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Feathered Fiend

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Nature re-establishes the pecking order.

"Birds [...] are the last of the dinosaurs. Tiny velociraptors with wings. Devouring defenseless wiggly things and, and nuts, and fish, and, and other birds. They get the early worms. And have you ever watched a chicken eat? They may look innocent, but birds are, well, they're vicious."
Spider, Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman

Everybody knows that birds are some of the least scary animals ever, right? After all, they're small, they're pretty, they sing, they have sharp talons and pointy beaks, they fly around in huge flocks, they hang out in battlefields and pick the flesh off of the corpses...

In short, they're not always a welcome staple.

Monstrous birds aren't that ridiculous, if you think about it. After all, they're the dinosaurs that survived. As mentioned above, even the cutest birds have pointy beaks and talons, and some birds (such as starlings) fly in flocks of thousands, making them seem like hordes of avian locusts. Many of them are voracious predators, and airborne to boot—just imagine if birds of prey were big enough to swoop down on humans and carry them off. (It might be worth noting that the extinct Haast's eagle could have occasionally preyed on humans, although it wouldn't have been able to carry them.) One should not forget the terror birds, flightless predatory birds up to three meters tall that once roamed South America.

Feathered fiends can be divided into four categories:

  • Always Chaotic Evil. Crows, ravens and vultures are often portrayed as creepy (if not outright evil) due to their association with death. Owls also tend to fit this bill when they're not being the wise old owl because of their nocturnal habits, historical association with witchcraft, and fondness for eating cute animals. Other raptors tend to get a more flattering portrayal due to the fact that they're birds of prey although they occasionally fit the role of bad guys if Predators Are Mean is in effect. Falcons, in particular, are slightly more likely to be portrayed in a negative light than eagles and hawks.
  • Zerg Rush. Smaller birds that attack people in huge flocks. These ones are especially fond of pecking people's eyes out, and sometimes overlap with Type A. Pigeons in the cities are almost always this.
  • Monster Bird. Usually a Giant Flyer (preferably a raptor) that carries people off in its talons for dinner. Flightless terror birds are also popular in prehistoric and Lost World settings. And a Kidnapping Bird of Prey like an eagle, condor or vulture will—against all laws of physics—pick up a small dog or child and fly it to their nest.
  • Parodies and Subversions. Much like other cute and seemingly harmless animals, some birds are portrayed as evil or dangerous to subvert common expectations. Killer chickens, villainous ducks and scavenging pigeons are probably the most popular variation. Other birds like ratites, pheasants and seabirds can be perceived as ridiculous, but are more likely to be portrayed as legitimate threats given the appropriate presentation and context (i.e. a seagull can either be a bumbling moron or a winged horde).

This trope isn't limited to actual birds either—creatures that at least somewhat resemble birds work just as well. Examples of such creatures include Feathered Dragons, Feathered Serpents, Cockatrices, and dinosaurs, many of which are now known to have had feathers.

Bird-Poop Gag is a related trope, but instead of being threatening and dangerous like this trope as, that's where the birds (usually pigeons, but other flying birds like crows will do) defecate to ruin the characters as a Running Gag.

See also Balloon-Bursting Bird, Giant Flyer, Killer Rabbit and Swans A-Swimming. Contrast with Noble Bird of Prey. Compare with Bat Out of Hell and Reptiles Are Abhorrent. Brutal Bird of Prey, Kidnapping Bird of Prey, Ominous Owl, Vile Vulture, Foul Waterfowl, and Creepy Crows are subtropes. Related to Giant Flyer. Contrast with Goofy Feathered Dinosaur (unlike this trope, generally applied only to non-avian dinosaurs).


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  • Anheuser-Busch (makers of Budweiser, Bud Light, and many more brands) had their famous "Beware the Penguins" campaign for Bud Ice. It featured an unsettling penguin puppet stalking people drinking Bud Ice, plotting to steal their drinks while humming "Strangers in the Night". In one ad, the penguin didn't stalk a Bud Ice drinker, but instead successfully stole the Stanley Cup. Doobie doobie doo...

    Anime & Manga 
  • Bleach: Avirama Redder's One-Winged Angel form transforms him into an enormous red eagle.
  • Buso Renkin: Washio, the eagle homunculus, is the strongest of the man-eating animal-type homunculi who is able to transform into a half-man/half-bird hybrid who gives the main characters their toughest fight of the A New Life arc. By the end of the arc, however, it is revealed that Washio is actually a Noble Demon who doesn't care about anything except protecting the master who brought him back to life.
  • In Chrono Crusade, Aion first appears by channeling his voice through his familiar — a bald eagle with glowing red eyes. Probably meant to be creepily symbolic, considering Aion constantly cites his motivations as "freedom".
  • Most Bird-type Digimon are heroic or neutral, but the massive Ultimate-level Parrotmon is definitely a fiend, especially in the first movie.
    • Ornismon, designed to bring on End of the World as We Know It in Digimon Frontier movie.
    • Frontier also has a major villain go One-Winged Angel into one of these. Velgrmon (named after Hraesvelgr from Norse Mythology) is an undead-looking Giant Flyer whose ultimate ability is to simply draw a circle on the ground with his wingtip. When it's completed, a dome of black energy rises from the circle and forms a Sphere of Destruction, utterly obliterating anything within.
    • Another Velgrmon appears in Digimon Adventure: (2020), where it tries to kidnap Takeru and bring him back to Devimon. Its Sphere of Destruction ability was nerfed into crushing everything in it with intense gravity, but it also gets a Feather Flechettes attack and a couple of beam attacks to compensate. It still takes a power boost from Angemon before MetalGreymon and WereGarurumon can take it down, though.
  • Fourteen chronicles the life, times and genocidal schemes of the murderous Chicken George, a half-man half-chicken born from Vat Grown Chicken Gone Horribly Wrong. Granted, he's technically a Featherless Fiend, being as bald as roast chicken, but he still fits the trope definition due to being an evil bird-man.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders: Pet Shop is the guard falcon of DIO's mansion, and proves to be just as cruel and sadistic as his master.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie First, The Phoenix Monster of the Week from the original series was replaced with a more demonic monster bird, with horns protruding from its body, claws on its wings, and a jagged beak with tusk-like extensions. Alas, while more fearsome-looking, it lasted as long as the phoenix did.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • The first episode has a rock throwing incident lead to Ash and Pikachu being chased by a flock of Spearow (whose Japanese name means "demon sparrow"). The same Spearow returns at the end of that season, evolved and looking for payback...
    • Also, the Taillow, which are also very aggressive if their food sources are threatened. Furthermore, they are able to resist electric attacks (which should be super effective against them) by sheer willpower.
    • Even Pidgey, which is said to be mild mannered, can generate winds strong enough to blow a ten-year-old into the sky.
    • All Murkrows in the series are a species of Jerkasses as their hat. Pun not intended.
  • Princess Tutu: The evil Raven, and to an extent his daughter Princess Kraehe (Crow), and the flock of carrion birds that are associated with them.
  • Noise, the real Big Bad from Suite Pretty Cure ♪ is a giant black bird with a dragon head and dragon tail. He's able to brainwash people with the Noise of Evil, controlling all other villains. After absorbing Trio the Minor, he gets a humanoid form, but he's still a Feathered Fiend.
  • Wolf's Rain: While looking for a way out of the Forest of Death, the wolves get freaked out by a creepy talking owl that might be a ghost. One of its cryptic pronouncements does does turn out to be a clue to the escape route, though.
    • Confirmed. After the gang discover the bones stripped bare by the bugs, if you watch the next shot of the owl you can see the trees through it as it flies away.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! Crow's Blackwings and Kurosaki's Raidraptors might count, the former working together to summon a dragon and the latter being able to wreck multiple monsters simultaneously.

