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How to avoid the wrath of the red-winged blackbirds along Grand Rapids' riverfront

If you'd like to avoid a dive bomb from an angry red-winged blackbird or a peck at your head, it's best to avoid walking near their nests.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — They're back! 

It's not a surprise, and it happens every late May to mid-July: Red-winged blackbirds acting aggressively toward humans they perceive as a threat. 

Don't take it personally. Red-winged blackbirds aren't here to make friends. 

Instead, they just want to protect their young.

The nesting birds will sometimes swoop and squawk at unsuspecting walkers along the Grand River in Canal Park and Sixth Street Park. 

They usually nest in trees along bodies of water. Male birds tend to be more aggressive. 

Here are some tips the City of Grand Rapids shared to avoid the wrath of red-winged blackbirds:

  • Give plenty of distance between yourself and the nest whenever possible. 
  • Take an alternate route
  • Wear a hat when walking through a nesting area
  • Keep in mind that when we're in parks, we're sharing territory with wildlife

You can learn more about red-winged blackbirds by clicking here.

It's that time of year again! From around late May to mid-July, nesting Red-Winged Blackbirds may exhibit aggressive...

Posted by City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation on Monday, June 5, 2023

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