The Birds

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It’s like 1963 all over again! Read this:

Hassan Isa Buhassan attacked by crows

A Bahraini man has been badly injured in an attack by crows, which swooped on him outside his home. Hassan Isa Buhasan, aged 30, was still being treated for a severe eye injury at the BDF Hospital yesterday.

He was leaving the family home in Sadad, Sitra [?], on Saturday morning, when three out of a flock of more than 30 crows swooped from the roof.
GDN – 10 July, ’07

The local affairs editor at Al-Wasat had a brainfart and thought that crows were Mynahs, and he even parenthesised the word to look smart!

Regardless, crows are a nuisance for sure and as they are not an indigenous bird, they can unbalance the nature of things in Bahrain. They are thought to be one of the causes for the plight of the local Bulbuls. The government has put a price on their heads; for every crow one kills, he receives a Dinar (I heard, I am not sure if this is still valid). We have them hanging around in the neighbourhood where they seem to especially like those tall communications towers and they do create such a racket.

I have observed that if even one descends into our garden, every other bird flies away, and I am almost convinced that it was one of those bastards that killed and eaten the Bulbul hatchling.

Even with that, I hesitate to accept that these birds would actively pursue an attack against a human. I wonder what actually transpired. In any case, I wish Hassan a speedy recovery.

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28 Comments
  • Proud Bahraini
    10 July 2007

    This reminds me of that film (Birds) by i guess by Alfred Hitchcock.

    Poor guy, wish him a speedy recovery.

    These birds are scary crows i just noticed crows a couple of years ago with the start of the Iraq war I’ve heard rumors that they came with navy ship that dock in Bahrain for a while.

    I heard that the government has placed a prize on each crow’s head it is a 1BD on each crow, I wonder how we can exterminate these pests from Bahrain.

    I think they should organize a national campaign to hunt down these crows (Crows National Hunt).

  • CerebralWaste
    10 July 2007

    I am curious about where the crows came from. Somehow I just don’t see a Navy ship having crows on it. Seems more of the “let’s blame the US for everything” than a honest idea about how the crows got introduced into Bahrain in the first place.

  • mahmood
    10 July 2007

    Don’t listen to fishwives’ tales. Birds migrate, that’s what they are created for, and if they like a place they make it their residence. That’s how the rose-ringed parakeets have come to Bahrain and the whole Gulf and went as far as Europe.

  • um naief
    10 July 2007

    i don’t believe it. makes me wonder if he was trying to kill them or something or trying to harm one of their babies… or had tried when they were hatched a few wks ago. we have some that are living in one of our tall trees outside. i don’t mind them.

    a lot believe they’re a bad omen and my MIL tried to get the yard guy to kill them… but they changed their mind w/ urging.

    i’ve seen, believe it or not, small birds chasing after them in the sky and they always fly away… but since they’ve moved into our neighborhood, i no longer hear nor see any of the parakeets that once frequented the tress across the street.

  • um naief
    10 July 2007

    i will also add… they built a nest in the tree against our fence, and they are very GOOD parents. i watched them daily and still do sometimes. they had 4 babies and both mother and father took constant care of them. they were so very patient when teaching them to fly. i loved watching it.

  • Barry
    10 July 2007

    Mahmood: This is their breeding season, and otherwise wary birds can turn incredibly bold when nesting. The crows here haven’t been known to go after people but I have seen a pair of them go after red tailed hawks, dive bombing and going for the neck. It’s an amazing sight, they fly together, one going after the bird, the other following, and sometimes they take turns hassling.

    The crow in question, Corvus splendens:

    “Birds have been reported taking food from school children and killing chicks of domestic fowls. Breeding pairs will repeatedly dive bomb humans near the nest.”

    It is possible Hassan was getting divebombed, turned around and happened to be jabbed in the eye by the crow. I can see it happening.

    We’ve got small blackbirds here that normally you can’t get within 20 feet, but when they are breeding, they will fly at you, if you turn your back. I had one fly at me, come within an inch of my head, flap loudly and then fly back to the telephone wires where it watched for me to turn around. People walking by our house used to get divebombed, and they would even drive off dogs.

  • AGA
    10 July 2007

    That is just awful, and I hope that he has a speedy and complete recovery. Perhaps the folks in Chicago should take this little feller a little more seriously?

  • Ash
    10 July 2007

    Interesting. Here, herring gulls can be a problem. They dive-bomb tourists on the beaches to steal their food. They also nest on the roofs of houses and then treat the house as their territory and dive-bomb the owners as they come and go. Herring gulls are big birds – much bigger than crows – so it can get pretty nasty but the only fatality I’ve heard of was some guy who was on the roof and fell off when gulls attacked.

    Despite this, I like gulls. And crows.

  • Iris
    10 July 2007

    In German there is a saying: A crow doesn´t hack another crow’s eye.
    (Which actually translates into that usually somebody will defend or not speak badly of his alikes like lawyers or physisians or politicians and cover mistakes up.)

    So they do usually attack the weakest part of an enemy. For sure this man came too close to their nest as Barry suggests.
    Crows are also very intelligent birds and you can teach them tricks just like parrots.

  • Barry
    10 July 2007

    Iris: Most of the members of the crow family are pretty smart birds. Our Scrub Jays look like slim, blue crows, and they are just as smart.

