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What triggers the "Small Black Birds from Hell" ?

What triggers the "Small Black Birds from Hell" ?

Postby Ibis2k12 » 01 Jul 2015, 10:50

I'm trying to study the behavior of my #1 Archenemy, the Black Birds (some people call them Small Black Birds). I'm talking about those flying abominations that quietly sit on a tree until someone passes by and then swoop on his head continuously. I think their common name should be Black Drongo.

Results of my study:

#1: They should already be extinct.
Let's analyze their defensive pattern. They create their nest somewhere, and then in order to drive away possible predators they swoop on people, dogs, cats and so on. But if they didn't swoop, no one would know they have a nest there in the first place. Their behavior is borderline retarded, because any predator would suddenly realize:"HA! They're attacking me! Their nest must be close by, let's have a snack!".

#2: They don't follow the:"If you can't take it, don't dish it out" rule
They enjoy swooping on people and other animals, but they easily get scared. When I hear them coming (more about this on #3) I turn my head and spit in their general direction. They usually gave up immediately. "I need TO DEFEND MY FEST, MY CHILDREN ARE....OH CRAP THEY SPIT ON ME, FUCK IT, I'm DONE, TAKE MY CHILDREN, HOPEFULLYI'LL GET LAID AGAIN NEXT YEAR". This further validates #1.

#3: Possibly the worst attack pattern in the history of life on earth.
What is the worst way to attack? I'd say that making a loud noisy RIGHT BEFORE attacking is up there. I've seen many of those birds killed by dogs and cats that simply jump back and have a free snack.

#4: They descend directly from T-Rexes
They only attack moving targets, as soon as something becomes stationary they cease all hostility. If Jurassic Park taught me something, is that they behave exactly like a T-Rex, which means they evolved directly from them. If I get attacked and I suddenly stop they fly away and check what's going on, apparently they cannot detect me while I'm not moving and I become some sort of invisible God that they fear and respect.

Now let's move to the main topic of this post, which is: how does it all start?
I've seen them attacking people on foot, bicycle and motorbike, but I've also seen them ignoring the same targets. I'd say 80% of people on bicycle are attacked unless they ride in groups, which makes the birds less likely to attack. Speed, as mentioned in #4, has some part in it. If I stop, the birds fly away. If I start riding really slow they'll often look at me to check what's going on, and if I go back to regular speed they'll start swooping again. If I accelerate over 40kms/h they give up quickly, if I ride at a comfortable 20/25kms/h they can follow me for hundreds of meters. Helmets don't seem to influence the attack pattern at all.

Image

I CAN ALREADY HEAR THAT SOUND FROM HELL.

GODDAMMIT.

Can anyone add to my research?
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Re: What triggers the "Small Black Birds from Hell" ?

Postby antarcticbeech » 02 Jul 2015, 17:48

Humans display maladaptive behaviours to civilization too. We use our newfound superabundance of food to eat ourselves to death, for example, so it's not just the drongos bein drongos! (In Australian slang the word drongo means idiot).

I won't be holding my breath waiting for the drongos to evolve to heavily trafficked urban environments :(, assuming such a selection pressure exists in the first place. What percentage of the drongo population breeds in urban environments, anyway?

I'm more familiar with the spangled drongo in Australia. This one is spangling nicely.

Image

Wikipedia says that the black drongo attracts other species of to nest near it, due to it's harassment of predators. So although it annoys the crap out of you it does have its supporters. :D
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Re: What triggers the "Small Black Birds from Hell" ?

Postby finley » 02 Jul 2015, 18:04

They should already be extinct.

Maybe their purpose in life is to be food for predators. Like rabbits. Rabbits are also thick as two short planks, but somehow manage to breed faster than they get eaten (or run over).

Wikipedia says that the black drongo attracts other species of to nest near it, due to it's harassment of predators.

Isn't that awesome? I wonder how perpetuating other species confers an evolutionary advantage? Presumably it must. Humans might want to take note.
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Re: What triggers the "Small Black Birds from Hell" ?

Postby antarcticbeech » 02 Jul 2015, 18:58

I have seen the spangled drongos in Australia mob owls with other species, especially these little handsome devils - rufous fantails.

Image

Sp perhaps nesting with other mobbing species confers an advantage to the drongos too. Harmless non-mobbers may well get a free ride. I read something about a drongo species in Africa mimicking the alarm calls of other species, possibly to muster them into battle, but possibly also as a competitive distraction when mutually desirable food items present themselves in heterospecific company. :eek:

Working out the energetic costs and benefits of all of would be notoriously difficult.
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Re: What triggers the "Small Black Birds from Hell" ?

Postby urodacus » 02 Jul 2015, 20:22

Who's the drongo now,eh?




P.S.
I think summer causes the black birds from hell to attack.
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Re: What triggers the "Small Black Birds from Hell" ?

Postby Biota » 03 Jul 2015, 01:37

Interestingly, the ones on my farm stopped attacking after i cleared my farm with machines (and sadly probably killed all their babies). They sit on top high perches and talk amongst each other, or at me. When i first had my farm I left it fallow for some years and they would swoop down when i walked near certain areas. After the farm was cleared, or devastated, they just fly from perch to perch screaming but never swoop down anymore. To be clear, I have no idea if they are the same bird but look similar to teh ones pictured and have some interesting voices, I used to think they were owls when they screech at night until I saw them in the flesh.
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Re: What triggers the "Small Black Birds from Hell" ?

Postby Ibis2k12 » 03 Jul 2015, 14:14

antarcticbeech wrote:What percentage of the drongo population breeds in urban environments, anyway?


I think very few of them do, I only met them in rural areas far from urban environments. They're usually in the farm/forest areas far from populated areas, and they wait on a tree or electricity pole all day long.

Yesterday one of them shit on my shoes while swooping at me from the front. Now it's war.
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Re: What triggers the "Small Black Birds from Hell" ?

Postby Petrichor » 12 Jul 2015, 07:46

I've seen them by the river here in Muzha. Not seen them swooping on anyone, though.
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Re: What triggers the "Small Black Birds from Hell" ?

Postby jesus80 » 12 Jul 2015, 21:39

this post made me laugh :)
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Re: What triggers the "Small Black Birds from Hell" ?

Postby TheGingerMan » 13 Jul 2015, 16:31

I love the little black bastards.
Even same for their more fearsome big bru, that of the crow.

They always leave me well alone, as I am usually reactive like an owl in the midday sun.
Quite peeved, and pining for some.....
Yeah, man.
Dig it.
They certainly do.
For it goes without saying that one does not want a cornered owl on one's hands.

So apart from the odd bombardment of shit, no real problem from those chaps.....
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