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Yesterday I became a victim of the "legendary" blackbird of Grand Ave.  As I was riding east between California and Rockwell, I felt a sort of tugging at my right shoulder and heard a ruffling/agitated noise.  As I turned my head I saw a flurry of black feathers hovering at my shoulder. I screamed (one of those shrill screams) and what I later found out was a bird, flew off behind me. "What the f*ck?!?", I screamed but my bf, who was behind me, was oddly not surpised.  He later told me about this bird (a red-winged blackbird, we think) that chases bikers on Grand Ave, somewhere between California and Western (oh, and usually only east-bound riders!). He said this bird is fairly legendary with some people in the bike community - messangers, etc. Apparently I was lucky in that the bird only stayed with me a few seconds (shrill scream?) but he chased my boyfriend for few blocks, swooping down on his shoulder and helmet.

 

Anyone have any run-ins with the "blackbird of Grand Ave" that swoops down on bicyclists???

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Live near there and someone at my old office forwarded this to me after I told him about my daily run in with Hitchcock.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-080621blackbirds-story...
I wish I knew about this thread before. I live over that way as well and was attacked. At first I had no idea what was trying to land on my shoulder. I'm sure everyone around there got a good laugh at me as I shrieked and tried to shoo the thing away. It finally flew away only to dive bomb at me again. I nearly crashed my bike that time. And yes, people look at you like you're nuts when you tell them the story.

next time....ride faster.
Let's just hope this Blackbird doesn't learn to fish or we're all fcked.

We did just pass there on Critical Mass last Friday!...I made the map but I hadn't seen this thread so this is just so funny of a coincidence! Critical Mass probably really sent the birds a message....we may be annoying to them but we stay on the road and don't mess with their nests...I personally am going to avoid going there alone. :-)

Mark Kenseth said:
i say we do a critical mass along grand ave. to show this bird it's a worthless cause :)

but, yeah. i want a fly by. i'm putting this route on my list. sounds like a rite of passage.
Did any Massers get divebombed?

Barbra Mann said:
We did just pass there on Critical Mass last Friday!...I made the map but I hadn't seen this thread so this is just so funny of a coincidence! Critical Mass probably really sent the birds a message....we may be annoying to them but we stay on the road and don't mess with their nests...I personally am going to avoid going there alone. :-)

Mark Kenseth said:
i say we do a critical mass along grand ave. to show this bird it's a worthless cause :)

but, yeah. i want a fly by. i'm putting this route on my list. sounds like a rite of passage.
I looked around as we were passing through there and only saw happiness and serenity- no flailing arms.

Tank-Ridin' Ryan said:
Did any Massers get divebombed?

Barbra Mann said:
We did just pass there on Critical Mass last Friday!...I made the map but I hadn't seen this thread so this is just so funny of a coincidence! Critical Mass probably really sent the birds a message....we may be annoying to them but we stay on the road and don't mess with their nests...I personally am going to avoid going there alone. :-)

Mark Kenseth said:
i say we do a critical mass along grand ave. to show this bird it's a worthless cause :)

but, yeah. i want a fly by. i'm putting this route on my list. sounds like a rite of passage.

This is an awesome piece of history. Does the blackbird (offspring) of Grand Ave still roam and peck cyclists? 

I live near here now and haven't had one run in. But I have been attacked by similar birds in the past, including twice in one day by Fullerton beach.
Seems clear, no sightings so far this year. But you never know. Legend says, that they might be late season nesters. Those gosh darn birds can be very ornery. I'd stay away! . . .

I was attacked numerous times there by the red-winged blackbirds 'protecting their roost', on Grand Ave. and in the nearby park. It was not a pleasant experience. Just like in the movie "The Birds".

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They probably aren't nesting in the same location this year. If there were, you should have seen and heard them by now.

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