    Comic Books 
  • Atomic Robo: One of Robo's encounters with Dr. Dinosaur ends with him being being pursued and cornered by a flock of terror birds.
  • Batman: Over the course of his career, The Penguin has a variety of birds as weapons: from trained attack falcons to emperor penguins with drugged beaks.
  • In the Disney Mouse and Duck Comics, avian characters tend to be the ones you don't want to cross, at all:
    • The Clan McDuck are rather well-known in Scotland for the terrifying rampages they go on whenever someone is foolish enough to steal even a small coin from them. Then you have Scrooge and Hortense, who are short-tempered even when money is not involved-and Hortense once routed a charging cavalry regiment in her berserker rage.
    • The members of the Coot Kin are usually much calmer. The last one to bear the name, Elvira, better known as Grandma Duck, owns a blunderbuss and will shoot in defense of her home and family. Also, Elvira's son Quackmore Duck married Hortense-because his temper matched hers (he was the one who saved the poor cavalry regiment above, and he did it by entering a shouting match with Hortense).
    • Donald Duck's temper is legendary-as befitting the son of Quackmore and Hortense. Differently from them, he's also quite strong (bordering on Super Strength when he's pissed off enough), and traveling around the world with Scrooge means he also has the skills to put it to terrifying use. There's a very good reason if Duckburg's criminal surrender the moment they see his antihero/superhero alter ego Paperinik: if they resist he's going to beat the crap out of them, possibly in a most humiliating manner.
    • Huey, Dewey, and Louie are nowadays rather nice. This is after Donald took them in and re-educated them, in their early days they were such pests they sent their father to the hospital with a prank (why Donald had to take them in in the first place: his sister and their mother, Della, didn't want them at home while her husband recovered, and eventually they never left).
    • Gyro Gearloose is a nice and kind inventor-who has invented memory-erasing candies just because, once threw Donald in a pool that made him invulnerable and proved it by shooting him with rhino-hunting rounds without telling him first, and didn't hesitate to help Paperinik back when he was considered only a criminal.
    • Emil Eagle is a Mad Scientist-and in some stories is the Lex Luthor to Super Goof's Superman. That is all.
    • Magica De Spell, an Evil Sorceress who once toppled Scrooge's Money Bin as a prank. She's also quite proud of being an evil witch.
  • If Gaston Lagaffe's seagull is in a bad mood, the whole office runs for cover. "HIHIHIHIHIHIHAAAAARRRRR" works the same as an air-raid siren.
  • Hellboy: Vladimir Giurescu is a vampire lord with the power to shapeshift into an large and dark eagle instead of bats.
  • Skroa from Les Légendaires is a literal example of this: his now extincted specie, the Galina, were bird-like demons.
  • The Sandman (1989):
    • While Matthew is a friendly corvid, the rooks in "A Parliament of Rooks" are a bit nastier.
    • The Cuckoo from "A Game of You" is an avian psychic parasite with Blue-and-Orange Morality.
  • Savage Dragon features a villain named Powerhouse who is an avatar of a nature-god. He looks like a humanoid chicken but despite his ridiculous appearance, the hero of the series soon finds that he is a Not-So-Harmless Villain.
  • The Howlibird from The Smurfs is a mutated variety of Type C that came from Papa Smurf's failed plant growth experiment that didn't get properly disposed of.
  • In one episode of Suske en Wiske, Wiske manages to befriend a cassowary, who then saves her from bandits a couple of times by pulling them into a Big Ball of Violence. Even the super strong Jerom respects it: "Always good to have strong friends. Can also be a birdy."
  • The Birds of the Master in Valérian book Birds of the Master could well be the Trope Maker.
  • Wonder Woman
    • Vol 1: Circe sends some giant avian Beastiamorphs to attack Diana in Washington D.C. They are prove challenging foes for Diana mostly because it is dangerous to turn someone back into a man when they're flying.
    • Vol 2: The shattered god attacks Diana while possessing a flock of birds. This is mostly only dangerous because she's trying to fight her namesake Roman goddess of war at the time, but even without that complication they're a pest and ruin visibility.
  • The Sidri in the X-Men comic book also fit this variant of the trope.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Far Side has done a few strips about sinister avians:
    • One strip defines "Anatidaephobia: The fear that somewhere, somehow, a duck is watching you", and features a man in a high-rise office with a concerned look on his face, while in the background behind him a duck is watching him from the window of a neighboring building.
    • One strip has a human scientist and a duck stranded on a tiny desert island, and the duck taunts the man with "So, Professor Jenkins, my old nemesis! We meet again, but this time, the advantage is mine!"
    • Another has a hunter being mocked by his enemy in a Hall of Mirrors: "Ah, yes, Mr. Frischberg, I'd thought you'd come... but which of us is the real duck, Mr. Frischberg, and not just an illusion?"
  • Footrot Flats has a turkey as a regular enemy of The Dog, and a goose as a regular enemy of Wal. At one point, they switched foes.

    Fairy Tales 

    Fan Works 
  • Big Bad Heian Chao of A Different Lesson is an Amur falcon. He's also a master of Demonic Possession, Ki Manipulation, More than Mind Control, Hate Plague, and a Necromancer. Oh, and did we mention he's also a Kung-Fu Wizard? Seriously, this guy is a really dangerous villain.
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: From "Ultimatum": Ami worries about the possibility when she disturbs some crows:
    A group of crows cawed in surprise when a sinister presence joined them on top of the inaccessible rock spire that served as their nesting grounds.
    Ami briefly tracked them with her gaze, worried that they would come back to defend their nests. The crows back at Rei's shrine were somewhat aggressive, and the last thing she needed was being pecked at while she was preoccupied with not slipping on the weather-worn stone.
  • Essence:
    • Ash was attacked by a group of Spearow. He narrowly escapes by falling down a cliff.
    • Squirtle's original trainer, a 10-year old who just started his journey, was attacked by Spearow. He lost an eye and several fingers, along with his face being disfigured. The attack left him with a hatred of all Pokémon.
  • A Growing Affection has the Shadow Roc, a giant demon bird large enough that all nine Bijuu could fit on its wings, but still not quite as powerful as the One-Tails. It's still a pretty nasty piece of work, brokering a deal with Orochimaru to Mind Screw its six-year old host so it can take over her body.
  • The Geeky Zoologist's reimagining of Jurassic World features a few feathered dinosaur species. Among them, Achillobator and Ornitholestes attack humans.
  • The Wyvern Drones, the Mage Killer Mecha-Mooks in Kings of Revolution look like giant birds. Being made of carbon nanotubes, they even move like birds.
  • Discussed in RWBY Recaps, a fan analysis of RWBY:
    In hindsight, I’m not shocked all of CRDL are dicks. Their names are all based on birds and stuff. Birds suck, man. Spring soon here in Australia and that means swooping magpies. Birds succcccccck. Addendum: Shoutout to Rustic_Ghost who sent me a solidarity ask in this matter, affirming that magpies do indeed suck.

    Films — Animation 
  • Iago in Aladdin is Jafar's parrot sidekick and just as nasty and cruel as him. While he does pull a Heel–Face Turn in the second movie and becomes Aladdin's friend in the tv series, he serves as the Token Evil Teammate.
  • A Bug's Life had Grotesque Cute goldfinches. Which, from the point of view of a bug are probably the equivalent of Godzilla.
  • Early Man features a giant prehistoric duck that attacks the cavemen protagonists. Later they tame it and use it for a Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • The crow mounts ridden by Mandrake and his warriors in Epic (2013).
  • The seagulls from Finding Nemo. "Mine! Mine!"
  • Will Arnett voices a mercenary vulture in Horton Hears a Who! (2008). He's the only real bird in the show, but then again he's being paid off by a kangaroo.
  • Lord Shen, the Big Bad of Kung Fu Panda 2, is a villainous peacock with the blood of apparently the Panda species on his feathers, making him a Type D. However, he is largely no joke in battle considering he is genuinely threatening with his blades when he fights hand to hand, and is generally portrayed as dignified and phoenix-like barring a few jokes.
  • Hayabusu, Shan Yu's falcon in Mulan.
  • Puss in Boots features a giant goose known as the Great Terror. It's fairly calm, but if you steal her golden egg-laying gooselings you'll learn why they call it that way...
  • Quest for Camelot has Bladebeak, the result of Ruber demonstrating the weapon-merging potion with an axe and a rooster. He's ultimately a Minion with an F in Evil, however.
  • The first act of Rango involved the eponymous chameleon attempting to protect a Western town called Dirt from a giant hawk (Dirt's inhabitants are all animals, most of which are the hawk's prey).
  • Nigel, the evil, sadistic cockatoo from Rio. He's a Card-Carrying Villain who almost name-drops this trope when he refers to himself as a "feathery freak with a beak, a bird murderer" in his Villain Song.
  • While the hero of Don Bluth's Rock-A-Doodle is an avian Elvis Expy, the villains are Always Chaotic Evil owls.
  • The Secret of NIMH: The owl is a downplayed example. The mouse protagonist is naturally terrified of him and we come to find out that he isn't actually evil, although he's still creepy.
  • The main villain of Valiant is a German pigeon-intercepting falcon voiced by Tim Curry.
  • Screweyes, the villain from We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story, is accompanied by a murder of crows. Which devour him alive at the end of the film.
  • Feathers McGraw the villainous penguin from The Wrong Trousers. Definitely type D (the rubber glove chicken disguise effectively pulls the gag twice).

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Vicious man-eating songbirds in Barbarella.
  • Birdemic, essentially a B-Movie version of The Birds.
  • The Birds. Oh, god, The Birds. Could be seen as the Trope Codifier.
  • The Deinonychus chick in Carnosaur is actually feathered (predating various other more known franchises in depicting feathered dinosaurs) as a result of genetic splicing with chickens; and it is no less bloodthirsty or aggressive than other dinosaurs in the film for it.
  • Damien: Omen II has one quite famous death scene where a woman who knows of Damien's true nature as The Antichrist is attacked on the highway by a demonic raven. If you're squeamish about Eye Scream, you may wanna skip the link.
  • The evil Skeksis in The Dark Crystal are a race of vulture-like monsters.
  • The Giant Claw has a Kaiju-sized variant in the form of a Giant Antimatter Space Buzzard, as big as a battleship!
  • In Into the Woods, Cinderella's birds are usually happy to help her with her chores — but then they swoop down and blind her stepsisters.
  • Jumanji has highly aggressive pelicans. The first sequel Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle has a vulture that becomes the pet and scout of Van Pelt, the film's primary antagonist. The second sequel Jumanji: The Next Level has homicidal ostriches.
  • Jurassic Park:
    • If one counts the quills on their heads as feathers, the Velociraptors from Jurassic Park III could be considered this, though only barely. For the same reason, the Indominus rex from Jurassic World, who has similar coverings on her head and arms. Fittingly, this is because she's part-raptor.
    • The Therizinosaurus and the Pyroraptor in Jurassic World Dominion fully embrace this trope, in a first for the franchise being depicted as fully-feathered creatures yet no less dangerous or aggressive than their featherless peers. The Moros, while it may scavenge on scraps and morsels in the jaws of larger animals at times, it is just as willing to hunt live prey such as rodents. Subverted when a Moros is shown playing with a little girl near the end of Dominion without any sign of aggression.
  • One of the monsters in The Mysterious Island is a terror bird.
  • The crows present in the prison island scene in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
  • Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead
  • Resident Evil: Extinction had a whole flock of infected crows attack the convoy at one point.
  • There is a rare "noble" example: the (Peregrine) Falcon in Stuart Little 2, who fancies himself a feathered Fagin to Margalo's Artful Dodger.
    Falcon: Don't make friends I can eat.
  • 10,000 BC also had terror birds, most likely as a way to have cavemen menaced by dinosaurs without it being anachronistic. (Never mind that terror birds didn't coexist with humans, either.)
  • In The Terror, Andre is attacked and nearly killed by a falcon when he arrives on the beach. Later, the same falcon attacks Gustav, gouging his eyes out and driving him off a cliff.
  • The titular Terror Birds, which are a pair of gigantic vicious man-eating flightless birds.
  • ThanksKilling: The film's main antagonist is a malevolent talking turkey.

