Crows attack evening jogger in Upper Queen Anne

Posted on June 17th, 2011 by Editor


We just got an email from Queen Anne resident and reader, who was attacked by a pair of crows at the top of the hill last night and wants to warn neighbors to keep an eye out for the birds. She writes:

I was running last night on 7th Ave W, and just north of Garfield Street I had two crows attack my head about 10X for two blocks. I was running down the street away from them and yelling and waving my arms. I assume they have a nest in someone’s yard and are protecting their young, but they were VERY aggressive and could definitely knock an elderly person or child off balance.

This behavior isn’t all that uncommon in Seattle, especially during the late-spring/early-summer, or “fledge season” from mid-May to mid-June when crows teach their babies how to fly and are on high-alert and on edge, ready to attack anything they might see as a threat.

“They’ve invested a lot in their young and literally have helped them survive natural hazards and storms,” professor of wildlife science at the University of Washington John Marzluff, who in 2005 co-authored a book called “In the Company of Crows and Ravens,” told The Seattle Times in a story last year. Read the full story for more information on how to avoid crow attacks during fledge season, or what to do if you are attacked.


  • Mike

    I’ll punch a crow in the face if I need to.

  • Mike

    I’ll punch a crow in the face if I need to.

  • rodstewart

    @ Mike – You do realize the residual effects that said actions would have, do you not? These are not dumb animals, perhaps smarter than you even, just judging from your pugilistic logic.

  • rodstewart

    @ Mike – You do realize the residual effects that said actions would have, do you not? These are not dumb animals, perhaps smarter than you even, just judging from your pugilistic logic.

  • Iris

    @rodstewart- Did a crow steal your sense of humor? You should have punched it in the face.

  • Iris

    @rodstewart- Did a crow steal your sense of humor? You should have punched it in the face.

  • A Neighbor

    I too was swooped upon by a crow this week as I walked along W Howe between 5th and 6th W. I was walking my dog during the middle of the day, and didn’t think much of the loudly cawing crow as my dog was sniffing in the boulevard. Once we started moving again the crow hopped from tree to light pole to “follow” us, and then swooped at the back of my head once we got about a block away.

    I appreciate their protective nature, but it was a creepy experience!

  • A Neighbor

    I too was swooped upon by a crow this week as I walked along W Howe between 5th and 6th W. I was walking my dog during the middle of the day, and didn’t think much of the loudly cawing crow as my dog was sniffing in the boulevard. Once we started moving again the crow hopped from tree to light pole to “follow” us, and then swooped at the back of my head once we got about a block away.

    I appreciate their protective nature, but it was a creepy experience!

  • batty

    I was attacked on my deck by a trio of little birds (gray and black) who were not pleased I was there (I was there first, too!) and at one point 6 of the critters surrounded me! It was strange, especially since I had just played “Angry birds” on the ipad!!

  • batty

    I was attacked on my deck by a trio of little birds (gray and black) who were not pleased I was there (I was there first, too!) and at one point 6 of the critters surrounded me! It was strange, especially since I had just played “Angry birds” on the ipad!!

  • Jimbo

    I was once attacked by the feeling that I had built my house in nature and that she was gonna get mad once in a while

  • Jimbo

    I was once attacked by the feeling that I had built my house in nature and that she was gonna get mad once in a while

  • I was once attacked and followed (I was walking) from Cap Hill to the zoo by a crow and finally ran ino the Phinney church just as its doors opened and everyone was exiting. They thought I was nuts, but the crow left me alone after that. (Power of the Lord? HA!)

  • I was once attacked and followed (I was walking) from Cap Hill to the zoo by a crow and finally ran ino the Phinney church just as its doors opened and everyone was exiting. They thought I was nuts, but the crow left me alone after that. (Power of the Lord? HA!)

  • Kyle

    mysterious ways indeed.

  • Kyle

    mysterious ways indeed.

  • Crows aren’t all that bad! CAW!

  • Crows aren’t all that bad! CAW!

  • Rob

    Crows have been proven to distinguish human faces and have been known to hold a grudge. It might not be a bad idea to carry a tennis racquet. There is an angry pair near my work and I use the other side of the street these days.

  • Rob

    Crows have been proven to distinguish human faces and have been known to hold a grudge. It might not be a bad idea to carry a tennis racquet. There is an angry pair near my work and I use the other side of the street these days.

  • Grace

    Last year, at this time, I was walking Greenlake and looked up at a crow, making the mistake of making eye contact. Immediately three crows started swooping over my head. I walk out of the park and even crossed the street, but one crow followed me, cawing at me and flying over my head. I walked up another street (away from the park) with the crow still stalking me, by this time I’m getting a little freaked out. Finally we entered another bird’s territory and it immediately took off. Yeesh.

    The ones in my yard like me because I feed them. Don’t make eye contact unless you want trouble!

