Blackbird
© Carlos Osorio/AP
Blackbird eats a beetle.
Alfred Hitchcock may have been predicting the future in his movie "The Birds," with bird-against-human attacks apparently becoming more common as people encroach on their natural habitats, according to wildlife experts.

Red-winged blackbirds appear to be a major culprit, reports The Wall Street Journal, with people reporting that the songbirds have been divebombing or slamming in to them as they jog or walk through their neighborhoods.

"You talk to people about being attacked by birds, and they look at you like you're crazy," Stephen Vedder, of Marlborough, Mass., who has been attacked while jogging at a nearby lake.

There are more than 250 million red-winged blackbirds in North and Central America, and Lori Naumann, information officer at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, said that during their nesting periods from April through July, the males can become aggressive.

"It's kind of like getting between a mama bear and her cub," Naumann said. She suggested people wave an umbrella or broom over their heads, as blackbirds attack the highest point of a target.

Meanwhile, parks departments and natural resources officers say hawk and wild turkey attacks are on the rise, and crows can also be aggressive while protecting their nests.

"Just about everybody has an example of a crow attack," says Jim O'Leary of Vancouver, British Columbia, who started CrowTrax, an interactive site tracking crow attacks after one crow went rogue in his neighborhood.

Kevin McGowan, a professor at Cornell University's Lab of Ornithology, said male blackbirds are only aggressive during nesting season and said he's also been attacked.

"We can all respect it even if we don't want them whacking us in the back of the head," said McGowan.