  • ""Aepyornis Island," a short story by H. G. Wells, depicts the title bird as quite a nasty beastie. The real Aepyornis was herbivorous, but since their still living cousins like the cassowary are among the most lethal birds alive...
  • Anansi Boys: The birdwoman serves as a secondary antagonist, using birds to attack Fat Charlie and Spider.
  • Animorphs: The later books have several instances of flocks of homicidal bird-morphed controllers attacking the protagonists. And the natural version: Tobias hates crows because they mob hawks. And eagles — a group made Rachel slam into a tree and lose her memory.
  • Chance And Choices Adventures has a rare helpful example, with a murder of crows appearing to chase away the Butterfield Gang when they attack the Williams farm the first time. The birds in this case were sent as an answer to the Williams family's prayer for salvation.
  • The Dark Half: The enormous flocks of sparrows. "Evil" might be putting it a bit strong, since their ultimate purpose is to put the main character's Evil Twin back where he belongs; then again, "creepy" might not do them justice.
  • Discworld: Hodgesaargh the Falconer from Lords and Ladies is constantly being savaged by his own birds (hence his name; he can't even introduce himself without inducing a hawk attack, so his "name" ended up being Hodgesaargh), though it's not entirely his fault; Lancre's native birds of prey are described as so naturally stubborn and bad-tempered, it's a remarkable feat he's gotten anywhere at all with training them.
  • The Divine Comedy: The harpies of the Forest of Suicides torture the souls of those who committed violence against themselves by tearing off the tree branches that are now their limbs and using them as nest materials.
  • Dragaera: The issola is a sort of crane-like which appears really elegant and graceful, but is also a very competent hunter. This is noted as a metaphor for how the House of Issola has the hat of politeness and grace, but you shouldn't think they are pushovers.
  • Dream Park: A flock of giant killer hornbills appears in the South Seas Treasure Game.
  • The Edge Chronicles: The vicious birdlike Shrykes are a matriarchal race of warriors and slavers who are notorious for their brutality, to the point of eating their enemies — and each other. Male shrykes are treated little better than slaves, led around on chains by the larger females.
  • Evolution: The finches and starlings, having survived and thrived in the wake of humanity, evolve into ferocious killers to the mammals dwelling under the forest canopy.
  • The Faerie Queene: One of the many obstacles the witch sends against Sir Guyon as he sails to her lair is a horde of every evil bird you can think of. Predatory owls, Creepy Crows, stritchs, shrills, and even winged bats and harpies all harass the good guys as they near the end of their quest.
  • His Dark Materials has the tualapi, white stork-like birds that are flightless but use their wings as sails...and are carnivorous. Perhaps a subversion however, since they may not actually be birds, but organisms that evolved to resemble them, since they belong to a world were vertebrates aren't the dominant animals, and their wings are positioned one in front of the other instead of alongside each other.
  • H. P. Lovecraft's works:
    • At the Mountains of Madness has giant blind albino penguins.
    • Whippoorwills often appear in Lovecraft's stories as omens of impending doom. They don't actually do much, but you know something ugly is about to go down when a bunch of whippoorwills decide to perch near your house in Lovecraft Country.
      • In The Dunwich Horror they seem to possess actual, supernatural ability to steal a dying person's soul. Many people note that they seem to cry in tune with the victim's breath and depart as soon as they perish, making sounds of either frustration or joy depending on whether they succeed or not. And when the titular Eldritch Abomination kicks the bucket, they immediately drop dead.
  • One of P. G. Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster stories features Bertie and another man getting trapped on the roof an island gazebo by a highly territorial swan.
  • Both played straight and averted in The Lord of the Rings; while crows are viewed as an ill omen, and a malicious variety called "crebain" serve Saruman as spies and messengers, ravens are noted to be dwarf-friends. And the Eagles are downright Always Lawful Good.
    • Justified with the Eagles: according to The Silmarillion, the first Eagles were not just birds; they were "spirits" sent by Iluvatar to be the rulers of the animal kingdom, just as the Ents were made to be the rulers of the trees. The Eagles of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are still minor spirits in the service of the Valar. So it's not surprising that they are Lawful Good in alignment.
  • The Old Kingdom Trilogy has flocks of Gore Crows, evil and dangerous in large numbers (especially when in a Paperwing); a flock of crows animated by a single Dead spirit.
  • A pair of lovers in the forest are devoured alive by a flock of little birds, in the Philip MacDonald short story, "Our Feathered Friends" (1931).
  • "O Ugly Bird!" is the first of Manly Wade Wellman's Silver John stories. The eponymous entity is a buzzard-like creature who is somehow linked to a sinister backwoods sorcerer, between them they terrorize a stretch of the Appalachian countryside until John comes along with his silver-strung guitar.
  • "Pigeons From Hell"
    • The pigeons are a harbinger of evil rather than the actual monsters of the story— not unlike the whipporwills in Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror.
  • Prehistoria: All of the focused dinosaur antagonists are feathered species. The Deinocheirus is a hormonal, territorial brute which attacks anything that gets near its river; and the Alioramus are night-stalking predators which make a point to kill the protagonist's species, Adasaurus both as prey and to remove threats to their young.
  • Primitive War the fully feathered Utahraptors are the main antagonists of every book currently released, while the equally feathered Deinonychus appear in the first book and its spinoff Dispatches: The Hunting of Stalker Force, and the territorial Therizinosaurus makes a brief appearance in the latter.
  • In Queen of the Tearling there is a specific breed of hawks, as big as dogs, who can kill people with their beak and talons. They are used as weapon.
  • Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven. Also a case of Creepy Ravens.
  • In Redwall, birds are generally on the side of good, if often wild and untamed (most are sentient, but sometimes they're just animals).
    • There are exceptions, however—an army of rooks led by a raven attacks Redwall in Mattimeo and St. Ninian's is home to vicious jackdaws in Pearls of Lutra.
    • And there's the heron of Martin the Warrior, the Warden. "I am the law!" * GULP*
    • Swans are (somewhat justifiably) treated as giant monsters in one book, where the heroes trick some henchmen into getting close to a swan's nest. Death ensues.
    • The Big Bad of Doomwyte is a crow who wears a snake as a crown.
  • Semiosis: Among Pax's more dangerous animal life-forms are human-sized flightless bird-like creatures, with large hooked beaks, clawed arms and camouflaging plumage. They hunt in packs and are smart enough to use fire to cook their food. The human colonists name them "ground eagles".
  • There's a children's book called "SQUAAAAWK" in which, if you open a magical book, you allow the Roc magically bound inside to get out and terrorize your town.
  • The Chimes of Death from the Sword of Truth series, AKA the infamous "Chicken That Was Not A Chicken". Aims for Type A by being a demon that takes the form of a seemingly-ordinary chicken, but regarded by many readers as an unintentional example of Type D.
  • Inverted in The Twits . Roly-Poly Bird and the other birds are instrumental to the escape of the monkey family and the turning of the Twits upside down.
  • The War Against the Chtorr. Shambler trees are host to over thirty different types of carnivorous tenants that swarm in their thousands when they sense the vibrations of nearby prey.
  • In the Warrior Cats series, ordinary birds of prey such as hawks, eagles, and owls. Justified, since they're cats, after all, and the birds are very large to them — large enough to carry off a kit, or, with an eagle at least, a full-grown cat.
  • Some of the Dark One's servants in The Wheel of Time can use crows as spies and messengers, and occasionally use huge flocks of crows to attack people. Crows are regularly included in scenes to give the impression that characters are being watched.
  • In Robert E. Howard's "A Witch Shall Be Born", Conan the Barbarian is crucified, but the villain carefully explains that the vultures will kill him first.
  • In Worm, one of the Endbringers (three gigantic, incredibly powerful, seemingly invincible creatures that appear to be on a mission to destroy humanity) is a fifteen-foot-tall bird-woman with multiple wings called the Simurgh. She is described as the most intelligent, subtle and manipulative of the Endbringers, with a variety of Psychic Powers that she uses to trick people into eventually ruining their own lives as well as the lives of everyone around them.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The titular character of The Avengers (1960s) episode "The Winged Avenger". A cartoonist who disguises himself as his own bird of prey-like comic superhero and lacerates Corrupt Corporate Executives to death, using magnetized boots to climb walls.
  • The Brittas Empire:
    • The final episode had Brittas be pecked unconscious by an angry goose.
    • There was also the time an emu got loose in the centre, dragged Brittas along for the ride, and ended up causing severe injury to 54 people.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "Vincent and the Doctor", a Provençal village is being menaced by what, when we finally get a look at it, appears to be a giant cross between a chicken and a parrot. From outer space.
  • The evil Halosians in Farscape are a race of evil bird aliens, very similar to the Skeksis in The Dark Crystal also made by The Jim Henson Company. The Pop-Cultured Badass Crichton always refers to them as such.
  • Another Speculative Documentary, The Future Is Wild, had a deadly flightless caracara called the Carakiller, an obvious Phorusrhacid Expy. This was lampshaded by the narrator.
  • In an episode of MythBusters, when Adam is placing his hand in a pen of baby ducks, Jamie joked "Don't be fooled, these are actually quite deadly."
  • One Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy from Saturday Night Live says:
    • I think the international symbol for peace should be the pillow. It has as many feathers as a dove but without that vicious beak.
  • In the Suite Life on Deck episode "Mean Chicks", Cody deprives a seagull of a french fry Zack attempted to feed it, and spends the rest of the episode trying to escape the bird's wrath.
  • The Tales from the Crypt episode "Carrion Death" has the protagonist, a con attempting to escape through the desert, being stalked by a hungry vulture who eventually makes a meal out of him... while he's still alive.
  • The third season Halloween episode of That '70s Show featured a parody of The Birds.
  • Ultra Series: A few bird Kaiju pop up from time to time.
    • Ultraman Ace: Black Pigeon is a pet pigeon forcefully transformed into a Choju by the Yapool, however it's a downplayed example, as while it is capable of calming down by the whistling of its owner, unfortunately it has to be put down as the Yapool ultimately override this aspect.
    • Ultraman Taro: Birdon is a powerful and deadly Kaiju that acts as one of the series' most powerful enemies, capable of killing both Taro and Zoffy with its sharp beak and high aggression.
    • Ultraman Orb: Maga-Basser is a bird-like Kaiju who is the first opponent faced by Orb.
  • While Walking with Beasts focused mostly on prehistoric mammals, the horse-munching Gastornis in the first episode was one of the scariest animals on the show. Although a bit of Badass Decay occurs when its unhatched chick is eaten by giant ants. Also the Phorusrhacos in another episode, though they don't present any real threat to the Smilodon we're following. Because nothing — except climate change and the giant ground sloth Megatherium — present much threat to a Smilodon (Artistic License – Paleontology on all counts).
  • Walking with Dinosaurs had Iberomesornis that were portrayed as type B. In spite of their small size they chased off a giant pterosaur.
  • Parodied on World's Dumbest... where one of the featured criminals is a seagull who regularly steals chips from a convenience store. The commentators then say that the bird is the smartest criminal ever featured on the show — and considering the sort who typically appear on a show called "World's Dumbest", they're probably right.


