Monday, May 25, 2009

The Birds; Evil Takes Flight

A lot of people have spent a lot of time trying to figure out the hidden meaning of Alfred Hitchcock's seminal masterpiece, The Birds. There have been many complex answers to a simple question: Why are those goddam birds after Tippi Hedren, anyway? I happen to think the answer is just as simple: evil birds are everywhere.

Not all birds are evil, mind you. Most of them are just stupid. We shouldn't hate the stupid birds of the world; we should feel sorry for them.

Some birds though are just plain evil, and they would happily peck the eyeballs right out of your head. With others you really have to be mindful of your sandwich.

Alex and I recently returned from a week abroad to discover a robins nest that had been built in the crook of a gutter drain. Inside was a mother, patiently incubating her eggs and chasing away any critter who dared come close to her sanctuary.

Two weeks later the eggs had hatched. Four adorable robin babies pined for food as the mother darted around the lawn for something to regurgitate. Several times she swooped at my head when I was in the yard. I didn't mind. Mother Robin was not evil, just overprotective.

Well, everything seemed to be going well for the happy family until, yesterday morning, I saw that the nest was empty. Knowing that the babies were too young to have taken flight, I immediately suspected foul play. Clearly, the offspring had been devoured. Right away I knew evil birds were to blame. Birds eating birds didn't surprise me, of course. That's just how evil birds can be.

Here are my top suspects:

Brown-Headed Cowbird

The cowbird, as I have written in the past, is one of the world's truly evil birds, a total misanthrope who invades the nests of other birds and jettisons the eggs to make room for its own. This is just the kind of bird that would ruthlessly snack on an innocent robin hatchling.

Common Grackle

If Satan kept an aviary, you bet the grackle would be a member of His demonic flock. A squawking, yellow-eyed sociopath, the grackle endears itself to no one. Look at the photo. This grackle is out for blood!

American Crow

Knowing a crow's propensity for eating, well, anything, and knowing too that crows had been poking around the robin's nest weeks ago, the evil genius of the bird kingdom is my number-one suspect.

Red-Tailed Hawk

OK, hawks aren't so much evil as they are cold-blooded badasses. Recent reports of a red-tailed hawk assaulting Purdue co-eds has made it a prime suspect.

Cooper's Hawk

I haven't seen the Cooper's hawk that occasionally swoops by our feeders in search of chipmunks and small birds for months, but I know it's out there somewhere. The Cooper's hawk may very well have had its 'eagle' eye trained on four helpless robins.


There hasn't been a Skeksis sighting in these parts for a thousand years. Still, knowing how thoroughly evil they are, I am compelled to add them to this list.



Kid Shay said...

Birds live up to their lineage: I would expect no less from the living descendants of dinosaurs.

You know who hates America? The crow.

Anonymous said...


How could you lose in the second round of the French Open? I was so looking forward to facing you. We will have to wait until Wimbelton.

Roger Federer