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my life as a horror movie, take two

I told you. You thought I was kidding or exaggerating. I was just standing in the kitchen, minding my own business when a swarm - and I do mean a swarm - of these black birds (are they crows? not sure) came zooming past the window. We're talking 100 birds, easily. They landed on my lawn and then scooted over to my neighbor's house, where they perched in the trees, on the car, on the roof and then waddled through the grass before taking off again. I know it's some kind of omen. Have I mentioned that I hate birds? They are evil creatures who carry the soul of the devil in their wings. Seriously. I once created a picturesque tale about evil birds. You can view it here. Now, does anyone know a ritual that will ward off whatever horrors these birds brought with them?


I know of a ritual for such a situation that my great uncle taught me.

It involves a shotgun, and hundreds of feathers that you'll be cleaning out of your yard for years.

Hate birds too. I have several cats - good hunter's all!!! Works great. When picking out hunting cats, look for those with the "M" mark above and between their eyes, they are decedents from a very good hunting breed.

Maybe they are migrating. Every year I get something like 50,000 Robin-red-breasts in my yard during their trip south. I think they are cute (the Robins not the Crows).

Looks like a flock of starlings. They're a great candidate for evil birds; very noisy and travel in huge flocks. If you pass one of their trees in the evening when they're settling down to roost, the frantic screaming really does sound like they're working themselves up to destroy all humans. (They're actually just working out between them who gets the best roosts, but they make a much bigger production out of this than most other birds.)

In omen terms, a big flock of common birds suddenly coming in and taking over an area means they're there to specially escort someone to the land of the dead. Let's hope it's your obnoxious neighbors and not you.

Yeah, they flock like that here this time of year too. They get so bad that I have to leave Sassy outside to keep them out of the bird feeders.

It's an omen that there's stuff they like to eat in your yard. That's all.

A ritual that will ward them off?

I'd go with the sound of a .22, or maybe a .410


Something I actually know about for a change! Some people (including me)refer to them as Starlings but Starlings have spots. Those noisy swarming pests are actually Grackles.

I know this because this past summer the bastards would literally drop shit from their mouth onto my car. I did a lot of research on how to make them stop it and discovered it's how they clean the nest.

The babies poop in a sack and the adults pick up the sack and drop it in water. My shiny black car looked like water to them so it was the target all summer.

They migrate to the southeast in winter so they'll go soon. This concludes your feathery education for today. Carry on.

Hot sauce, hot pepper, anything really hot.

My sister had a problem with Canadian Geese (they poop everywhere), and managed to get them to leave by seasoning her lawn with hot pepper.

Good luck!

Grackles. Long tail, purple-ish irridescent sheen. Migrating in big flocks. Definitely Grackles.

I may be the world's only Republican bird-watcher, with 451 species on my North American life list.

Notice how all this started when you put the little dead girl back? I'm just sayin'...

If you check, you'll find that they only moved the headstones.

Starlings have spots in their winter plumage and are iridescently black like grackles in their summer plumage, and then it's hard to tell the difference, especially since the pictures aren't close up or sharply focused. (I took an ornithology class as an elective. Professor Fleury would throw a gizzard at my head now for not being able to ID at that distance.) I mainly called them as starlings because the behavior sounds much more like them, and because female grackles are dark brown rather than black and I don't see any in the flock.

Note: I stand corrected. Your area's grackle males and females have the same plumage, mine don't. I bow to the Eastern birdwatchers.

The C Basset ritual is quite effective but as he points out, a little messy. While duck hunting with my father, he demonstrated a similar ritual - emptying (5) 12ga. shells into a tree full of squawking starlings. Unfortunately, this did not deter more starlings from the scene; instead the carnage attracted hundreds more to peck away at their fallen friends. Sort of like what's been happening to Dan Rather and friends.
I have 2 bird feeders and a bird-bath in my yard, but never any birds. I think the secret is our 2 dogs that chase anything with wings.
If all else fails, you can try a life size poster of John Kerry, pre-botox. Just make sure children don't see it.

sea salt sprinkled in a circle around the house. Used to attract and dispel negativity and ward off unpleasantness.

Running around screaming while waving your arms.

