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Muscovites Warned: Carry Umbrellas to Fend Off Crow Attacks

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For many people, spring is a time for life and new beginnings — but Russian bird experts are warning that it’s also a time for aggressive birds.

Moscow’s crows get so protective of their fledglings during nesting season that they frequently threaten unsuspecting passersby, says Vadim Mishin, the head of the Ornitary wild bird rehabilitation center in Sokolniki Park.

“It happens that crows choose one victim in a building and the entire murder [group of crows] immediately attacks them when they leave it,” Mishin told the Moskva news agency Monday.

He recommended carrying an umbrella at all times to safeguard against the protective parents.

“If you see that crows are acting aggressively and attack you, it’s better to hide behind an umbrella and step back,” Mishin warned.

“Sadly, it’s impossible to simply avoid their nests, since crows live right next to people and you may not know if there are fledglings nearby.”

Not even the Kremlin is immune to the threat posed by Moscow’s aggressive crows. For decades, officials have employed a range of tactics to ward them off — the most recent being an eagle owl who was trained to keep the crows away.

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