Menacing Mockingbirds Attack Park-Goers in Brooklyn

Experts say they are defending their young during this nesting season

By Tracie Strahan
|  Friday, Jul 19, 2013  |  Updated 8:32 AM PDT
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Some angry birds are terrorizing people in Brooklyn's Transmitter Park.  We're told the mockingbirds eye their prey, follow them for a while and then swoop in and attack. Tracie Strahan spoke to three people who know firsthand what's been going on in Greenpoint.

NBC 4 New York

Some angry birds are terrorizing people in Brooklyn's Transmitter Park. We're told the mockingbirds eye their prey, follow them for a while and then swoop in and attack. Tracie Strahan spoke to three people who know firsthand what's been going on in Greenpoint.

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Menacing mockingbirds are tormenting park-goers in a swath of green space along Brooklyn's waterfront, dive bombing their heads and swooping at their pets.

Neighbors near Greenpoint's Transmitter Park say the angry birds regularly attack them on visits to the park.

"Like I'd be walking down the path and I'd feel something in the back of my head," said Paul Wullenski. "I'd look around and see a bird flying next to a tree." 

Julie Duffield kept her dog close after seeing a bird attack firsthand.

"We thought it was a blue jay but it was dive bombing people's heads and we had to move our seats because we were like, 'I think this thing is going to attack us or something,'" she said.

The city's Audubon Society says mockingbirds are defending their young during this nesting season, which begins in early April. Males and females both attack, but the males do it more, experts say. Mockingbirds can recognize specific humans and act aggressively towards some, while ignoring others.

The birds are expected to mellow out soon when their young birds fly off independently.

Truman Coleman says he's been pecked more than seven times, but he is more in awe than frightened.

"That little animal's got a lot of heart, protecting its little baby and keeping people away," he said. 

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