    Unlike most wild birds, you can teach jays to feed from your hand (It would be interesting to try, we have lots of them). This is why when you see trained birds that are supposed to look “wild” on television (at least here in the US), they use pied crows because of their trainability (despite the fact that pied crows have big white patches on their breast and no North American crows have white plumage). Crows can also apparently imitate various sounds, something like Parrots can.

  • Yvonne Dettwyler
    10 July 2007

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_birds_of_the_United_Arab_Emirates

    have a go, see if his is your type of crow. Plentyful in Egypt, very amusing, play tricks on one another, dive past people holding a sandwich in their hand and whoops its gone. Prefere children for this game. Never heard of them harming anybody. There was an attack in Germany by crows injuring a woman who ended in hospital as this poor young man now in hospital on your island. Crows at least in Europe known playing in the snow in winter, sliding down small hills on their back feet in the air. No joke.

    As Barry says they do attack when they have youngsters, read Konrad Lorenz SOLOMAN’S RING,
    father of behaviourism***, experimented with ravens Nobel Price recipient***. . One preened Prof. Lorenz’s eyelashes stting on top of his desk!!! never hurting him.,Lorenz never flinching. Known as a very strange old bird (Lorenz).

  • Dibujante
    11 July 2007

    the american navy ships bringing them to bahrain have some sense in it, but its not only navy ships i heard even the australian livestock ships attract crows from south asia they follow these ships and eat hay or whatever they feed those livestock. these birds are a pain .. specially for farmers

  • CerebralWaste
    11 July 2007

    Dibujante

    Please explain in DETAIL what “sense” the US Navy has with bringing crows into Bahrain. Give us the who what where when how’s and why’s please to your claim.

    I will buy you a dozen shawarma and the beverage of your choice if you can prove that the US Navy is bringing crows into Bahrain. 😯 mmmmm shawarma mmmmmm 😆

  • Dibujante
    11 July 2007

    CerebralWaste

    as far as i know and i might be wrong that crows came to bahrain because they followed ships… and ships here means food for crows … so if its being a navy ship or a cargo ships the food waste is what attract the crows … am not saying that navy ships have cages filled by crows !!!!

  • Barry
    11 July 2007

    Dibujante: They pretty much follow humans, no matter who. Maybe you didn’t mean to imply a conspiracy, but it could be fishermen from the Iranian coast all along the ocean there that are attracting them. Crows by nature are all scavengers (I saw a couple today picking over trash). In fact, in Yosemite, my friends and I got reprimanded by a park ranger because the ravens (bigger than crows) saw our paper towels we had left out and shredded them all over the campsite (they are attracted to paper and love tearing it to bits).

  • Ash
    11 July 2007

    @ Yvonne – if you are interested in the behaviour of crows, and crow language, there’s a great website here: http://www.crows.net/

    (I’m a crow nerd …)

  • Anonymous
    11 July 2007

    >>…and he even parenthesised the word to look smart!

    Stones, glass houses, throwing stuff, you know, that whole…shebang

  • mahmood
    11 July 2007

    for God’s sake make up your mind what identity you want to use, and make sure that that proxy software you are using is turned on, Dubi-whatever!

  • nvdparker
    11 July 2007

    These crows are very much like the ones in India and most probably arrived on Indian ships.

    If you ask any Indian, crows are the most annoying birds but none of them would have ever heard of them attacking a person.

  • Ammar
    11 July 2007

    crows generally attack someone that gets too close to their home, or if they sense someone is a threat. perhaps they built a nest on or near his house, and when he passed by, boom.

  • Dibujante
    11 July 2007

    mahmood… this no.17 anon and the american dibujante in the other post are not me !! honest !! … my reply’s are only the ones with dibujante and a little bahraini flags next to it !!

  • mahmood
    11 July 2007

    ok, so you had your id stolen. there is only one guy that does that and I know him. It would be best if you actually created an account and logged in before commenting.

  • Yvonne Dettwyler
    11 July 2007

    l7 Ash

    and I am an old crow……

    thanks for the site watch anything hopping, crawling, flying, slithering, swimming.

    Cheerio Y.

  • Yvonne Dettwyler
    12 July 2007

    l6 Ash

    so sorry my message definitely wasn’t meant for l7.

  • Yvonne Dettwyler
    12 July 2007

    thanks for this excellent site. Informative,very lovely stories.
    In Addis Ababa, someone I knew had a cook who hated the crows gathering by the dozen every day near the back kitchen door waiting for bits of meat, kitchen refuse he disposed in the back yard. Fed up, he got a gun, killed one. Next day he saw through the kitchen window innumerable crows waiting. He opened the door, a mass of brds croaking madly tried to swoop down on him . He just had enough time to close the door b efore they could catch him. They waited nearly a fortnight for him every day. Fearing for his life he gave notice. The birds disappeared.

  • A learner of Arabic
    12 July 2007

    I actually once talked to a crow, and it attacked me twice from behind, when I was going away. I wasn’t injured, but I made a mental note never to talk to birds.

  • Yvonne Dettwyler
    6 August 2007

    INFO for ASH

    http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article2836623.ece

    this may give you new insights.

  • bob
    31 December 2010

    Crows can be very aggressive when they are nesting! Of course there are different kinds of crows, but I have dive-bombed by American crows as well as the gray-and-black carrion crows that are very common in Istanbul. I remember blackbirds (not related to crows, but just to illustrate a point) back in Iowa that would get very aggressive; there was one nesting couple that got so bad that bikers started taking another route for a few weeks!

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