Jan 21, 2010

I keep telling you, this isn't "a few birds!"

I was drawn to our front window because it seemed as if the sun had suddenly gone behind a large dark cloud. It was no cloud. There were thousands of them. Maybe tens of thousands. They stretched on as far as I could see up and down the street. On houses. In yards. Daring me to step outside. I was too unnerved to do anything more than snap a few quick photos through a partially opened front door.

And then they were gone.

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13 comments:

Melanie's Randomness said...

Did you just fall into a Hitchcock movie??? WOW that's alot of birds. I'd be absolutely freaked. Maybe something died in your area that has a big smell??? Or its a migration thing & they were taking a break??? Weird!!!

Trike said...

Are you telling me swallows are mi-grate-erry?

Massive clouds of birds used to be a common sight in Ohio. We'd see this exact thing every morning as we waited for the bus. In order to keep them from treating us as pigeons do statues, we learned quickly to clap furiously as they flew overhead, which had the magical effect of splitting the giant cloud into two as they avoided the "threat" of five boys clapping their hands.

I think the reason we don't see it as much any more is the same loss of habitat and pollution that's decimated the numbers of so many other animals.

Columbus' log records seeing islands where the beaches seemed alive because of the millions of sea turtles crowding them. Diaries of American pioneers tell of millions of buffalo thundering across the Great Plains. Cape Cod is so named because that fish was once so plentiful they would accidentally jump into the boats sailing into gigantic schools.

I miss seeing such spectacles and can only imagine how much grander they must have been.

Trike said...

The classic "buffalo skulls" photo:

http://img51.imageshack.us/img51/6986/bisonskullpileca1870.png

wesley's mom (sue) said...

Wow!

Charity Donovan said...

Odd...so when they left did you have yourself another White Christmas????

Trent said...

Holy crap that was a lot of birds.

Anonymous said...

SPOOKY

pity

John said...

I think they're starlings. Damn starlings. They make a mess... and their poop is poisonous. (At least the stuff that grows on it is.)

John

James said...

Yes, these are starlings. And they're EVERYWHERE. Doug, you can still see these massive black clouds all over Ohio but it's because of a different kind of human impact on the environment. Supposedly these European birds were introduced to North America by a group in New York that wanted to have every bird from Shakespeare's works represented here in the States. They are a nuisance species and I've read that their numbers have become so great that they are now the biggest avian threat to air travel. (I'll have to double check that "fact" though.) There are videos of starlings in flocks of hundreds of thousands, so our neighborhood swarm was fairly pedestrian by comparison.

~Amy Jo~ said...

Freaking. Me. Out.

Jay Ferris said...

$10 if you run up and down the block with your pockets full of croutons.

Trike said...

Oh yeah, starlings suck. Screw the ecosystem, I'm speaking as a longtime ragtop man.

my name is Amanda said...

Holy (bird) Crap!