    Myths & Religion 
  • In The Book of the Faiyum Set is depicted with the head of a flamingo. Seeing the god of chaos, desert and destruction associated with this bird can be quite the whiplash.
  • Romani Mythology: Melalo is a two-headed bird responsible for all acts of murder and rape.
  • While vampires were later associated with wolves and bats, Roman legends portray them as shapeshifting, blood-drinking owls. Several East European words for "vampire" (strigoi, shtriga, strzyga) are derived from "strix", the Latin word for "screech owl." As are several words for "witch", because anything that shapeshifts might as well be a witch, right?
  • Harpies, which are usually portrayed as vulture-like.
    • Sirens also originally were depicted as birdlike rather than mermaid-like.
    • Quite few other mix-and-match mythical monsters are at least part bird, although whether or not they're scary/evil tends to vary.
  • One of Hercules's tasks was to kill the Stymphalian birds, which had sharp, metallic feathers and a taste for human flesh.
  • The roc or rukh was a predatory bird from Arabian folklore said to be big enough to pick up an elephant. Its eggs are described by Sinbad the Sailor as being "50 paces round" or about 150 feet, which would make them 50 feet across- about the size of a hot air balloon. It was thought (adult) ostriches, being ugly and flightless giant birds, were actually roc chicks.
  • Cockatrices were said to have been born of the egg of a rooster and incubated by a toad or snake. A lizard-like bird (or vice versa), it has the power to turn people into stone with its gaze.
    • Traditional folklore concerning basilisks is almost identical, with the exception that unlike the cockatrice, they are wingless (most of the time anyway).
    • They also can't be safely killed, as its blood is so corrosive and poisonous that it kills its slayer, no exceptions.
  • Averted (mostly) in Norse Mythology with Odin's two ravens, Huginn and Munnin.
  • Do you know that stereotypical image of hundreds of hapless slaves being dragged up an Aztec pyramid to have their hearts torn out? That was the festival of the Aztec god of war Huitzilopochtli, the Left-Handed Hummingbird.
  • The boobrie from Scottish folklore was a monstrous, shapeshifting water bird that was large enough to kill and eat sheep.
  • Tengu from Japanese Mythology, although their ferociousness varies between interpretations. Earlier accounts portrayed them as malevolent, prideful ghosts that opposed Buddhism: they abducted their victims and dropped them off in remote areas, and were also capable of Demonic Possession. Over time, they were instead seen as fierce protectors of Buddhism and nature.
  • The Native American Piasa, a bizarre bird-dragon with a human face that allegedly fed on human flesh.
    • The Cherokee told tales of the Tlanuwa, a race of man-eating birds that preyed on the Cherokee people until the killed the young Tlanuwa. The enraged parents then flew away and never returned.
  • Finnish mythology has the kokko bird, a Giant Flyer that is usually helpful... Except in the Final Battle of The Kalevala, where Louhi takes its form to attack the heroes.

  • At one point in Rain Quest, Joel and Nina are attacked by a group of vicious hummingbirds.

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech: An invoked trope with Clan Jade Falcon. They have a strong bird theme including naming many of their mechs after birds, like the Gyrfalcon, Night Gyr, and Shrike. Their paint schemes often include feather patterns, too. And their current leader, Malvina Hazen, is batshit insane. And the Clan's name? Comes from a genetically engineered Peregrine Falcon that's bigger than an eagle. The founder of the Clan had a trained one she used as her Right Hand Attack Bird. That bird's name was used for one of the Falcons' most powerful mechs, the Turkina omnimech.
    • Another avian based Clan is Clan Ice Hellion, who's totem animal is a unusual alien four legged bird. The Clan itself is infamous for getting into fights quickly, and strike with unrelenting speed. But the rest of the Clans look down upon them as they are largely considered one of the weaker Clans, as they mostly get thrashed by the other Clans. As they tend to employ mostly light and medium mechs, while all the other Clans prefer to use heavier mechs in battle.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has a few avian monsters (including the infamous owlbear), as well as kenku, a race of nasty bird people.
    • There are also the often overlooked Blood Hawks, who go all the way back to the earliest editions. They look like ordinary hawks with gray feathers... who feast on the flesh of people. As players expect the monsters of the game to be much larger, weird looking, or possessing amazing magical powers, their plain appearance and otherwise ordinary nature makes them rather unsettling in their own way.
    • Although among the lesser of demonkind, vrocks are a literal case of feathered fiends — that is, demons who take the shape of violently murderous birds.
  • Exalted:
    • Austrechs are terror bird-like avians and aggressive, cunning and dangerous predators.
    • Death moas are towering, flightless birds native to the Western islands. Their primary weapon is an axelike beak capable of shattering bone, which they employ in their crude but effective hunting tactic — gore and maul whatever's in front of them until it's carrion fit to eat.
    • The Grelidaka is a vast flock of Hive Minded, Wyld-tainted birds that live only to slaughter and destroy every living thing they encounter. The swarm constantly roams the West, eradicating every ship, fleet and village it comes across.
  • Gamma World: There are a few including the Gallus Gallus, chickens that were being bred for meat, but after the apocalypse the computer breeding them screwed up and now they're sentient and humanoid. There's also the Carrin, cruel psychic vulture people with nasty quills.
  • GURPS Technomancer has the magic-using penguin socialist collective of Antarctica, transformed by a Hellstorm into a vicious hivemind that has driven human scientists from the continent and is building up for the next clash.
  • Numenera:
    • The hontri is a massive bird of prey that has been altered by nanomachines to become a true winged nightmare. They are known to and feared by the people who live in their hunting grounds, who sometimes call them winged devils or twilight slayers.
    • Karestrels are aggressive seabirds with a wide range and a fearlessness that makes them especially dangerous. That, plus their six meter wingspans, vicious beaks, slashing talons, and ability to hunt equally well on land, in the air and underwater.
    • Terror birds, sometimes called the screeching dooms, are nine-foot-tall, flightless predatory birds that hunt in tall grasslands. They use the grass as cover to approach their prey, sneaking silently and subtly until close enough to pounce... at which point they throw themselves at their target while screaming like banshees and tear it to pieces with their claws and axelike beak.
  • Sentinels of the Multiverse: The Matriarch, going from a rebellious goth teen to becoming The Beastmaster thanks to a cursed mask giving her powers over ravens, thus blending type A and type B. While her ravens only have 1 HP and deal only 1 point of damage, she has plenty of them.
  • Talislanta: The treacherous, carrion-eating Stryx are described as looking like a cross between a vulture and a horned devil.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Kroot, while not feathered anymore, are a sentient humanoid race descended from avians. They have a mane of quills instead of hair or feathers, but retain their ancestors' slender yet powerful build, language of clicks and whistles, sharp vision, and beaks. The Kroot are notable for consuming the flesh of defeated enemies in search of specific evolutionary upgradesin the 41st millenium, chicken eats you!
    • The greater daemons of Tzeentch are giant bird monsters called Lords of Change. Also, as followers of Chaos will invariably start to mutate, according to some materials, those who follow Tzeentch specifically tend to develop avian traits (emphasis on "tend").
    • Razorwings, birdlike alien creatures used by the Dark Eldar as attack animals, possess razor-sharp beaks and feathers and have a noted propensity for flaying their prey to the bones in orgies of violence. They often parade their victims' skeletons around before tearing them to pieces in a final violent outburst.
  • The World of Darkness:
    • Vampire: The Requiem: The strix spirits that take the form of owls who brought down the Roman Empire (and with it, the largest body of vampiric government in history) because of an ancient betrayal. They can possess humans as well as sleeping vampires, and the clan books hint they're returning for some reason...
    • Werewolf: The Apocalypse has the Corax, wereravens. While not evil as a rule and actually relatively pleasant compared to the title lycanthropes, they still have a very disturbing half-human, half-raven war form. It's made all the worse by the fact that they know how gross they look in this form so if they are forced to use it they are usually very, very angry.

