive blackbird was caught on camera unleashing volleys of sky-terror on unsuspecting passers-by in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. The reactions are priceless: people shriek. People get mad. A little boy cries. Universally the look on their faces is “What the hell was that?!”

Angry Birds

But why was this blackbird so angry? It could all be in her head. In 2012 researchers reported that levels of a brain chemical, called VIP, could predict how aggressive certain species of birds were. VIP is secreted in the hypothalamus, a region of the brain that controls basic functions like hunger, sleep and aggression.

By using a small piece of DNA that specifically matched to waxbills’ — notoriously aggressive birds — brand of VIP, scientists created an injection that stopped the birds’ neurons from producing the anger-inducing chemical. The waxbills’ reactions to intruders went from instant brawling to more sedate warning chirps. In birds that were less aggressive, like zebra finches, the injection made them even more peaceable.

Perhaps this bird has got sky-high VIP levels — or perhaps there’s another explanation. You’ll have to watch to the end to find out.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, top posts
  • Odin Matanguihan

    Try the bilad-bilad. It is the size of a sparrow and regularly attacks cats and dogs.

  • CarolAST

    Cardinals attack their reflections in car mirrors and windows, and sparrows mob crows and owls.

  • SonofSpermcube

    One of those little bastards did that to me in Monterey.

  • NJBob49

    One year in Ann Arbor, Michigan, I was attacked several times by a robin as I walked under the tree where the bird had its nest.

  • TroubleAtTheMine

    You would think that after filming a dozen attacks someone would maybe put up a warning sign at least.

  • Matthew Slyfield

    The bird isn’t angry. It’s stealing hair from people’s heads to use for nest building material. :)

  • Phong Nguyen



Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!


Briefing you on the must-know news and trending topics in science and technology today.

See More

Collapse bottom bar