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Why Are Birds Scared Of Humans?

Why Are Birds Scared Of Humans?

Human beings are unpredictable. They kill and eat most animals and birds. So, plenty of animals have developed instincts that help them to detect when human beings are approaching or planning to pounce on them so that they flee on time. Even swans, chickens, and ducks live in the same houses as human beings will walk around and pick food, but they all fly away when you try to get closer. Of course, they will move closer when you are feeding them but will fly away as soon as they notice that human beings move closer than necessary.

Birds are scared of human beings because it is hard to know man’s intentions. So, they have instincts that allow them to detect when they are in danger and fly away. Also, birds know that human beings are predators, and so they are hard-wired to run away whenever they see them.

Most animals are aware that human beings are the most dangerous predators. So, they will flee from them whenever they feel that they are not secure. Some bird species have a self-preservation instinct that warns them when coming closer to human beings. Read on to understand why birds are scared of humans.

Why Are Birds Scared Of Humans But Not Other Animals?

Although birds fear other animals, they know that man is the most dangerous of all. They can coexist with bigger herbivores because the animals do not chase them away, but they will avoid smaller animals like cats, dogs, and human beings. The reason is that these animals are fond of chasing and pouncing on them whenever they get an opportunity to do so.

However, birds that live in the cities can move closer to human beings because they don’t chase them away unnecessarily. But other animals such as the sparrows, the pigeon, and the starlings can come closer and interact with human beings because they have lived with them for ages.

Notice that all birds fear mammalian predators. They know that the predators can stalk and pounce on them before they prepare to get airborne. They fear the cat mostly because it is swift and can pounce on them in the shortest opportune moment. It is the reason why they will raise the alarm once they see a cat around.

After the cat, the next animals that birds fear most are human beings. They know that human beings have an assortment of tools that they can use to hunt and kill them. Human beings use guns, arrows, and even stones to kill birds. So, they develop instincts that make them flee whenever they see human beings.

Do Birds Fear Humans?

Human beings are bigger than birds and will always make noise when moving or talking. These are the reasons why they sense and fear human beings. Birds can tell when human beings are watching them and will be afraid when they notice that you are trying to be kind.  Typically, human eyes convey a person’s intention and emotions. It is the reason why birds will respond to human gazes.

Also, birds know that predators will look at the prey for some time as they scheme to attack. So, whenever they notice a direct eye-gaze, they presume some form of danger and a possible attack. They will immediately put in place anti-predator responses in a way that is beneficial to them.

What Do Birds Think Of Humans?

Naturally, birds don’t consider human beings as friends. They look at them as predators. So, whenever a bird sees unfamiliar human beings, the instincts will tell them to fly away immediately.  Even when they pretend and try to look friendly, the birds know that human beings cannot be trusted.

There are cases where humans and birds have shared living spaces. Also, man has used birds to deliver messages during wartime. Besides, human beings have kept birds as pets and used them as food for many years. But birds will always treat human beings with suspicion. They look at us as a predator and know that they should be avoided at all costs.

Also, birds know that human beings are larger than birds, so they can easily cause some kind of harm even if it is unintended. It is why the instinct will tell it to fly away as soon as they see humans getting closer.

Note that birds can recognize humans; it is why when you earn trust, they will allow you closer but flee the next minute another person comes by.  They can recognize human beings face and will tell if you are the one that normally feeds them

Birds will also stare at you if they think that you are a threat. But once you take your eyes away from them, they will resume what they were doing. Note that they will remain vigilant and keep their eyes on you because they know that you are likely to pounce on them any time.  So, they will keep staring at you as long as you are still interested in them. But if you do not walk away, they may choose to fly to a much safer place.

Why Aren’t Some Birds Afraid Of Humans?

A few bird species have lived with a man for hundreds of years. They have accustomed themselves to living with humans and so they no longer get scared. Such birds include the pigeon, chickens, ducks, emus, and domesticated ostriches.  Other birds that may also be kept as pets, such as parrots and cockatoos, can comfortably live with human beings.


Although man has lived with birds for many years, most species see him as a predator. They know that the huge physic gives man an added advantage and so they can use it to pounce and attack them any time. However, if you do good things like feeding the bird repeatedly, it can develop some trust, and it is likely to move closer to you.  Also, birds can recognize you. It can tell who the owner is and may at times miss them when they are away.