    Video Games 
  • Inverted in Angry Birds where the eponymous birds are the heroes, and they are all very angry because the evil pigs have stolen their eggs.
  • The feathered dinosaurs in The Archotek Project.
  • ARK: Survival Evolved also has feathered dinosaurs, many of which have a Scrappy Mechanic, from Microraptor's dismount-and-stun tactics to Yutyrannus's roar driving prey dinosaurs into a blind panic while empowering its Carnotaurus minions.
  • Baten Kaitos Origins has the Holo Holo Bird, a giant, jungle-dwelling That One Boss whose difficulty is exacerbated by its minions, adorable babies who have the obnoxious habit of constantly healing their mother for thousands of damage points.
  • Malphas, one of the demons summoned by Bayonetta for her boss finishers, is a giant bird made of hair.
  • In Borderlands, Mordecai's pet Bloodwing can be used as an attack on enemies.
  • The main antagonist of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a giant crow-like bird named Wingo, who kidnaps Toadette in the beginning of the game since she and Captain Toad were after a Power Star.
  • Castle in the Darkness: Birds appear in this game as the recurring Airborne Mooks who constantly chase the player. The first ones the player encounters are blue Sparrons, found in Alexandria. In Agros Forest, they are replaced with brown Falcons who, besides chasing the player character, can drop caterpillars on him. One of the magic powers the player can obtain is a Falcon companion who assists in fighting enemies and solving some puzzles. And finally, an Ominous Owl called Razor Wing appears as a recurring Optional Boss.
  • "I despise Castlevania birds..."
  • Cenozoic Survival: Kelenken guillermoi, a Phorusrhacid or "Terror Bird" is one of the playable animals and is a predatory flightless bird as tall as a human.
  • The eponymous Chicken Invaders are evil chickens from space that seek to egg your ship and your planet, and the main enemies you have to take on.
  • Darkest Dungeon has the Shrieker, an enormous corvid-like Animalistic Abomination that sometimes sneaks into the Hamlet and steals your trinkets (especially rare and valuable ones), forcing you to send a party of heroes after it to get them back.
  • The Crow Demons from Dark Souls.
  • Dino System: Word of God states that the troodon will be this when implemented in the game in the future.
  • Donkey Kong Country:
  • The Tall Birds in Don't Starve are some of the fastest creatures in the game due to their long legs, and they always attack on sight. Don't Starve Together has the seasonal boss monster "Moose", a moose-goose hybrid that arrives in the spring to raise its moslings.
  • This is played as Type D in Dragon Age: Origins. Shale hates all forms of bird because she had to live as an immobilized statue for many years, conscious the whole time, and pigeons would frequently sit and crap all over her. She's now made it her life goal to drive all the birds in the world to extinction, starting with the pigeons.
  • EarthBound (1994) has a number of avian enemies, like the Spiteful Crow and the Mad Duck.
  • The Elder Scrolls series has Hagravens, a species of flightless harpy who were once mortal women that performed a ritual to trade in their humanity for access to powerful magic. A human sacrifice is required for the ritual to even become a Hagraven, and Hagravens serve as Evil Matriarchs to Reachmen clans as well as generally being an Enemy to All Living Things. Naturally, they have feathers, beak-like noses, and talons for fingers and toes.
  • Chocobos in Final Fantasy games. There are few enemies nastier than a flock of them.
    • The Yagudo are one such enemy. I mean honestly, some of them can be called katana-wielding Samurai birdmen. The fact that many Yagudo are religious fanatics doesn't help matters, although they at least have a 'peace' agreement with Windurst (read: give us offerings or we'll overrun the city).
      • There is also the Zuu, ugly, featherless Giant Flyers that tend to do more damage to the party then any other monsters on the map.
      • In Final Fantasy VII birds/flying enemies approach Demonic Spiders territory at times, due to high-damaging skills (the penguin things around Cosmo Canyon early in the game) or the fact that you cannot hit flying enemies without long-range equipment or materia (like the Unknown in the sunken carrier.)
  • Well, if mechanical birds count, there's Chica the Chicken in Five Nights at Freddy's. She's a chicken based animatronic (that doesn't completely hide the endoskeleton teeth) who tries to kill you.
    • Five Nights at Freddy's 2 has a completely worn down and withered Chica that - despite having no hands at all and a jaw that almost looks like it's been dislocated - still tries to kill you. It also introduces Toy Chica, an animatronic that is supposed to look cooler and prettier. Until she removes both her beak and eyes - then she just looks like she's from the Uncanny Valley.
    • Five Nights at Freddy's 3 introduces Phantom Chica, a Chica based on the first one, but looks extremely burnt. She doesn't try to kill you this time... she just tries to distract you so Springtrap can do so. Toy Chica returns, but this time she's a subversion, as she's out to help one of the murdered children pass on.
    • Five Nights at Freddy's 4 has Nightmare Chica, an animatronic with a beak full of sharp teeth and both a milky white eye and red eye taking warning. She turns out to have a Meaningful Name. What's worse though, that cupcake that she always carries around can now kill you too. Jack-O-Chica, a character introduced in the Halloween DLC, is a Palette Swap of Nightmare Chica, but is still terrifying.
  • Flesh Birds is set in a dark forest populated by flesh-eating birds who will attack any human they come across.
  • Goblin Sword: One of the enemy types in the game is birds bigger than the swordsman.
  • In Halo, it has been strongly hinted that the Kig-Yar (or, to humans, 'Jackals/Skirmishers') are of avian ancestry, with several characters directly comparing them to birds. In fact, their chicks are covered in down, while the Skirmisher subspecies develop all-out plumage as adults. The expanded universe describes them as vicious Space Pirates and mercenaries who will do anything for money or spoils of war.
  • Haunted Halloween 85: Enemies encountered in the second level include big black birds that will dive-bomb Donny if he's underneath them.
  • In Heretic II multiplayer, there is a 10% chance that hitting somebody with a Morph Ovum (90% into a small pathetic chicken) will turn them into 10 ft tall, 999 hp demonic chicken who's steps shake the ground, and who's peck causes instant death.
  • In Hyper Light Drifter, the bird people of the Northern region practice a Religion of Evil involving Human Sacrifice.
  • The giant two-headed roc from King's Quest V. Also subverted in that the only way to escape from said bird is with the aid of another bird whose life you saved earlier in the game.
  • Dyna Blade, the legendary bird from the Kirby series. She's not necessarily evil, but she does serve as the final boss of the (mini)game Dyna Blade, and Kirby fights her in one episode of the anime.
    • Dyna Blade may count in that she's a giant bird with sword wings. But she's actually on the good side after Kirby feeds her chicks. She even helps him back later in Revenge of Meta Knight.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The chickens Cuccos. Strike one down, and you shall be overwhelmed by a force more powerful than you could ever imagine.
    • The Takkuri from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is something of a subversion. On one hand, this bug-eyed buzzard steals your items and forces you to buy them back from a crooked salesman. On the other hand, according to a Gossip Stone Takkuri isn't "evil" but simply a hungry bird that's been trained to steal stuff for the Man From The Curiosity Shop in exchange for birdseed and kettle bones.
    • The Helmaroc King in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, too. He even has a rooster-like crest underneath his mask.
  • Copernicus the Guard Turkey from LittleBigPlanet 2 is a Type C case.
  • Lizard: There are bird enemies to face in the game, such as owls that dive-bomb you when you're close.
  • In Lords of Xulima, oversized and highly aggressive ravens ranging from "slightly larger than in real life" to "carries off live elephants to its nest" are a commonly-encountered enemy type in many regions. There are also Terror Birds which neatly combine the most painful features of birds and dinosaurs.
  • The bird-based Mavericks in the Mega Man X series
  • Vulcan Raven's rather disturbing death in Metal Gear Solid A flock of his namesake birds descend on his body, and when they leave, nothing is left but his weapon.
  • Swarms of small flying creatures have been in Metroid games ever since the first, althogh they are most prevalent in the 3D installments, where they tend to appear as very large flocks, often flying around in circles in large rooms.
  • Tanatos in the Mystery Case Files series is Alister Dalimar's raven familiar and the blasted thing relentlessly pursues the Master Detective trying to impede her investigations (especially in Fate's Carnival) and helps Alister in his gruesome schemes.
  • The hawks from level 2 of the original Ninja Gaiden are widely regarded as the most annoying/dreaded enemy in the game.
  • The Other series, The Other: Airi's Adventure and The Other: Rosie's Road of Love, have Birds as Airborne Mooks, a.k.a Pre-existing Encounters that move.
  • Orange_Juice seem to have a thing for featuring birds as enemies in their games:
    • In QP Shooting, chickens, doves and crows appear as enemies on separate occasions, firing their feathers at the player as their means of attack.
    • Bald eagles in Flying Red Barrel's second stage, who'll attack Marc in a large flock all the while shooting bullets at her. Seagulls also appear in the first stage, though in this case they'll only attack if Marc shoots at the flock near the start of the stage.
    • Both the chicken and seagull appear as Mooks in 100% Orange Juice!. The seagull in particular has become infamous among the fandom for having a +1 in its attack stat, allowing it to roll high numbers to One-Hit KO hapless players. The co-op mode also adds in upgraded boss versions of the two, dubbed "Big the Haruo" and "Big the Jonathan" respectively.
  • Pokémon:
    • Archeops (a prehistoric semi-flightless bird based on the Archeopteryx) has beastly attack and good speed. Unfortunately, it's a Glass Cannon, and its attack and Special Attack are halved if its health gets below half.
    • Braviary (based on a bald eagle and using a misplaced hawk scream) is capable of carrying away cars, and it won't stop fighting even if injured, for the sake of its friends. It also has a red, white, and blue color scheme. Hmmm...
    • Mandibuzz (a cartoonish vulture) decorates itself with bones. Pay no attention to the gracefully swimming Swanna...
    • Going as far back as the second generation (IE: Gold, Silver, Crystal), we have Lugia. A giant-sized bird monster that resembles a dragon-esque monstrosity. Not only was it worshipped as a god in ancient times within the games mythos, but it was said to be so powerful that it could create storms by a single flap of its wings. It was also responsible for (accidentally) causing the storm that destroyed the Brass Tower and killing the three Pokemon inside that would later become Raikou, Entei, and Suicune. Luckily, though, Lugia isn't malevolent and would prefer to dwell peacefully at the bottom of the sea.
      • Shadow Lugia is the result of what happens when one forceably turns an otherwise peaceful dragon-bird monster evil. In the first cutscene alone, it aids the villains in hijacking a ship leaving several innocent people stranded in the ocean.
      • Lugia is also the master of the Legendary Bird Trio, Arcticuno, Zapdos and Moltres, who nearly destroy the world in the second movie because of a greedy human's meddling.
    • Pokemon X/Y gives us Yveltal, a Pokemon that looks like a giant horned vulture. To make matters worse, it is known as the "Destruction Pokemon" and it can resurrect itself from death by forming a cocoon and draining the life out of everything nearby.
    • The Galarian variations of Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres introduced in the Crown Tundra DLC of Sword and Shield are noted to be much more aggressive and vicious than their Kantonian counterparts. Galarian Articuno and Moltres are listed as the "Cruel Pokemon" and "Malevolent Pokemon" respectively, with the former being an arrogant Psychic-type who will blast anyone with eye beams while the latter is a Dark-Type who prefers to overwhelm it's enemies with it's aura. Zapdos is only comparatively nicer in that rather than being actively malicious it's just incredibly aggressive.
    • Bombirdier, introduced in Scarlet & Violet, is basically the Delivery Stork trope but made evil : this Flying/Dark type Pokémon indeed is carrying no baby, but instead rocks and boulders that it enjoys dropping from high altitudes just for kicks, without giving any damn about what or who those rocks could land on.
  • In Portal 2, both Wheatley and GLaDOS are attacked by a bird (persumably the same one). Wheatley gets attacked because he used its eggs to break a door mechanism, and GLaDOS gets attacked because she's turned into a potato battery and the bird got hungry. When the bird appears later on, GLaDOS immediately panics.
  • PsyCard: Depending on the game:
    • In the base game, there's a parrot opponent.
    • In Friend's Quest, there's the "parnix" enemy, which is some kind of bird.
  • The T-virus-infected crows from the Resident Evil series.
  • The first boss of Rune Factory Frontier is a Type C: a giant Clucky.
  • The evil chicken in RuneScape.
    • Also, the folk legends of unsuspecting (and supposedly quite powerful) feather hunters being killed by regular chickens, on which the Evil Chicken was based.
    • There's also the Baby Roc and its mother, the Roc in the My Arm's Big Adventure quest, who have to be defeated in order to help a troll fulfill his dream of being a gardener.
    • Averted with Armadyl, his Aviantese followers, and the Saradominist Icyenes, all winged humanoid warriors. They are/follow the self-professed "good gods" of Gielinor, although evidence suggests that the Icyene may not have had much choice in the matter.
  • Evil birds show up quite frequently in the Sly Cooper series. The most prominent is Big Bad Clockwerk (an owl) introduced in first game, but the second game also gives us sinister parrot Arpeggio, and the third has an evil chicken (General Tsao) and another nasty parrot, the pirate captain LeFwee.
  • The Smurfs (1994): The Howlibird makes an appearance in this game.
  • The Babylon Rogues of Sonic Riders are a ruthless gang of thieves made up of Jet the Hawk (who looks more like a parrot), Storm the Albatross, and Wave the Swallow.
  • Summoner 2 lampshades this; there's a corvid sitting by a fire in an ominous-looking jungle filled with ruins, where a bloody battle had taken place in ages past... however, his name is Matthew, and he's a rather nice fellow. He even loans you his boat.
  • Sunless Sea: The otherwise pretty Blue Prophets, colorful and chattery parrots who have the unnerving tendency to chant out the names of people about to die, and the even more unnerving habit of killing these people themselves. Plus the frankly terrifying habit of chewing through ships' hulls faster than most oceanic monsters to accomplish the second one. Fortunately, they keep to the Elder Continent coasts, which already has plenty of reasons to avoid visiting like Face Stealers, wasps that can sting you through doors and extremely snobby immortal people. Fallen London later reveals a little more about the "chant out the names of those about to die" part — they aren't predicting deaths, they're marking people for death by piracy, for the corsairs of Gaider's Mourn listen to the Prophets and will sink any vessel named by them, seemingly in an effort to preserve the cycle of life and death in a place where Death Is Cheap.
  • The Pidgit Bills in Super Mario World. They replace Bullet Bills if you complete the Special World.
    • Pidgit Bills and Bullet Birds in the Something series. The Pidgit Bills get a Mario-seeking variation and the Bullet Birds get an exploding variation.
  • Sydney Hunter and the Shrines of Peril has birds as an enemy. One touch from them costs Sydney one life. They can be dodged by either jumping over them, or by ducking under them.
  • ThanksKilling Day: Aside from the main enemy, the killer pilgrim, all the other enemies in the game are killer turkeys. Actually, the pilgrim appears to be some kind of mutant humanoid turkey.
  • The Curse of Monkey Island has "El Pollo Diablo", a demonic chicken that pirate/restaurateur Blondebeard is convinced ran off with all his chickens. Part of a solution to a puzzle involves getting Guybrush to disguise himself as El Pollo Diablo.
  • Terror Birds in Tibia.
  • Every single bird from the classic Tomb Raider games.
    • In addition, Tomb Raider II features the Guardian of the Talion, a huge, hulking creature with a bird's head and talons and a humanoid torso and limbs. The Golden Mask add-on features a similar creature, the Guardian of the Kingdom.
  • Touhou Project:
    • Mystia Lorelei qualifies on one angle, being a night sparrow youkai who hunts humans and can strike them blind with her singing. However, she also averts this trope, as The Chew Toy of many a poultry joke in both canon and fanon.
    • Utsuho Reiuji is a Hell raven who went Ax-Crazy upon recieving nuclear powers, but is indicated to have since returned to her usual birdbrain personality.
  • You play as an annoying goose harassing innocent villagers in Untitled Goose Game.
  • Valve Software loves this. Birds apparently love attacking robots (which becomes a Brick Joke during the end cutscene of the Peer Review DLC), alerting zombies to your location, and wallowing in peoples' internal organs during surgery. You almost wonder if it's a Running Gag.
    Francis: I hate birds!
    Zoey: Yeah, birds are dicks!
  • Bobo in Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 is type C (although the latter games show it as closer to a pterodactyl/dragon than any bird), as is the true form (after the first half of the boss battle is won) of Cuckoo Condor in the fourth game.
    • Which is really odd when you realize that Real Life Albatrosses are endangered and swallows and martins have adapted well with humans.
  • In Webbed, the Big Bad is a bowerbird who is portrayed as monstrous. Justified since the main characters are all bugs, and from their point of view, he is not only enormous, but also a predator.
  • Zapper's main antagonist is a magpie called Maggie who has kidnapped the namesake's younger brother.
  • Ring of Pain provides a type A example. Owl Friend is the sample.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Lands of Fire, the Sun Woman is a devouring maniac and Parnuen is a tyrant. Both are depicted as kookaburras since these birds are associated with the sun in Aboriginal Australian Myths.
  • In The Smoke Room, Caldwell is a heron and the only bird character to have a sprite thus far. He's also a Sinister Minister oppressing the local Meseta people in residential schools.
  • One of the Dead Apostle Ancestors in Tsukihime is half bird, half vampire and has numerous bird minions and a Reality Marble having something to do with black feathers that kill people. Even the other DAAs don't like him.

