Watch: Mockingbirds swoop down at dogs in Downtown Norfolk

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NORFOLK, Va. - News 3 caught Mockingbirds swooping down at dogs Monday afternoon in Downtown Norfolk.

If you get to close to their nest watch out!

JoAnne Sullivan said recently the birds swooped down at her and her dog, Hobbes.

“I was a little freaked out you know,” said Sullivan.

Dog owners say it’s been happening recently near Boush Street.

“There’s been a couple times, the birds will swoop down and try to go after her (dog) and I think maybe there's a nest. The further along we walk the bird comes down multiple times,” said Danielle Hoggard.

Bird expert David Pearson with the School of Life Science for Arizona State University told News 3 mockingbirds are defensive when it comes to protecting their territory and can be aggressive.

He said they will swoop down whenever they feel like their territories are being invaded.

Pearson said it is nesting season right now and the birds are likely protecting their eggs.

He said they’re bold and they’ll swoop down to let you know you’re in their space and it can be intimidating.

“They’ll usually come up from behind, with the big white flashing wings and tail and it can be very intimidating but they're not going to attack.”

Pearson said the swooping will likely go on for several weeks and that the chances of humans or dogs getting physically hurt by the birds is extremely unlikely.

He said once the babies are born the parents are extremely busy gathering insects and fruit and other food for their young.