Yesterday, Gloria and I went out for a bonus Saturday morning and did our usual Saturday things, taking advantage of my day off. We went to Billy’s, where I got a burger. We went to the Hedgehog, where I got some granola ice cream, and we went to Alan’s, where I didn’t get anything, but Gloria got a cup of tea.

On the way home, we were walking up Walnut Street, and had just gone under the breezeway between Bethlehem Plaza and the parking garage when there was a strange noise. It was like the fake thunder you get by shaking a piece of sheet metal, and it was followed by the sound of a number of things falling to the ground.

I turned around, and there were at least a dozen birds lying around on the sidewalk. Some of them were almost certainly dead – lying motionless on their backs, or in a tiny pool of blood, having landed beak-first. Others were still alive, looking confused and hurt. The least-wounded ones (from my estimation) sat mostly still and panted, opening and closing their mouths and twitching their wings. Looking them over, I learned that they had tiny little red pins on their wings.

I called the number of the realtor listed on a sign in the building’s window, and they said they’d look into having someone come and clean up. We just couldn’t understand what had happened, so we went to the top of the parking garage and had a look down. There was no clear cause to be seen, but Gloria suggested that maybe the birds had taken off from the nearby tree and flown, as a flock, right into the glass windows of the breezeway. When we went back down to the street, it did look as if there were a number of smudges on the glass where birds might have impacted.

Before we left, three birds had flown away. One or two more looked like the might have been able to manage it eventually. That was a bit cheering, in spite of the general pointlessness of the other birds’ deaths.

Photos of the Birds

Written on January 3, 2006
🏷 wtf