There are a lot of insane stories on Reddit, but this one beats them all. A woman in her late 20s turns to the internet for legal advice. She has unintentionally created an army of crows bent on defending her. They even dive-bombed a friend coming for a socially distanced visit. Luckily, no one was hurt. But is she is liable if they injure or kill anyone? Then she added an even crazier update: Her crows have saved her neighbor’s life.
Woman Accidentally Creates an Army of Crows
The woman living in Portland, Oregon, began by explaining she had an intense emo/goth phase as a tween. Months ago, she saw a nature program about crows. Apparently, if you fed and befriended crows, they will bring you small gifts in return. Her goth phase was reactivated. She was furloughed and bored, so why not start feeding the neighborhood crows?
There were about five crows in her vicinity, but that quickly turned into fifteen. Fortunately, her neighbors didn’t mind. Most of them are elderly birdwatchers. They got a kick out of the army of crows following the woman around whenever she left her house. Then things got a little too interesting.
“Lately, the crows have started defending me,” she writes on Reddit. “My neighbor came over for a socially distanced chat (me on my porch, her in my yard), and the crows started dive-bombing her. They would not stop until she left my yard.”
Luckily, the neighbor was saved from what could have been a scene out of Hitchcock’s The Birds. “They didn’t make physical contact with her, but they got very close.”
The self-proclaimed “Moira Rose, queen of the crows” can’t actually control her army or train them to attack. And if she did, “I would rather them not attack my neighbors.” However, she is still technically responsible for their presence.
“Am I liable if these crows injure someone since I fed them?” she asked. “...To be clear, they’re not aggressive 100% of the time. If just the neighbors are out, they are friendly normal crows. They only get aggressive when someone gets close to me or my property.” 
How to Train Your Army of Crows
The comments gave the woman advice on the legalities of the case and how to better manage the crows.
“They are resource guarding,” read the top comment by hiadoll89. She recommended for guests to bring shiny objects or snacks to offer to the crows. “If they dive-bomb someone, don’t give them food for 24 hours. If they are nice to a guest, give them a high-value treat to reinforce positive behavior. Advice from my partner, she was a field biologist that is published in biology/ornithology.”
Other commenters said that woman is safe legally since there’s no evidence of her training the crows to attack. “It would take quite a stretch for someone to make a winning case that you were negligent by feeding the crows and that your feeding the crows was the cause of whatever injury occurred,” writes Pure-Applesauce.
“How a Murder Saved a Life”
Our “Moira Rose” returned to Reddit with an update. She had contacted her local Audubon society for advice. “They didn’t think feeding the crows was bad and suggested that the neighbors also start feeding them, so they essentially became better socialized.”
Since then, the crows have become a peaceful part of the community. Oh, and they saved a life.
Portland had a huge snowstorm and one of her elderly neighbors slipped on his driveway and couldn’t get up.
“The crows started going ballistic and were making more noise than we have ever heard. A different neighbor went outside to see what was up and found the gentleman in his driveway. Neighbor is mostly ok! Just some serious bruises.
“Needless to say, the crows have been getting some high value food since then.”
The army of crows definitely made up for their previous violent dive-bombing.
Based on a True Story?
Anyone could post anything on Reddit, so many people wondered if this crazy and fantastic tale was actually true. Under further investigation, a plot hole appeared.
The original post had this note attached to it: “Authenticity of question and user have been verified by the mods.” But the second post had a glaring detail about the Audubon Society suggesting she socialize the crows.
“We have seen the post,” said a representative from the Portland Audubon. “We never recommend feeding crows in this manner.” 
Additionally, Bob Sallinger, the conservation director at Portland Audubon, said, “I can’t swear to you that it didn’t happen… I would be stunned if anyone gave out that advice.”
He added that crows could easily find food for themselves. Like with most kinds of wildlife, it’s best to keep human interference at its minimum. “When people intentionally feed crows that can become habituated to human handouts and that can lead to conflicts,” he said. “When conflicts do occur, it is usually the crows that wind-up losing in the end.”
The poster didn’t respond when The Oregonian reached out to her for comment.
Sallinger suggests setting up bird feeders or creating a natural habitat for anyone who wants to attract birds to their yard. For crows in particular, “The more they maintain their wild instincts, the better they are able to survive on these complex landscapes.”
- “Woman Shares How Feeding And Creating An ‘Army Of Crows’ Near Her House Possibly Saved This Neighbor’s Life.” Bored Panda. Liucija Adomaite and Mindaugas Balčiauskas. February 2021.
- “Portland woman’s viral story of accidentally creating a loyal ‘army’ of crows is sweet, but is it true?” The Oregonian. Lizzy Acker. February 23, 2021