    Web Animation 
  • Asmodeus from Helluva Boss. He's essentially a giant demonic rooster.
  • Pigeon: Impossible stars a rather...persistent pigeon who demands a CIA agent's bagel, and in doing so nearly causes a nuclear holocaust.
  • RWBY has the Nevermores. They're giant, monstrous corvids that can easily swallow a human whole. In addition to that, they can take a lot more punishment than you'd think, even able to slam headlong into a cliffside and still come out relatively unscathed. And don't think for a second that the giant ones are the only variant. There are also smaller Nevermores that rely on a Zerg Rush tactic that can and will kill you if you're off your guard.


    Web Original 
  • The Death World that is Green Antarctica has the Antarctic Teratorn. These birds are fully adapted to hunting and scavenging in the harsh landscape. They've maintained their large size (a 25-foot wingspan), have serrated beaks that act as both ice picks and saws, a prehensile tongue, and can even regurgitate their stomach acid both to digest food and attack prey.
  • Mortasheen has several, although, they are usually quite odd.
  • Serina is home to many, as a world dominated by birds. Special mention goes to the Tyrant Serin and the Greater Grappler.
  • Specworld:
    • It has several deadly penguins (mainly expies for seals, which never developed) with names like "the Screaming Ninja Penguin Of DEATH!!"
    • Also, the cityfinches, which are a homage to The Birds. There's even one cityfinch called "Alfred Hitchcock's thebird" (Theornis alfredhitchcocki).
  • The Pack of the Primordial Feather in The Tyrannosaur Chronicles. All its members are coelurosaurs, the fuzzy and feathery dinosaurs that also include birds. (Incidentally, birds are the only coelurosaur lineage who aren't part of the Pack.)

