When you think of birds, you most likely think of very docile, perhaps graceful creatures that present themselves in your backyard as you watch them peacefully go about their daily routines.
Perhaps you think of the larger birds such as a hawk or a falcon that you watch in the sky as they glide elegantly through the atmosphere. What you don’t think about is getting pounded by wings or legs or getting torn to shreds by beaks and getting your bones crushed by talons.
They look so harmless for the most part, but some birds are not only physically strong enough to kick your ass and in some cases cause death, but some species are aggressive enough to do it. Some of the these birds on the countdown you’re going to expect, while others will surely surprise you.
Though a vulture’s prey is normally dead animals, a vulture could kick your ass if you provoked it to want to do so. Ultimately, a vulture would not be interested in attacking you, but it could do some serious damage if it had to due to its sharp hooked beak that’s specifically designed to tear flesh. Ouch!
10. Canada Goose
Though the Canada goose only weighs between 7 and 14 pounds, it can be very aggressive especially when defending its young. If a Canada goose attacks you, it may use its sharp beak to penetrate your skin or it could even pound on you with its wings that span between 4 feet and over 5 ½ feet.
If you’ve ever been to a beach or any other area where there are seagulls, you’ll know that they’re normally very docile though very pushy when it comes to food. It seems as if they have one scout seagull to lurk near you when you have food and look as pathetic as possible. As soon as you feed that single seagull, all seagulls within a five mile radius suddenly appear. They’re not violent. They just want your food.
However, if you get too close to their nest, the story of these normally docile creatures changes and they become very aggressive and will attack you with their sharp beak. They’ve been known to peck so hard and violently on a person’s head that there has been at least one case that left someone with injuries severe enough to be hospitalized.
As the largest flying bird in the Western Hemisphere, you could imagine that the condor could do some pretty good damage to a human. In fact, this was unfortunately put to the test on August 21, 1999 when a condor attacked a little girl just under the age of three years old at the Columbus Ohio Zoo.
During a show, the condor flew from its handler and knocked the girl down and gave her three bad puncture wounds. My guess is that the little girl was actually pretty lucky as I fear that this bird could have done a lot worse.
Like most of the birds in this countdown, the falcon isn’t overly aggressive normally, but I surely wouldn’t push it by getting too close to a nest. You can expect to get knocked on your ass if a falcon were to dive at you at up to 124 mph or put some talon pressure on you of over 200 pounds per square inch.
The falcon also has a razor sharp beak that can cut through the spinal cord of its prey. Though it most likely wouldn’t be effective for cutting through the spinal cord of a human, it could still do some severe damage.
Hawks can easily tear flesh with their overlapping and sharp beaks that resemble the action of scissors. It’s unlikely that a hawk will pierce all the way through your skin, but some serious puncture wounds would be a certainty. The talons would be sure to do you in as well as hawks have crushing pressure in their talons of almost 200 pounds per square inch.
Also, hawks have very keen eyesight and if they were stalking you like prey, you’d have a very difficult time avoiding it. I would also be impossible to get away since a hawk can dive at speeds that can reach up to 180 mph. Can you imagine what a body slam from a hawk would feel like?
As there are over 200 species of owls, it’s a little difficult to describe the damage an owl can do. For the most part owls will leave humans alone, but if you approach one during mating season or get too close to a nest, you could be in serious trouble.
With 800 pounds per square inch of crushing pressure in its talons, it wouldn’t be difficult for an owl to break some bones. If the sharp hooked beak isn’t enough to intimidate you, combine that with up to 125 pounds per square inch of crushing pressure in the beak as well.
Native to South America and an endangered species, the flightless rhea on average grows to be 60 to 80 pounds, but can weigh as much as 88 pounds. When we say that the rhea could “kick your ass”, that’s exactly how it could mess you up – by kicking.
The strength in a rhea’s legs is enough for it to be able to kick at a power of 800 pounds per square inch; more than enough to just ruin your day.
As a rule, eagles don’t bother humans though there have been some reports of such occurrences. However, if you were to fight against an eagle, your defeat is certain. First, it has extremely keen eyesight that can spot prey from up to a mile away, giving the eagle an advantage from the start.
Next, if an eagle wanted to attack you, one effective way would be to just dive at you. Though the bald eagle only weighs 7 to 15 pounds, when in a dive it can travel as fast as 150 to 200 mph. That’s some impact. Additionally, eagles have a scissor-like beak that’s razor sharp and overlaps making its job to tear through skin very easy and effective.
Lastly, the talons on an eagle are more than enough to crush bones as the crushing pressure can be up to 1,000 pounds per square inch.
Though they look awesome from far away, the closer you get to the ostrich, the world’s largest bird, the more you realize just how massive they are. An ostrich is taller and also outweighs most humans as they can be up to 9 feet tall and weigh up to 350 pounds.
They could do some serious damage with their beaks, but that would be nothing compared to the damage an ostrich could do with its legs. An ostrich has a kick so powerful that it can exert about 500 pounds of pressure per square inch in its kick. Also, due to the strength in its legs, the ostrich has extreme stamina and speed when running, so you have no chance of outrunning one.
An ostrich can run for up to 10 miles straight without stopping and can do so at a consistent 30 mph.
Though smaller than an ostrich at five to six feet tall and only about 130 to 150 pounds, the cassowary, native to New Guinea and Australia was named the most dangerous bird in the world in the 2007 edition of the Guinness World Records list.
First of all, cassowaries are extremely aggressive and there are numerous reports of attacks every year. The single claw on each foot could mess you up as it’s very sharp and almost 5 inches long, but that’s the least of your worries. Like the ostrich, the cassowary’s strength is in its legs as it can kick with the power of 800 pounds per square inch of pressure.
From this, you should have learned a few things. The first and most important thing is that you can appreciate the beauty of birds, but it’s imperative that you respect them and respect their space. Though encounters can occur from some species of birds unprovoked, most attacks are provoked.
If you remember to marvel at these birds from a distance, you can appreciate them a lot more than if you were to get on the bad side of one of these amazing creatures.