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Incidents in the American Settlement: Crows attack people and dogs in Bad Godesberg

Incidents in the American Settlement : Crows attack people and dogs in Bad Godesberg

In the American settlement in Plittersdorf, signs warn of attacks by crows on humans and dogs. A resident describes that a dog is supposed to have killed a crow fledgling before. Experts judge such incidents differently.

These are seconds that a resident of the American Settlement will probably not forget so quickly. On Monday afternoon, as the 66-year-old was walking her dog through the park as usual, a crow swooped down on her out of nowhere. "The animal caught my wife in the head and chased her," her husband told GA on the phone. He said his wife, who, like her husband, wishes to remain anonymous, is still in shock. The crow showed no interest in the couple's border collie mix.

The Plittersdorf resident said there were already warning signs in the American Settlement. "According to this, a dog is said to have eaten a baby raven, so the parents are now very aggressive," the 77-year-old said. The white notice is written in German and English because of the international nature of the neighborhood. It hangs above an official sign asking dog owners to pick up their pets' droppings because of children playing. Who put up the improvised writing, which explicitly warns against attacks on dogs and humans, is unclear.

Ornithologist is surprised by the attack on people

Peter Meyer vice chairman of Nabu Bonn was very surprised by the events. "I have never heard of such a thing," said the ornithologist at GA inquiry. It was known that the ravens defended their young in an emergency, he said. "If, for example, a young crow is grabbed, they make a heathen theater and scream loudly," Meyer said. But the fact that they attack humans is completely new to him, he said. "I could imagine dogs more."

Especially since, unlike birds of prey, crows don't have claws. In contrast, it often happens that magpies and raven crows are in a clinch with each other, he said. The latter would like to take the magpies young birds from the nest, whereupon the stolen parent bird attacked the attackers. "Whereby the magpies usually have no chance," Meyer said.

If one searches the net, however, one quickly finds crow attacks on humans. In May 2020, for example, joggers and walkers in major German cities were the main targets. Conservation experts explained this at the time by saying that both groups had presumably come too close to nests, and that the joggers were also moving quickly. After analyzing the incidents, it also seems unfavorable to wear the signal color red. As behavioral tips birders gave out at the time to wear headgear, stretch an umbrella or raise your hand. Because crows liked to choose the highest point for attacks.

The incidents are new for the Fischer couple, who are involved in the association "Save the American Settlement" and live there. However, the animals are very smart, says the former biology teacher. "I have already been told that the crows steal food from the balconies here or very trickily open bags at the garbage cans," said Renate Fischer. And husband Rolf added that yes, the General-Anzeiger had reported in 2018 about how the ravens had destroyed the lawn in the Sportpark Nord. "And thus have caused the Bonner SC some quite nice game problems," said Fischer.

Situation should calm down soon

The Vebowag, which manages the American settlement, is in any case clueless. "Nothing has been reported to us there in the matter of crows so far," explained board member Michael Kleine-Hartlage. The city of Bonn could not find out on Tuesday whether there are warnings or complaints from citizens on this subject.

A Plittersdorf woman, who was with her dachshund at the Steubenring on the way was very relaxed on Tuesday morning. In the six years she has lived here, there have been similar incidents. "Since my dog is cat-like, they have also already chased it", said the woman. The situation in the Ami settlement should calm down soon. Then the chicks are fledged and need no more nest protection by their parents.

( ​ ​ Original text: Silke Elbern​ - Translation: Mareike Graepel​)