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A Blackbird Is Terrorizing People In Old Montreal & The TikTok Is Like 2022 Hitchcock

This brazen midday bird assault may be proof that nature is healing.

Senior Editor
Red-wing blackbirds defend their territory against pedestrians who dared approach their tree.

Red-wing blackbirds defend their territory against pedestrians who dared approach their tree.

Local birds are sharpening their talons and taking names. A video posted to TikTok shows a pair of birds mercilessly dive-bombing unsuspecting passersby at the corner of rues Saint-André and de la Commune in the Montreal Old Port.

The video, taken by Montrealer Aya Chraibi (aya.chr97 on TikTok), shows the furious flurry of beaks and feathers chasing pedestrian after pedestrian away from their domain of streetside trees and construction scaffolding.

One person flails their arms helplessly, dropping what appears to be a bag in the process, and nearly falls off the curb as they attempt to escape the beating. Another braver human endures a brutal pecking to retrieve the abandoned accessory while its owner looks on from a safe distance.

The onslaught continues unabated as two more pedestrians make their way down the street. And Chraibi, who lives nearby, told MTL Blog that the video only shows a handful of the birds' victims — or, from the birds' perspective, potential nest desecrators.


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She said the couple has continued to attack "anyone approaching" their tree. Neighbours have even begun warning pedestrians.

Chraibi identified the birds as notoriously defensive red-wing blackbirds. Hinterland Who’s Who, an online resource from the Canadian Wildlife Federation and Environment and Climate Change Canada, says the species "defends its territory fiercely, attacking much larger animals to protect its nests."

Chraibi said she was surprised to see the number of people who commented on the video with stories about their own run-ins with the blackbirds.

Among the hundreds of comments are accounts of attacks on cyclists and in backyards. Many others expressed admiration of the birds' boldness. Other commenters confessed to their intense fear of bird attacks.

This video probably didn't help.

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