Repeat several times per minute.

hmmm.... guess this is not the time to mention I have both a hummingbird feeder and a finch feeder.


If it had been a flock of sparrows, it would have been psychopomps (King's "The Dark Half")

Ewww, grackles...

Behind my house is an old railroad right of way (and a flood control channel that runs up to the foothills) lined with eucalyptus trees. Local crows roost there sometimes and really set up a racket. But the mocking birds will dive bomb them. Because of the channel, this is almost a wildlife path from the hills. The blue jays, tanangers and other mountain birds seasonly migrate through here. I've spotted owls, redtail hawks, skunks, possums and an occasional coyote.

I'd think of it as a free Hitchcock movie rental. But then you're probably not as taken with Tippi Hedren as I was during my puberty.

So to be more practical, I'd go with Model ASC 3000.

You could try a mexican cat army. What could possibly go wrong?

I'm not quite a bird-hater, but for the most part they do seem to be rats with wings with good PR. My particular pet peeve is folks complaining about squirrels eating from bird feeders. I'd rather have dozens of squirrels then a flock of birds, the squirrels are more entertaining and don't make messes on my car.

Based on the evidence you've described today, it's my professional opinion that this you "bought in May with a gleam in [your] eye" is situated...on a hellmouth.

You have two options. You can move away and never return, which is probably the best idea; or you can try to exorcise the evil. Considering that it's on a hellmouth, that would be like trying to win a pissing contest against a fire hose. However, the bird phenomenon you witnessed heralds the most advanced stage of the possession. It really can't get much worse than this. See, a hellmouth for a backyard really isn't that bad after all. Besides, imagine what it's going to do for your heating bill this winter.

I lived in near-Oregon-California, on the coast, and need to share this experience.

One day, woke up and found 20-25 very, very large black flies, all pressed against the Kitchen window, absorbing the morning sun, I guess. All in the one room, although the living room window was 10 feet away, and faced the same way.

They were slow, and, with help of a newspaper, they all died.

The next day, there were 30 more.

Killed them, too.

Went on for about 5 days before it stopped.

Ha! A little fire will show 'em who's boss!

Long strips of aluminium foil (no more then 2 feet long) hung from trees where the wind will wave them around should do the trick.

I love birds, but I HATE crows. They are dirty, nasty, mean, annoying, loud assholes.

[D]oes anyone know a ritual that will ward off whatever horrors these birds brought with them?

Yes, but you're not gonna wanna hear it: Go to the polls on Nov. 2 and vote for John Kerry and John Edwards.

Returning the White House to the party that actually won four years ago is the only way remove the curse. For crying out loud, look at what's happened to Florida! God is angry!

Laurence has a good idea, but I think thats the ritual to get rid of your neighbors, not birds.

Fire. And lots of it.

So, pk, what pissed God off about California? Didn't that state vote for Gore?

Then what was with the 6.0?

I was going to suggest this would be an excellent time to adopt a cat, but now I think I am going to go to Mexico and enlist in the Cat Army as support personnel. Sergeant in Charge of Catnip Toys and Can Openers.

I have a new calling in life. Hooray!

The Commissar,

I sincerely doubt that you're the world's only Republican birder ;^) Congrats on your respectable life list!

Any chance that you'll be in Cape May at the end of October for the Autumn Weekend?

A can of Raid.

and a cigarette lighter.

Flame On!

Your walls are weeping, the yard is full of boo-birds. October must be close!


They look like grackles to me. I had a crappy apartment at Rutgers and they used to get into the attic through a hole near one of the gutters. Soon they could be heard shuffling in the space between the walls. Next, they were in the apartment, strutting around like they owned the place. They got in by wriggling between the seams in the paneling.

The beak would come through first, followed by the head, wing, other wing, then they were in, screaming defiantly. They were easy to catch, but I couldn't bring myself to kill them.

I tagged them and let them go when I went away. If it was within a 10 mile radius, they'd be back. I worked 30 miles away so I eventually got rid of the offending bunch.


You don't want squirrels. If you feed them, they saw where you came from, and unless its a metal door in a metal and concrete building they will knaw their way through it if you ever stop feeding them