Woman attacked by birds at West Chester park

Published: Jun. 3, 2019 at 10:43 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI, Ohio (FOX19) - Visitors at Voice of America Park in West Chester are being warned about aggressive birds.

The Voice of America Park is one of Theresa Walrath's favorite places to wind down each night.

However, last week while she was walking on the trail she had a frightening experience.

“Each night we come on the weeknights and walk the path. Thursday night I was walking over along Hamilton and Mason and for no reason a bird just dive bombed my head and I had to swing it away and I thought that was strange,” said Walrath.

When Walrath came back the next night, she said she saw another red-winged black bird and she was attacked again. This time, she said it was more aggressive and clawed into her scalp.

"It clawed into my head and screeched. I acted out a little bit I ran up to this man I was like did you see that bird attack me. There were people everywhere and it singled me out. I was like certainly this bird doesn't remember me from the night before," said Walrath.

She isn’t being singled out. The spokesperson for the park, Kelly Barkley, said that during the mating season male red-winged blackbirds are fiercely territorial of their nests.

She released a statement saying in part, “Despite their size the common American species has chased and attempted to peck the heads of anything they view as predators. Their dive-bombing occurs near parks and around any shore line with a body of water.”

Warning signs are posted throughout the park to make all visitors aware.

"My head was sore for a couple of days," said Walrath.

Although it was a painful lesson learned, Walrath returned to the park on Monday night for a walk, this time staying away from the tree lines.

"Tonight I just walked right in the middle. I didn't want to get attacked again," said Walrath.

MetroParks said the park is safe. Barkley said they can’t control nature, but it’s important for visitors to be aware of their surroundings.

The park said the mating season continues through mid-summer. The signs will stay in place until the mating season is over.

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