Reserachers at University of New South Wales in Sydney, recently published a paper stating that there are between, ’50 and 428,’ billion birds in the world. Thankfully, nowadays birds are not a threat to humans…or are they? In the bird world there are almost always exceptions to the rule, like the vulture, which, as with 99% of birds is not an omnivore, preferring animal meat. Read to the end to discover the pecking order of the 3 most dangerous birds alive.
3. Australian Magpie
The Australian magpie, a member of the Artamidae, genus, is 14 to 17 inches in length and a handsome feathered friend. That is, unless it’s swooping season and then the black and white bird becomes a brazen pain in the neck. Cyclists and joggers in many Australian towns flee for cover as the bird targets their eyes in bloody attacks.
James Glindemann, 68, was flown to hospital for emergency surgery after being aggressively swooped in the Victorian town of Sale in 2020. James asked the bird, “How are you going?” things quickly turned ugly. James opened his lunch box and the bird struck him in the face.
James didn’t drop his meal, which he later thought was a mistake. The bird sat on the concrete watching him and then attacked his face again. It attacked the right side of his face with a fair bit of force, drawing blood.
Ambulance staff were worried about him so James was flown to the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, where he underwent surgery for two hours. Thankfully, he made a full recovery.
2. The Ostrich
The Ostrich of the struthio genus is the largest flightless bird. They are found in large swathes of Africa. Adult males can grow up to nine feet tall and run at over forty three miles an hour. Ostriches have powerful legs and only two toes. But the second toe has grown like a hard hoof. Vicious attacks on humans can occur if the ostrich is feeling threatened.
American Musician Johnny Cash, who kept exotic animals, reported when encountering an aggressive ostrich, he swung a stick at the bird, the ostrich dodged the stick, kicked him and if it were not for the musician’s metal belt buckle the blow would have cut his abdomen open and killed him.
Still present in the forests of northeastern Australia the double wattle cassowary, feeds on fruit and small vertebrates. A keratinous skin-covered casque on their heads grows with age and is believed to amplify calls at very low frequency so this beautiful yet deadly bird can communicate through dense rainforest.
The second function is thought to protect the head of the cassowary as it charges blindly through rain forest. It is suggested if you catch sight of the cassowary to climb a tree immediately and make your own calls to emergency services.
It stands between 5 and 6 feet with the females sometimes standing up to six feet six with brighter colours than the males. A claw exists on the second digit of the feet, ideally, adapted to allow it to cut through vegetation as it runs through forest.
At five inches long, the medial claw is particularly dangerous when the bird kicks people or other animals with it’s powerful legs. It can run at 30 mph’s and jump five feet which must be a fearsome site if it chases you.
On April 5th 2019, a 75 year old Miami breeder of the large flightless bird fell into the enclosure. He made an emergency call to 911. Joshua Crews of the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office said the bird apparently attacked him and unfortunately he passed away in hospital.
Have I missed a bird that should be in the list? Sqwark below if yes…
- You may like: Giant Cranes Return To Ireland After 300 Years
- Read: Ostrich: Facts and Sightings