Friday, June 05, 2009

When Birdies Attack

The other day, on my mountain bike commute home, I heard a racket coming from behind me and glanced back just in time to see a giant bird (some sort of hawk I think) take off from a spot maybe 20 feet off of the trail. He landed in a tree not far away and proceeded to squawk like a freakin mad man. I watched him for a minute, took a pic, a short video and then headed on my way after he finally flew off. About thirty seconds down the trail, out of nowhere, I hear the squawking again, glance back and that son of a bitch was dive bombing me from behind. He swooped past, missing my head by five feet maximum. At this point I realized that I had somehow angered the beast. "I swear Mr. Hawk, I didn't know she was YOUR wife!" After that warning, I decided to walk my bike for a while so I could be on my toes. The raptor's chattering was amazingly loud and he was never out of sight so I kept my eyes on him and proceeded down the trail. Soon, he swooped again, this time coming at me pretty much head on and veered off just before reaching me. Being a man's man (who waxes) I like to pretend that I'm all tough and stuff but I swear to god, when he swooped me that time I frickin screamed like a girl. Who wouldn't really? The G-D thing had a wingspan approaching five feet, razor sharp talons and and a beak big enough to crack a coconut. Anyway, after that I got the camera out figuring if I was attacked again and I somehow got video of it hitting me in the junk I'd have a pretty good shot at $10k on america's funnies videos. I'd like to say that the video came out awesome but it didn't. Instead, you get to witness a Blair Witch type vid where you can't really see anything but you can hear the terror in my voice as the sob swooped me one more time for good measure.


Linda said...

Wow, I have 6 birds of my own (all non-raptors and they don't hate cyclists) and when I played this video, they squawked and my dogs got very antsy and whiny. I don't speak fluent bird but I'd say you must have pissed that bird off, huh? It was probably looking at a food source to swoop down on and then experienced Cyclistus Interruptus and turned on the Interruptus-er.

Mike J said...

That is really freaky. I freak out at dogs chasing me so I'm sure I would have soiled my cycling shorts if a bird of prey were swooping down at me. You did well.

Wheels said...

That sucka hates paparazzi in his woods.

Big Bikes said...

Had an incident with a big,
talon-havin' bird two winters ago.
And I too screamed like a little girl and ran like hell when it came at me. OK, it didn't really come at me, but I did almost crap myself as I dove for cover.


Pete said...

Could be the Axe Body you have a potato gun?

Mookie said...


Long time/first time. I work with a couple of hunters and more than likely your run-in was with a female red-tailed hawk. Apparently they are extremely protective of their nests (not like you were vertically near) when their young first hatch.


rick is! said...

awesome, some of these comments made me laugh more than the post!

Linda: I think you're right, the more I think about it, since it took off from the ground it probably had a kill, or was getting some sexy time.

Mike: my shorts are perpetually soiled anyway

Wheels: than he shouldn't be in the public's eye.

Thom: I would have run but I think that just would have made it more fun for him!

Pete: dude, this seriously made me laugh!

Mookie: After googling it, I think you're right in that it was a red tail hawk, the coloring, face and overall size seem to match.

Jason said...

LOL!! One of your best.

Groover said...

We have magpies swooping us from about Aug - Dec (mating and nesting season) so I know how scary it is to be attacked. This bird is freaking huge!