  • Grace

    Last year, at this time, I was walking Greenlake and looked up at a crow, making the mistake of making eye contact. Immediately three crows started swooping over my head. I walk out of the park and even crossed the street, but one crow followed me, cawing at me and flying over my head. I walked up another street (away from the park) with the crow still stalking me, by this time I’m getting a little freaked out. Finally we entered another bird’s territory and it immediately took off. Yeesh.

    The ones in my yard like me because I feed them. Don’t make eye contact unless you want trouble!

  • Lindsay

    I was chased by these same crows! It was actually pretty scary – they were very aggressive. I have avoided that side of the street for the last week.

  • Lindsay

    I was chased by these same crows! It was actually pretty scary – they were very aggressive. I have avoided that side of the street for the last week.

  • John

    Are we referring to crows or gang members?

  • John

    Are we referring to crows or gang members?

  • QA Hill

    Our neighbors feed the darn things. Why, I don’t know.

  • QA Hill

    Our neighbors feed the darn things. Why, I don’t know.

  • qaqaqa

    seriously @ rodstewart. pugilistic logic? i hope the crows start attacking pretentious aholes ;-P

  • qaqaqa

    seriously @ rodstewart. pugilistic logic? i hope the crows start attacking pretentious aholes ;-P

  • jose perez

    People once believed that when someone dies, a crow carries their soul to the land of the dead. But sometimes, something so bad happens that a terrible sadness is carried with it and the soul can’t rest. Then sometimes, just sometimes, the crow can bring that soul back to put the wrong things right.

  • jose perez

    People once believed that when someone dies, a crow carries their soul to the land of the dead. But sometimes, something so bad happens that a terrible sadness is carried with it and the soul can’t rest. Then sometimes, just sometimes, the crow can bring that soul back to put the wrong things right.

  • Ray

    Happened to me, too, last week. Couldn’t believe the crow followed me for three blocks. I’ve heard about face recognition with crows. These must not have been ones I previously fed. Thought we were tight.
    And to Mike: punch a crow in the face? Hope they eat your eyeballs after. (I wouldn’t shoo them away if I saw it happening…)

  • Ray

    Happened to me, too, last week. Couldn’t believe the crow followed me for three blocks. I’ve heard about face recognition with crows. These must not have been ones I previously fed. Thought we were tight.
    And to Mike: punch a crow in the face? Hope they eat your eyeballs after. (I wouldn’t shoo them away if I saw it happening…)

  • Zeener

    @jose perez – There ain’t no coming back. This is the really real world, there ain’t no coming back.

  • Zeener

    @jose perez – There ain’t no coming back. This is the really real world, there ain’t no coming back.

  • ltfd

    Try this- my brother in law and I have used it, and the crows backed off (they were harassing us in his front yard):

    – one person walks by as “the target”, wearing a jacket backwards, with both hands grabbing the bottom corners of the jacket.

    – the other person is the “spotter”, and they yell out when a crow is just about to fly by the “target’s” head.

    – the “target” suddenly lifts the jacket skyward with both hands (per the spotter’s yell), blocking the crow’s flight path above the “target’s” head (if you get real lucky, the crow even bumps into your arms or jacket).

    – One or two rounds of this, and the crows should back off; they will still be noisy though.

  • ltfd

    Try this- my brother in law and I have used it, and the crows backed off (they were harassing us in his front yard):

    – one person walks by as “the target”, wearing a jacket backwards, with both hands grabbing the bottom corners of the jacket.

    – the other person is the “spotter”, and they yell out when a crow is just about to fly by the “target’s” head.

    – the “target” suddenly lifts the jacket skyward with both hands (per the spotter’s yell), blocking the crow’s flight path above the “target’s” head (if you get real lucky, the crow even bumps into your arms or jacket).

    – One or two rounds of this, and the crows should back off; they will still be noisy though.

  • stfu

    It’s spring, there are baby crows. How grandiose we are – crows are tough or crazy enough not to be scared of the only animal that thinks they are not animals. Pop your two foot bubble and consider it is us who is f**cked up with nature…animals are coping with us, not the other way around.

  • stfu

    It’s spring, there are baby crows. How grandiose we are – crows are tough or crazy enough not to be scared of the only animal that thinks they are not animals. Pop your two foot bubble and consider it is us who is f**cked up with nature…animals are coping with us, not the other way around.

  • jameson

    a crow once tried to replace my youngest child with folger’s crystals. luckily I noticed.

  • jameson

    a crow once tried to replace my youngest child with folger’s crystals. luckily I noticed.

  • waterfront

    One day I was walking to work and I saw a worm on the sidewalk. Felt kinda sorry for it so I tossed it into the nearby greenery out of the sun. Then I heard that familiar CAW!! and was immediately dive-bombed. I guess that was breakfast I just ruined. Heehee

  • waterfront

    One day I was walking to work and I saw a worm on the sidewalk. Felt kinda sorry for it so I tossed it into the nearby greenery out of the sun. Then I heard that familiar CAW!! and was immediately dive-bombed. I guess that was breakfast I just ruined. Heehee

  • Paul

    If the crow swoops down on you look it directly in the eyes and don’t blink. If you don’t look away or blink it will temporarily lose focus and you should be able to hit it in the face with some success. I hope no crows read this.

