I Feel This Week Like I’ve Been In a Hitchcock Film


It's not crows, so it's not a murder, which may be a good thing. Birds in a bare ash tree near Warde Hall on a sunny, cold day this week. Wednesday? Maybe.

It’s not crows, so it’s not a murder, which may be a good thing. Birds in a bare ash tree near Warde Hall on a sunny, cold day this week. Wednesday? Maybe.

And the movie stars Tippi Hedren, who was in Iowa earlier this month, and even if she was on the West Coast of Iowa (in Council Bluffs), still there is some spirit of “The Birds” in the air.

Publicity photo from "The Birds," used on a Radio Iowa, radioiowa.com, story about Tippi Hedren visiting Iowa earlier this month.

Publicity photo from “The Birds,” used on a Radio Iowa, radioiowa.com, story about Tippi Hedren visiting Iowa earlier this month.

What is with the birds this week? Our odd early winter seems to be especially troubling to our dinosaur relatives.

My wife and I were carting stuff to a storage unit this afternoon—all our summer lawn toys and furniture—to to make room in our garage for actual fossil-fuel burning transportation (which is not often stored there because it’s usually full of stuff). She is a bit fussy about our new van, and she noted as we worked that the van has a lot of bird poo on it right now.

It has been parked recently behind Warde Hall at MMU, and on campus lately, I’ve noticed lots of feathered conclaves. I don’t know what they are—some small common brown bird—but crowds of them have been cheeping at each other in trees near Warde Hall and flying in large clouds about central campus and pooping on newish vans.

I promise you, birds, I did not buy any caged cousins. Please don’t congregate and start attacking.

Slightly closer view of birds on MMU campus. They cheeped and then flew off. What can it mean?

Slightly closer view of birds on MMU campus. They cheeped and then flew off. What can it mean?

Today, I didn’t see those sparrows or wrens or whatever the heck they were that were around Wednesday and Thursday—this afternoon it was a big group of male robins, flocking together between patches of melting snow in the central lawn. Why? Beats me. But, appropriately enough at MMU, there was a squirrel hanging around them, too.

If Alfred Hitchcock had wanted to make a movie about the animal most feared at Mount Mercy, he doubtless would have called it “The Squirrels.”

Anyway, as a bicycle commuter, I also noticed this week many low flying Vs of pissed-off sounding geese which seemed to be randomly flying every which way. I feel like helpfully pointing for them and shouting—“hey, that’s wrong, geese. South is THAT way.”

But the geese would pay me no heed. Maybe that’s good, at least they aren’t on the warpath.

Like birds were in a Tippi Hedren movie.

Robin on central lawn. One of many that was there Friday afternoon. Robins tend to gather and flee to the woods for winter--was this a pre-trip gathering or a bird terrorist plot?

Robin on central lawn. One of many that was there Friday afternoon. Robins tend to gather and flee to the woods for winter–was this a pre-trip gathering or a bird terrorist plot?

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