Can a bird kill you? Well, it depends on which bird we are talking about and yes! Some of those birds can very easily kill you. It is rare to hear of birds putting people in hospitals because most attacks by birds are not deadly. However, some birds can be aggressive, especially during the nesting seasons or when they are guarding their chicks so you need to be careful. When it comes to the most dangerous and deadliest birds on this list, you will be surprised because most of them are beautiful and seemingly harmless in appearance but given a chance, they can very easily put someone in hospital…
This one is a surprise addition even to us but considering the number of fatalities reported recently, this domestic bird ranks highest in bird-related homicides. The fault is more on the people that misuse the cockerels than the birds themselves though. In February 2021, a man in India was killed by his own Cockrel while preparing it to fight for him in an illegal cockfight. The funny bit is that he was actually trying to cheat in the fight by tying a knife to the bird’s leg so it would knock out the opponent faster. The bird tried to escape and impaled the poor owner in the groin forcing the police to arrest the bird because everyone else fled after the poor man collapsed from loss of blood. A similar incident had happened a year earlier when a Cockrel with a knife strapped to its leg cut a man’s neck while being transported to another cockfight. That makes cockerels the most murderous bird in the world but you can’t blame them because you should never arm a bird with a knife.
The Australian Magpie
Australian magpies don’t appear dangerous at all. In fact, you will rarely hear of an attack by these little birds until the so-called swooping season starts. In August 2021, the relentless attacks of the magpies killed a baby in August 2021. The birds also attack people who come too close to trees where the birds are nesting in their nesting season and while they are rarely fatal, the injuries can be significant which is why some people call the Australian Magpie the most dangerous bird in the world.
The Southern Cassowary
These birds are often called the world’s last dinosaur because they are actually descendants of those extinct reptiles. The aggressiveness of these birds is something else though. The last recorded case of death by cassowary happened in 1926 when a cassowary cut a 16-year-old boy’s jugular. The birds can grow to a height of five feet with tall powerful legs that have three claws. The claws can easily rip through flesh and a blow from the cassowary can break a human leg. When they attack, cassowaries won’t stop hitting at their opponent until they are out of reach, defend themselves more aggressively or they are out cold. The other problem here is that the birds will outrun a human on any day so taking off may not help you a lot.
Like cassowary, emus are flightless and also native to New Guinea and Australia. These birds can reach heights of 6ft and run 30 miles per hour which gives them an edge on any man. They are naturally docile unless they feel threatened or when they are protecting their chicks. They have sharp beaks and claws just like cassowary and they can easily break your led or poke your eyes out. They tend to leave you alone when you run out of range though and there are no reported fatalities but some victims have ended up in hospitals.
An angry ostrich only has one rule; poke until the threat runs for dear life or they are dead. It always happens when you get too close to these beautiful birds that can grow up to 9ft tall. When poking you is not an option, the ostrich will kick hard with both of its feet which have tough claws that can break your skull. Ostriches rarely attack humans unless they are provoked, but when it happens, the human is most likely to end up in the hospital and the injuries could be life-threatening.
Imagine just walking up the staircase on your way to the theatre of a courtroom and then from the sky, a tortoise falls on your bald head and breaks your skull! According to legend, that is how this vulture which is also called a bearded vulture killed the Athenian dramatists and poet Aeschylus. Now, don’t be afraid to have a bald head because there aren’t that many bearded vultures around and those that exist prefer carrion and small animals over human heads and babies. These birds are not aggressive either so they won’t come for you.
The Red-Tailed Hawk
The red-tailed hawk is one of the most magnificent hawks in the world. You will find people posing for photos with the docile ones from time to time but they are also very territorial. They sent 12 people to hospital in Florida in 2019 when they attacked an entire parking lot and pecked at people’s heads until everyone bled. They have also been known to scratch with their claws causing severe cuts to people that come too close to their nests.
Imagine tagging a bird only to feel a tingly feeling in your mouth and then dizziness just before passing out! That is what happened to a group of scientists in New Guinea while they were studying the pitohui. It is the only toxic bird in the world and it can release the same toxin through touch just like the poison dart frog. The bird is believed to accumulate the toxin through eating beetles which they have turned into a staple diet over the years. It is therefore wise to be careful when handling any species of this glittering bird.
The African Crowned Eagle
This is the only bird known on earth to actively hunt human children for food. When the bord was first studied back in the 1920s, remains of a child’s skull were discovered near its nest with claw marks on it. The Eagle has the longest talons of any bird and tends to hunt small animals including monkeys and baboons in the savanna. However, when animals are in short supply, the bird has been known to invade human settlements and attack babies but humans are not their preferred food.
The Mute Swan
The beautiful and innocent-looking snowy mute swan is also one of the most dangerous birds in the world, especially where their chicks are concerned. They rarely attack unless they feel that their offspring is threatened in which case they will come at you with everything they have which includes a strong bill and huge wings. A man drowned in Florida back in 2012 when a mute swan knocked him off his kayak and that is pretty much the reason why you should never underestimate them.
Have you seen or been attacked by any of these birds? Why not tell us about it in the comments below!