Sunday 24 February 2013

Hitchcock's The Birds return!

Following on from the Tesco Blackcap posting. Most of us must have watched with amazement  the winter flocks of Starlings wheeling around in the sky before settling down to roost for the evening. The arial display is often shown on television and those who are lucky enough to see it first hand, feel that it is something of a privilege to witness. On two occasions last year we saw such activities being done by birds. One was a huge flock of Starlings near the Dover Lock pub that roosted in some nearby trees. The second was a similar display by a smaller flock of Swallows before roosting for the night in a phragmites reed bed

However, due to global warming its starting to happen in places where it has never been seen before. The reaction of people to this wonderful display is at odds with ours. The GlobalPost (USA) reports millions of starlings have descended on a small city in a real-life version of Alfred Hitchcock's horror film, "The Birds". David Chiles, president of the Little River Audubon Society, said the fact that migratory flocks are roosting in the city rather than flying further south is tied to climate warming. Although the birds have not turned on humans as in the classic 1963 Hitchcock movie.

Mr Chiles, who also teaches biology at Hopkinsville High School said "The weather, the climate plays a big role. They somehow establish a roost south of where the ground is frozen solid. They are ground feeders, feeding on leftover crops and insects. If the fields are frozen solid, they can't feed." The city, has hired a pest control company to get rid of the interlopers. Henry Jako, general manager of McGee Pest Control, said "Our crews use air cannons and bird-bangers, similar to bottle rocket fireworks aimed into the trees where the birds roost." Jako also added  "In the worst-affected neighbourhoods  multiple cannons and consecutive blasts are being used to keep the birds moving. Jako said. "If the birds are so comfortable, they are going to stay around," he added. "We aren't seeing the temperatures go as low as zero like we used to. Now we very often don't even see temperatures in the teens around here.

The artillery attacks are disturbing some locals as well as the birds. "It scares my little dog to death," said Christian County Judge Steve Tribble. "I don't know what it does other than move the birds from one tree to the next." When they fly away, the startled birds leave behind excrement. Tribble said. "I've got an apple tree that has almost turned white, any vehicle left parked outside now has to be covered up. I guess it's good for folks that have car washes."


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please put your name to your comment. Comments without a name may automatically be treated as spam and might not be included.

If you do not wish your comment to be published say so in your comment. If you have a tip or sensitive information you’d prefer to share anonymously, you may do so. I will delete the comment after reading.