  • Paul

    If the crow swoops down on you look it directly in the eyes and don’t blink. If you don’t look away or blink it will temporarily lose focus and you should be able to hit it in the face with some success. I hope no crows read this.

  • Jersey Boy

    The crows seem particulary aggressive year after year around 5th and 6th Ave West between Blaine and Garfield. They repeatedly wait until you walk past them and then swoop down to attack from behind. I’ve seen it over and over.

    A guy I know in West Seattle was having the same problem with the noise and attacks. He found a dead crow on his property, tied a string around it’s feet and then slung him up over a wire to hang in full view of his / her crow friends. He said they went nuts and more crows than usual came around for about a day. They had a little crow funeral of sorts and then he said they all took off and it was much quieter there after.

    If I had a tennis raquet with me while walking I would use it.

  • Jersey Boy

    The crows seem particulary aggressive year after year around 5th and 6th Ave West between Blaine and Garfield. They repeatedly wait until you walk past them and then swoop down to attack from behind. I’ve seen it over and over.

    A guy I know in West Seattle was having the same problem with the noise and attacks. He found a dead crow on his property, tied a string around it’s feet and then slung him up over a wire to hang in full view of his / her crow friends. He said they went nuts and more crows than usual came around for about a day. They had a little crow funeral of sorts and then he said they all took off and it was much quieter there after.

    If I had a tennis raquet with me while walking I would use it.

  • Finding a dead crow would lead me to call the health dept. and have them check the bird out for West Nile Virus disease. Just saying…

  • Finding a dead crow would lead me to call the health dept. and have them check the bird out for West Nile Virus disease. Just saying…

  • Marina

    @Mike – there was no way I could punch the crow in the face. . . maybe a tennis racket would work if one was totally prepared. Those things are vicious and have really good swooping abilities. I always thought crows were brainless scavengers. not the case.

  • Marina

    @Mike – there was no way I could punch the crow in the face. . . maybe a tennis racket would work if one was totally prepared. Those things are vicious and have really good swooping abilities. I always thought crows were brainless scavengers. not the case.

  • Naturerach

    Over here in Wallingford I’ve been attacked by an aggressive crow twice while on my way to the store. The first time I was attacked, the crow swooped at my head 3 times, getting closer each time and cawing at me. I yelled at him, but he continued following me down the street until I started running-must of looked like a crazy person. Today, I altered my path yet was attacked AGAIN (probably by the same crow), and started running. They’re all over the neighborhood, in fact I usually wake up to their “cawing” in my backyard. Wish these guys would leave me alone 🙁 Since our summer is a little late to arrive this year, is it possible there’s still young one’s that haven’t left the nest yet??

  • Naturerach

    Over here in Wallingford I’ve been attacked by an aggressive crow twice while on my way to the store. The first time I was attacked, the crow swooped at my head 3 times, getting closer each time and cawing at me. I yelled at him, but he continued following me down the street until I started running-must of looked like a crazy person. Today, I altered my path yet was attacked AGAIN (probably by the same crow), and started running. They’re all over the neighborhood, in fact I usually wake up to their “cawing” in my backyard. Wish these guys would leave me alone 🙁 Since our summer is a little late to arrive this year, is it possible there’s still young one’s that haven’t left the nest yet??

  • Jc

    I’ve never heard of crows attacking people, but if an elephant came within striking distance of your baby you would do everything you could to scare it off. I suggest give the bird(s) some space and go home.

  • Jc

    I’ve never heard of crows attacking people, but if an elephant came within striking distance of your baby you would do everything you could to scare it off. I suggest give the bird(s) some space and go home.

  • Greg

    I used to get followed by a couple of crows when taking walks in West Seattle. They were kind of intimidating and would follow me for blocks. They dove at me a couple of times but never came all that close, at least I don’t think they did. It seemed like it was the same ones each time and I felt kinda crazy…I’d never heard of crows doing that. I suspect that the folks above who make light of this have never had this experience. Crows are jerks sometimes.

  • Greg

    I used to get followed by a couple of crows when taking walks in West Seattle. They were kind of intimidating and would follow me for blocks. They dove at me a couple of times but never came all that close, at least I don’t think they did. It seemed like it was the same ones each time and I felt kinda crazy…I’d never heard of crows doing that. I suspect that the folks above who make light of this have never had this experience. Crows are jerks sometimes.

  • MT

    I’ve heard a lot of stories about crows killing smaller birds and seen it myself a time or two. I wish I could find a way to get them out of my yard for good.

  • MT

    I’ve heard a lot of stories about crows killing smaller birds and seen it myself a time or two. I wish I could find a way to get them out of my yard for good.

  • Carter Pewterschmidt

    Crows were here first.

  • Carter Pewterschmidt

    Crows were here first.