Still from Hitchcock’s “The Birds”—not Transmitter park, but almost. ©Universal Pictures
Transmitter Park’s wildflower path, the most dangerous walkway in Greenpoint. Photo: Megan Penmann

After yesterday afternoon’s torrential downpour I decided to take a walk through Transmitter Park to capture some photos while the light was still dramatic outside. I took a few shots, and made my way down the wildflower path, enjoying the post-rain quiet, the tranquil solitude, surrounded by nature. Then, literally, I was actually surrounded by nature. I felt something scrape the top of my head and my first instinct was that it was a pebble or leaf blowing in the wind. Then quickly I felt another blow to the top of my head, this one more serious. Suddenly I saw several birds hovering and swooping over me like I was tonight’s dinner. I screamed, arms flailing like I’d just won the bird attack lottery, and ran back down the path. Another bird swooped down and scratched my head again. I continued screaming and ran for cover inside the doorway of a nearby building. This isn’t the first time the birds have attacked locals in Transmitter; it’s been happening for years. Apparently, it is nesting season for the birds and the brute force attacks should stop once their babies are able to leave the nest. And, to truly live up to their schadenfreude-inspired name, “Other birds may gather to watch as the mockingbirds harass the intruder,” according to Wikipedia. So if the mockingbirds piss you off while you’re enjoying the park this month, just fly the coop and head to the Barge for a drink.

Wildflowers in Transmitter Park, moments before my bird attack. Photo: Megan Penmann

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  1. Yes. I have observed it too. If was rampant a few yrs. ago and then they seemed to have taken a break but they are back in force.

    The trick is not to sit, or lie near any trees. They nest in low lying shrubs and trees. The male is in charge of building the nest and the female stands guard near the nest patrolling and hopping around on any structure about 6-10 feet off the ground.

    The southern area in the park near the big wall mural is pretty safe.

    The problem is gone when the nesting season is over probably around July.

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