- PASADENA, Calif. (Reuters) - A bird in the hand may be worth two in the
bush, but more than 1,000 in your home is a bit hard to swallow.
- When a Pasadena couple returned to their
home this week after a few days away, they discovered a scene straight
out of Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 suspense movie ``The Birds'' -- their two
story house was filled with more than 1,000 swifts, a small migratory
bird not unlike the swallow. What drove them there is not known. Pasadena
Fire Dept. Battalion Chief Joe Nestor said on Thursday that the department
received a call from neighbors of the couple on Monday night reporting
that a huge flock of swifts was disappearing down the chimney of the house.
``They called us because they could not think of anyone else to call,''
- When Engine No. 34 arrived at the house
the couple, who Nestor declined to name because of department policy, were
not home, but they arrived a short time later. ``When our fire fighters
entered the house there was upward of 1,000 birds in there and they'd done
quite a bit of damage to the interior,'' Nestor said. He said the soot-covered
swifts were on the floor, behind couches and chairs, under tables, and
perched on and behind pictures hung on the walls, ``Just everywhere they
could possibly be.''
- ``Some of them were dead, presumable
either having been killed coming down the chimney or crashing into walls
in panic,'' Nestor said. The fire fighters opened all the doors and windows
in the house, which Nestor described as ``fairly large'' and shooed the
birds out. ``It took them a good two hours to clear the home,'' he said.
- ``I can't begin to imagine what it must
have been like in that house,'' he added. Asked why he thought the birds
had flown down the chimney Nestor said, ``It beats me. It was rainy and
stormy, that might have had something to do with it.''