Peak attack season is approaching in the Badger State. Many are calling it the “red-winged blackbird annual saga.”
The aggressive behavior is normal during the warmer months, according to Anna Pidgeon, an avian ecologist and professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In cities like Madison, red-winged blackbirds frequently build their nests closer to the ground in parks or on tree branches. Pidgeon explains that the peak attack season, usually in mid-June, is when red-winged blackbirds are busy protecting their nests.
“They’re also defending those precious babies that are stuck in that place and their whole year’s life work and their future,” Pidgeon said. “They see all these big predators — dogs, humans, potential threats to their babies — and do their best to protect them and deter them from coming in the vicinity where they might eat them.”
Despite this, they are protected by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which means you could face fines or jail time if you cause them any harm.
Avoidance is the best practice, so make sure to have a helmet or umbrella handy if you encounter a red-winged blackbird.