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Making a murder: Crow attacks disrupt busy Canadian city


Hailey Montgomery
Digital Reporter

Saturday, June 3, 2017, 5:54 PM - Pedestrians have been clawed, pecked, scratched or simply circled and intimidated. But enough is now enough for Vancouver residents who are taking to technology as a way to share distressing accounts of being victimized by these angry birds.

“They dive bomb my dog. He bothered a baby crow last year. They don't forget," one victim explained in an online post.

These type of testimonies are part of a sharing site designed to hold the birds accountable known as CrowTrax, an open source Geographic Interface System (GIS) map on which those attacked can click and mark where exactly the altercation took place.

CrowTrax co-founder and GIS professor Jim O’Leary told Vann that the site started two years ago during a spring full of frequent reports of attacks. 

“It was like a warzone,” O’Leary said. “Those crows were attacking everybody."

A flock of tiny, cartoon bird icons crowd the downtown and west-end of the virtual Vancouver map. Users can rate the aggressiveness of an attack on a scale of 1-5, and write a short description of the attack.

Date stamps on the writers’ accounts suggest that the crows were very busy in late May, into early June. This is more than likely because they are in the middle of their nesting season.

The birds are intelligent, and are capable of forming complex social bonds. They are not normally aggressive to humans, but are fiercely protective of their young.

The comments on CrowTrax all fit the bill – many say they spotted near the scene of the incident.

Many users describe being hit more than once during an attack, and even describe being “stalked."

The birds are back, and possibly with a vengeance. They are capable of facial recognition, and can remember if a person fed them – or made them angry.

So if you find yourself face to face with an agitated crow, make sure you get on CrowTrax, so others can avoid such a fate. O’Leary said he hopes that people across the country will put the site to good use.

Watch below: crow takes flight on an eagle 

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