    Web Videos 
  • In the Nightmare Time episode, "Perky's Buds," the Metzgers are ripped to shreds by a flock of psychic birds, and they use this violence to keep Emma and Ziggs as their hostages.
  • Played for laughs in The Spoony Experiment review of Phantasmagoria 2, where he depicts the nerdy protagonist Curtis Craig as having an irrational fear of ducks.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures of the Gummi Bears have the Carpies, a race of evil vulture-like foes.
  • Amphibia: Giant predatory birds are a common threat to the natives of Amphibia, such as the giant herons from "Prison Break" and the roc from "Truck Stop Polly".
  • In The Animals of Farthing Wood, the Shrike, also known as the Butcher Bird, hunts some of the baby mice and impales them for food.
  • The Batman: The Animated Series version of the Penguin had a collection of deadly birds ranging from poison-billed hummingbirds to trained attack-cassowaries.
  • Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! has "Game of Chicken", which strongly gives of vibes of this trope. The Monster of the Week is a "Chicken Warrior" which is a black face with menacing red eyes and a huge beak. The cave is full of bird of prey busts and the entrance itself is shaped like a huge open beak.
  • Beetlejuice deals with a "poultrygeist" of his own. It's a sentient roast chicken in his fridge that won't let him sleep.
  • Bob's Burgers: In "Dawn of the Peck", the Fischoeder Brothers' Thanksgiving "turkey trot" goes awry when the medley of domestic fowl they bought goes berserk from being cooped up and starts attacking the guests.
  • The animated series of Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars! has several downplayed examples in the form of ducks. Ducks in the Aniverse are nearly always heroic, but significantly darker than their mammal counterparts.
    • The Corsair Canards are a gang of pirates who are most emphatically not The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything (the first thing we see them do is attack a luxury liner), but have a "no first use of violence"-policy (no first use, the Corsairs will gladly turn any ship that offers resistance into dust) which is enough to convince Bucky that the Corsairs are worth cultivating as allies against the Toads.
    • Kamikaze Kamo is a ninja duck, and the leads La Résistance against the Toad-backed Lizard occupation of Canopus III. Kamo and his people are decent enough, but they are also fighting an asymmetrical war, and don't hesitate to use ambush tactics or bladed weapons. Kamo is one of few 90s kid show ninja to straight up nail a fleeing enemy in the back with a shuriken.
    • On a more personal level, there is Deadeye Duck. Deadeye is a former Corsair Canard in good standing, and while he serves loyally as Bucky's master gunner, he is also far more likely to lie, cheat, steal and use gun violence than the other main characters.
  • The Crunch Bird: A bird with a beak full of huge sharp teeth that can chew up anything on command.
  • Code Lyoko: Episode "The Pretender" has Creepy Ravens controlled by XANA attacking the heroes. Several scenes are hommages to Alfred Hitchcock's The Bird, and Odd even mentions having seen the movie.
  • Cool McCool matched wits with the Owl, Bob Kane's expy of the Penguin. The Owl used birds of practically every variety to do his bidding.
  • Count Duckula began as a show-biz addicted ditz on Danger Mouse before becoming an actual villain. Another version (likely incarnation) of the character appeared on his own show with a lot of similarities (a hapless show-biz addicted vegetarian) even though he was harmless and had to deal with a common foe, vampire hunter Dr. Von Goosewing. Duckula's manservant, Igor, a vulture, counts as sinister as he prods Duckula into being the evil bloodsucker he was intended to be.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog had more than a few villains who happened to be avian.
    • Le Quack, a duck with a French accent who is also a master criminal.
    • The Space Chicken and his three-headed son(s), who tried to kill Courage and the Bagges.
    • The Precious, Wonderful, Adorable, Lovable Duckling, who imprints on Eustace and sees him as his mother and tries to get rid of Muriel due to seeing her as competition for Eustace's affections.
  • Averted with Yankee Doodle Pigeon, the hero of Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines, who constantly dodges Dick Dastardly and his Vulture squadron.
  • Peter Griffin from Family Guy occasionally gets into epic battles with a giant chicken. The chicken started the whole thing by purposely giving Peter an expired coupon.
  • Get Ace: In an episode literally titled "Feathered Fiend", the mayor's pet parrot Hawthorne is revealed to be an evil mastermind.
  • The Lion Guard:
    • The most prominent avian villains are Mzingo and his committee, a flock of white-backed vultures who are allies of the evil hyenas. When they join Scar's Legion of Doom after he comes back as a spirit, they set fire to the Pride Lands under his commands.
    • "Ono and the Egg" introduces another feathered foe: an African harrier-hawk named Mpishi who invades the Pride Lands (where hawks are not allowed to hunt due to not having a territory there) in search of new prey to eat. She also forms a Villain Team-Up with Mzingo's right-wing vulture Mwoga, in order to outwit the Lion Guard.
  • Looney Tunes:
  • The Real Ghostbusters face a group of monstrous werechicken in episode "Poultrygeist".
  • Aeon the Terrible, the Big Bad of Rudolph's Shiny New Year. He's a colossal condor who abducts the New Year Baby and exploits him to stop time and prevent the next New Year from happening (Long story). Naturally, Rudolph must pursue him in order to rescue the baby.
  • In Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, there is the Evil Genius parrot, Professor Pericles.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars, "Jedi Crash": The Mastiff Phalones are vicious predators which attack and try to kill anything they come across. They look like flightless griffins.
  • Vultureman (an evil anthropomorphic vulture as the name implies) is one of the enemies of the ThunderCats in all versions.
  • Sweetie Pie from Tiny Toon Adventures is an adorable pink bird who, despite her name, is one of the nastiest characters on the show, perhaps even more so than Montana Max. She regularly bullies Furrball even when he's just minding his own business.
  • The Transformers:
    • Laserbeak and Buzzsaw are evil Decepticons that resemble birds.
    • Faction-switcher Doubledealer's Decepticon form is a bird.
    • Divebomb is a bloodthirsty Predacon (not those) eagle.
    • Cutthroat transforms into a Terrorcon bird monster thing and is a merciless killer without a conscience.
    • While sharing an identical robot mode like his fellow Decepticon Clone Pounce, Wingspan transforms into a eagle/hawk.
  • We Bare Bears has the Pigeon Cartel, a reoccurring criminal gang of Nearly Normal Animals responsible for everything from petty thefts to black market hot sauce.
  • Buzz Buzzard from the Woody Woodpecker cartoons was usually shown as genuinley evil and sinister, as opposed to Woody who was just an obnoxious prankster.

