Friday, January 02, 2009

The Birds

You'd think that there wouldn't be very many differences between where I live now in southern IL and where I grew up in Mid-Michigan. In general, there aren't, and moving here was a bit like coming home, especially compared to AZ.

But there is one large difference:
The gigantic swarms of birds that seem to hang out here. Everyone here finds nothing strange about it. And no one back home actually believes what we try to tell them about the shear number of birds in these flocks.

These pictures don't actually do it justice, but Ben took them the other day so we could try to explain how creepy it is when the birds show up.

This is the neighbor's house and yard. Their yard is about two - three acres like ours is, and it was covered in birds, as well as a big part of our yard, all the power lines, the other neighbor's trees and the field across the road.

We're pretty sure they're hostile. They might mean business. Let's just call it unnerving.

Sometimes it's just little sparrows, but these were big blackbirds, with big sections within the flock of redwinged blackbirds.

It can be kind of spooky to walk outside and have hundreds and hundreds of birds all turn to look at you, while they perch all over the rooftops and powerlines.

I guess I've seen birds flock in MI before, but never so many, and mostly for a pretty obvious reason, like they're following the plows in the spring and eating the worms and bugs that are worked up.
Anyway, I suppose all these birds are just flying south for the winter, but I'd never seen so many together until I moved here. They don't always come by our house, but whenever we drive anywhere we always see them over the highways, like a bird river in the sky. I've watched them until I couldn't see them, and never seen the stream end. And it's not single file, either, like with geese. These little birds fly fifty or so thick for as far as you can see in either direction.
I think it's pretty cool to live right in a migratory pattern, now that I'm more used to it. As long as I don't think of Alfred Hitchcock.

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Lauriebelle said...

Jeeze Louise that's a creepy number of birds!

I'm feeling you on the Hitchcock thing...I think f that every time I see a swarm of birds! I have to say though, that I don't think I've EVER seen THAT many. Cool!

Bethany said...

I know, it's crazy, right?

It's hard to get pictures of them when they're so many like that, and the big bird rivers don't photograph at all, but it's definately like ten times more birds than I've ever seen in one place. Even a hundred times more! And it's so hilarious, because everyone here is like, "hmmm? oh, the flocks of birds? oh, I suppose there's a few of them." I can't imagine what their opinion of a lot of birds would look like.

Mary said...

After the birds are there in MO they come south here to Arkansas. We get them every year. One day I had my Cockatiel out of his cage looking out the window. When all those birds went to flying he thought he would fly with them and he flew across the room. It was so funny.

Bethany said...

That is funny! The cats were all at the windows watching and wanting to get out. We don't let them out at all, but I can just imagine how mean they thought we were when they saw the yard full of birds they could have run into.

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