Monday, July 23, 2012
The bird is the word in St. John.
"Before I even come out of the house, I look out my window and see if there's one in the tree," Merlin Rogers said.
Rogers says Mississippi Kite birds threaten him with an aerial attack every day.
"I have to fake a bird out just to get out of my house. It's sad!" Rogers said.
He says the birds have been dive-bombing him and his neighbors, at times, cutting a little too close for comfort.
"I saw the bird coming and I ducked and I caught the corner of my car door to keep him from hitting me. That's how close it got," Rogers said.
Rogers has a visible cut underneath his eye from the incident. He says another neighbor received a small laceration to the back of his head in a separate incident.
Nearly everyone in the 500 block of the neighborhood has had a run-in with the birds.
"I was working in the yard and one flew down and decided to swoop my hair," Krista Lakey said.
She says the birds don't make a sound and then surprise you.
"Basically a lot of feathers and flapping and things like swooping," Lakey said. "Ugh, it's terrible!"
The dive-bombing birds have ruffled so many feathers, the news has traveled to interim Police Chief, Sgt. Adam Sayler.
"The most (birds) I've seen: I've counted about 15 in the sky," Sayler said.
Sgt. Sayler says he's received a number of complaints and has asked people living on a few specific streets in the neighborhood to be extra careful out of concern.
"The Game Warden told them because they are a protected species, there wasn't anything you could do to try to capture them or harm them," Sayler said.
The Game Warden says this is nesting time for the birds and the diving behavior is part of their way of protecting their young.
Sayler says the only thing people can do is wait until the season is over in August.
"They'll move on and the best you can do is try to scare them away with whatever tactic you can that won't harm them," Sayler said.
But Rogers says he'll do the moving on first. He's flying the coop.
"The birds have run me out of my house," Rogers said. "I'm going to go take a trip."