    Real Life 
  • Swans are some of the most territorial waterbirds in the world. (If one comes towards you hissing, back off.) Imagine facing their giant extinct cousins. In fact, in places where religion consider dogs as unclean, the locals would keep swans as guard animals instead. Despite their reputation, they are some of nature's greatest parents, and will protect each other to the end. Swans are also quite possible to befriend, and semi-tame Swans commonly live near gardens and parks as a result - just make sure to treat them nicely though!
  • Roosters have spurs on their legs and are apparently territorial. There is a reason why Cockfighting used to be so common. Sometimes their natural spurs would be replaced (or, in some cases, enhanced) with razors.
  • The vampire finch (Geospiza difficilis septentrionalis) is known for pecking at other birds and giant tortoises until it draws blood, and then drinking it.
    • You know oxpeckers, those cute little birds that perch on animals in Africa and do useful things like eat their hosts' parasites? What they're actually after is blood. They mostly get it from the ticks they eat off their hosts, but sometimes they cut out the middleman by living up to their name.
  • The shrike: it looks like your average songbird, but it impales rather large prey (lizards, rodents) on spikes to serve as a food reserve, hanging their prey out of the way of rival predators and pinning them in place so they can feed by tearing shreds of meat off.
    • It wears a black mask, and is also known as the "Butcher Bird". Don't say you haven't been warned.
  • Geese can be very vicious if their brood is threatened. They're sometimes used to guard other poultry from predators.
  • European robins (not to be confused with American robins, which are of the thrush family instead) are considered among the cutest birds by humans. They are cruel and vicious to each other though — they are about the most fiercely territorial birds, and among the very few birds that fight each other to the death. Oh and not just the males — outside of mating season, female robins are just as territorial and aggressive as the males.
  • A lot of birds are very protective of their nests. While their protective instinct is understandable, getting swooped at by alternately furious and desperate parents and helpers for walking near the wrong tree is alarming.
    • Seagulls are likeable when it's not the nesting season.note  When it is, seagulls turn into divebombing feathered fiends.
    • Sparrows may strive to keep their distance from humans discreetly, but when they're nesting, they will use their small, hard, and sharp beaks, which are adapted to eating seeds and insects, to painful effect. There are video records of sparrows having brutally decapitating other birds with said beaks when they commandeer human-made nesting boxes and try to keep competitors at bay; in this example, at 2:22, there is a still photo of the unfortunate remains of a swallow that had its head brutalized by a tree sparrow over a nesting box (WARNING - gore).
    • Southern Lapwings nest in the ground, and while finding their nests can be difficult, they will make it known that they want you gone. And not only will they try to peck you, their wings have spurs and they will gladly stab you with them if they need to.
  • Similarly, although many wild birds will "freeze up" when captured for research, certain species are infamous for fighting back, regardless of their size. Birds in the Paridae family (tits, chickadees, titmice, etc.) are tiny and have relatively weak bites, but make up for it in aggressiveness. Cardinals and grosbeaks, on the other hand, have beaks like bolt cutters.
    • Shrikes (see above) are difficult to handle safely without gloves, thanks to their hooked bills and strong personalities.
    • Most birds will be banded with aluminum bands, chosen for being lightweight and as non-taxing on the bird as possible. Not Cardinals. They get steel bands, because they will crumple aluminum ones with their strong beaks and pretty much amputate their own legs in the process.
  • The aptly named terror birds took over the role of giant bipedal predators in Cenozoic South America, long after non-bird dinosaurs were extinct. Some of them reached heights of up to twelve feet and preyed on the ancestors of today's horses. Think of them as nature's attempt to make a Theropod 2.0. after the mass extinction.
  • The cassowary, native to Australia and New Guinea, is a large ostrich like bird. The avian equivalent of a bear, a cassowary is dangerous for all of the same reasons. They've killed people on more than one occasion. They are extremely territorial and aggressive (even more so when it's a father cassowary with chicks because it's actually the males that care for and protect the eggs and chicks). Their back legs kick with enough force to collapse a human rib cage, or crush a human skull, and have a dinosaurian killing claw on the end. Their omnivorous diet means they love to go into human residential areas and eat trash, because it's loaded with the rotting fruit, bugs, and small mammals it loves to eat. Unfortunately, this means they're more likely to encounter humans, and attack them for invading what they consider to be "their" territory. They've also been known to kill dingos, crocodiles, and horses and cattle that get too close.
  • Steamer ducks. They attack and kill other waterfowl for no clear reason.
  • Great titsnote  prey on hibernating bats by ripping their heads off. These birds are definitely not just seed and insect eaters.
  • Whether or not they count as birds is up to you (dromaeosaurs were indeed the closest relatives of Avialae, the "true birds", and were placed along with them in the clade Paraves, "nearly a bird"), but the predatory dromaeosaurids and caenagnathoid oviraptorosaurs definitely bore bona fide feathers. Among the dromaeosaurids were Deinonychus and Velociraptor, but the largest of them was Utahraptor, which was at least the size of a grizzly bear. Grizzly-bear sized raptors. That might have hunted in packs. The largest oviraptorid was Gigantoraptor, which was almost nine meters long and weighed over a ton, comparable to some tyrannosaurids like Albertosaurus. It would have been the largest feathered fiend known to science if you only count dinosaurs with pennaceous feathers. If you throw protofeathers into the equation things get much more complicated.
    • Dakotaraptor resembled a flightless bird of prey the size of a horse, with razor-sharp teeth and powerful hooked claws. Sweet dreams, everyone.
    • They were also very tenacious when defending their nests (which was probably done by the males, by the way). It appears that they would even try to shield their eggs from a sandstorm, as many oviraptorid fossils are found crouching over their nests.
    • There's this new theory about how dromaeosaurids went about "preparing" their prey: They used their sickle claws to pin their prey down while flapping their wings for balance. Now put yourself in the prey's shoes: You're lying on your back with raptor claws hooked in your skin, and huge wings flapping in your face, while a raptor eats your guts out. The point is... you are alive when they start to eat you.
    • If you count protofeathers (primitive hair-like feathers), the amount of Fiends grows even higher (and it includes TYRANNOSAURS and quite possibly all of the giant carnivorous dinosaurs.)
    • Yutyrannus huali is the largest known feathered theropod, nearly the size of aT. rex and covered in fluffy protofeathers, much like a duckling's down, but definitely less adorable.
    • Subverted with the infamous T. rex itself, however: while it was long debated and suggested that T. rex was feathered like most of its theropod kin, new skin impressions have suggested that it likely lacked plumage, or at least plumage in any great quantity. It's been theorized that T. rex secondarily lost its feathers as such a large creature didn't need the extra insulation, so it seems that we'll get to keep our scaly Jurassic Park tyrant lizard after all. At least for now.
  • Much like their cassowary cousins, ostriches can be unpredictable and dangerous in spite of their goofy appearance. Their claws, while not quite as knife-like as the cassowary’s, are still incredibly sharp and can cause serious injury or death, essentially the modern equivalent of a Raptor Attack. An ostrich even once nearly killed Johnny Cash by gutting him with a kick (he was running a farm of them at the time).
  • There are stories — unconfirmed — of massive eagles carrying off dogs and in one case a small child (who survived, was found in the mountains miles from where she disappeared, and is the source of the story). There are verified accounts of eagles killing deer and young cattle. (Not carrying off, but killing, certainly.) Eagles also appear to have preyed on the young of early hominids (e.g.: our ancestors). In fact, the Haast's eagle from New Zealand was probably large enough to kill Māori settlers, who didn't arrive until some time around 1250. AD (or CE). It died out when its main food source (moa, large flightless birds) got exterminated by the Māori.
    • African Crowned Eagles have been known to launch predatory attacks on children (Up to seven years old!). Also, skulls of human infants have been found in African Crowned Eagle nests. This is also the same species of eagle that killed our hominid ancestors as mentioned by the troper above, and because of their fiercesness and fondness for primate meat they are known as the "leopards of the air" by certain African peoples.
  • Bearded vultures have been known to try and drive large mammals (including humans) off the edges of cliffs, and black vultures will sometimes swarm young livestock and medium-sized mammals such as skunks and kill them. These are "scavenging" vultures, not typical predatory birds of prey such as eagles. Some vultures can be pretty fiendish when merely acting in self-defense, because they barf caustic, half-digested rotten meat at would-be attackers.
  • Pelicans. They not only like to eat fish, they also like to eat smaller birds, often baby ones that have been left unguarded by their parents, but as the video linked shows, small adult birds are also fair game.
  • Giant Petrels are ferocious, predatory sea birds of the South Pole, they are velociraptors that can fly.
  • The golden eagle is not overly large by eagle standards, but it can reach 200 mph (320 kph) in a dive and hits hard enough to kill wolves.
  • The Philippine eagle stands at a height of four feet, has talons as long as a grown man's finger, and is known to prey on monkeys, other birds and occasionally even carries off livestock! Attacks on people are rare, but nonetheless it's a bird you wouldn't want to mess with.
  • While hummingbirds are largely harmless to humans, they're viciously territorial, because they need to eat so much to keep flying.note  If a hummingbird isn't eating, it's probably fighting. The Aztec example above may have been the result of good observation.
  • Old world cuckoos and brood parasites in general. Imagine this scenario: you're a mother bird, getting ready to fly home with food for your baby. You perch on your nest and the baby calls to you for food. While you feed it, you realize something disturbing. There is something wrong. There is something wrong with the baby. You don't know why and you don't know how, but there is one thing you do know. Whatever is in the nest, begging you for food, is not your baby. And if the bird wises up and refuses to feed the baby cuckoo, the parents or relatives will appear and beat them into submission (in what's called the "cuckoo mafia theory"), forcing it into slavery to care for the baby.
  • Not content with letting the common cuckoo take the mantle of most evil bird to infest the skies, the seagull swoops in to give them a run for their money.
  • House wrens are tiny and cute, and are extremely opportunistic at nesting, often moving into other birds' nests, in the process destroying any eggs or hatchlings already there.
  • Crows and ravens are extremely intelligent birds, but only recently did scientists realize just how powerful their cognitive abilities are. They remember faces, and not only do they repeatedly scold and attack someone if they recognize them as an enemy, they also spread the word of the "enemy" to their friends and family, who will also attack that person even if they've never actually interacted with them before. They can remember this information for over two years.
    • They also have intense problem-solving intelligence and have higher grasps of numbers and the laws of physics (yes, the fable about the Crow and the Pitcher actually happens in real life), and have been theorized by some scientists to have an intellectual level at par with chimps and seven-year old human children!
    • They're also close relatives of another intelligent and highly aggressive bird: the blue jay. Blue jays are very protective of their food and nest, and will defend them from anything be it other songbirds, squirrels, raccoons, or even large hawks.
    • Magpies are also corvids, and they've been reported to be as aggressive and smart as their cousins. They were also rumored to steal jewelry from people, though that turned out to be just myth.
      • Here's an example of how fiendishly clever crows are: in 2005 in Hamburg Germany a strange epidemic of exploding toads occurred around a single pond. The toads were found with their air sacs ruptured, and their entrails scattered round to a distance of several metres. Health officials panicked, suspecting an imported disease, but eventually the culprit was revealed to be a crow, who had learned that the liver was the only part of a toad that wasn't toxic, and so targeted the precise point on a toad's back that led straight to the liver, and removed it in a literal and figurative surgical strike. The strike was so quick that the toads had no time to respond before the liver was gone, and when they attempted to use their natural defence (puffing up) their missing liver meant that there was nothing to stop their sacs from inflating till they burst.
  • In the 1930s, a war against emus was started over people complaining that the birds were damaging their crops. The emus, however, proved to be surprisingly difficult opponents, with the military tactics at the time turning out to be nearly useless against them. The effort against the birds turned out to be so frustrating that the troops just eventually retreated. To quote the leader of the troops, "If we had a military division with the bullet-carrying capacity of these birds, it would face any army in the world. They could face machine guns with the invulnerability of tanks."
  • Gastornis (aka Diatryma) is a double subverted case. Until recently, the creature was agreed to be a carnivore, famously preying upon the small horses of the time; however, a study in 2014 showed it was actually a huge herbivore that used its beak to crack nuts and branches rather than to tear flesh and crush bone. note  But as the examples involving ostriches, emus, and cassowaries above show, this doesn't mean it wasn't dangerous. That beak of its could easily pack a great big amount of damage if it needed to defend itself.
  • A Wedge-tailed eagle snatched a kangaroo joey that was being taken care of by a police officer in Burringurrah, a remote Aboriginal settlement in Western Australia. How did he respond? He chased down the eagle to retrieve the joey, finding that the not-yet-dead joey was had suffered severe wounds by multiple eagles. Then he took the joey back to the police station to perform first aid on it and nurse it back to health.
  • The European honey buzzard is this to hornets and wasps. Its coat of feathers are specialized for defense against stingers, allowing the birds to rip into nests and devour the larvae while the insects can only defenselessly watch. This bird just happens to be the only natural predator of the much dreaded Asian giant hornet. It's the avian version of the honey badger.
  • Coots are relatively unremarkable waterbirds, but their parenting methods fit them squarely into this trope. Their solution to not having enough food to feed the whole family? Oh, just the simple and obvious one.
    • Black eagles actually encourage their young to eat each other! As the babies will eventually grow to become predators of other birds, what's better hunting practice than their own nestmates?
    • Same goes for macaroni penguins, who usually abandon the first egg by the time the second egg is laid. In the event the first egg does hatch, the parents invariably kill the first chick.
  • Shoebill storks usually lay a clutch of two eggs, however only one chick is usually allowed to survive. The other chick is just a failsafe in case the first dies, and in the event that first one does well and healthy, The Unfavorite is neglected, if not outright killed by the parent or its sibling. Sometimes, it's eaten by its sibling or parents, if it's not picked off by predators (weirdly enough, shoebills aren't real, real protective of their nests).
  • Some people have theorized this is what The Jersey Devil really was: some kind of large bird (The sandhill crane is a popular candidate)
  • Galápagos mockingbirds spend most of their time eating parasites off iguana backs, seeds, insects, and eggs. However, they’re willing to gang up on baby sea lions to eat off their placenta coating and kill and eat baby sea turtles.
  • The Harpy Eagle(considered to be the African Crowned Eagle's Central/South American counterpart) looks like it would be this, as they're huge (at about 3 feet) and look about as humanoid as their namesake, but, while they look intimidating, they're pretty harmless, unless, you're something on its menu (like sloths), which case, be afraid, very afraid, as their shorter wingspan (in proportion to their size/weight) means the canopy isn't safe.
  • The Canada Goose is territorial and can be aggressive towards humans, but the biggest danger it presents is towards aircraft - the bird is large, heavy and flies in flocks when migrating. The "Miracle on the Hudson" was caused by the aircraft's engines being destroyed by these birds.
  • Toucans may be funny-looking birds with their large, colorful bills, but said bills are lined with serrations used for slicing which makes up for their lack of crushing power (their bills are hollow). Besides fruit, they are known to eat small animals (including smaller birds) and eggs. They will even steal fruit from other birds.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Morally Ambiguous Ducktorate, Antagonistic Bird, Evil Bird


Nigel The Cockatoo

Nigel, the evil, sadistic cockatoo from Rio. He's a Card-Carrying Villain who almost name-drops this trope when he refers to himself as a "feathery freak with a beak, a bird murderer" in his Villain Song as shown in this scene.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / FeatheredFiend

Media sources: