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When Animals Attack: Red-Winged Blackbirds Protect Nests At Grant Park

CHICAGO (CBS) -- It's not quite a scene out of Hitchcock's "The Birds," but if you're visiting Grant Park anytime soon, make sure to keep your eye out for some aggressive birds that are protecting their nests, or you could find out the hard way just how protective they can be.

WBBM Newsradio's Mike Krauser reports Red-winged Blackbirds are nesting in the park, and will swoop down on passersby to protect their territory – so watch your head.

Bird Grant Park
An aggressive Red-winged Blackbird has swooped onto several people's heads at Grant Park. The birds are protecting their territory during nesting season. (Credit: Cher Ames)
Bird Sign
Signs in Grant Park warn pedestrians of birds protecting their nests by swooping at people's heads. (Credit: Cher Ames)
Bird On Head
A Red-winged Blackbird swoops onto the head of Saul from Brazil as he reads a warning sign about birds protecting their nests at Grant Park. (Credit: Cher Ames)
Bird Reaction
Two visitors at Grant Park duck as a Red-winged Blackbird swoops to protect its nest. (Credit: Cher Ames)

One extra-protective bird has been wreaking havoc on unsuspecting pedestrians.

"This bird came out of nowhere, and he completely dive-bombed me, and he whacked the back of my head really hard," said Cher Ames, WBBM's marketing manager. "He conked me, and he latched on. It was actually pretty terrifying."

Aggressive Birds Protect Nests At Grant Park

She's been attacked five times, and once the bird left a welt on her head.

"I'm like, 'What the heck is going on?' and he got stuck in my ponytail," she said. "I'm running up the ramp, with my dog, screaming."

Signs have been posted at the park, warning visitors of the swooping birds.

As one man stopped to read the sign, a bird swooped right onto his head.

Saul, from Brazil, said it was his first bird attack.

"It got me by surprise, because I didn't see it coming," he said. "It was different for sure."

CBS 2's Ed Curran decided to investigate for himself and got dive-bombed several times. Lucky for him, he was wearing a hard hat.

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