OKLAHOMA CITY – Busy intersections, like Memorial Rd. and Pennsylvania Ave., have resembled an Alfred Hitchcock film lately.
Linda Harness said, “It reminds me of the movie ‘Birds.’ You know, you feel like they’re taking over and it’s kind of a weird-looking sight.”
Local bird experts say the birds are mostly Great-tailed Grackles, mixed with Starlings and a few Cowbirds.
Jimmy Woodard, a member of the Oklahoma City Audubon Society, the Oklahoma Ornithological Society, and the American Birding Association, said “There’s safety in numbers so they’re going to join together. There’s warmth, you know, if you can join with other birds and keep each other warm.”
Why flock to busy streets though? Woodard says it comes down to two things. “Hey, you got food and shelter right there, that’s where they’re going to hang out.”
People in the area of Memorial and Penn say it’s like clockwork.
The birds come home to roost the same time every night.
“I’m afraid they’ll poop all over me, I feel like.” Ashley Todd said.
“That’d be terrible. Instant car wash.” Allison Meesey agreed.
The winter phenomenon lets up in spring and summer when birds are more worried about breeding than staying warm.
Unlike they’re movie counterparts, the blackbirds won’t cause any real harm.
“Maybe people don’t appreciate the white wash and the noise and stuff.” Woodard said. “Because they are very noisy when they come in and settle in for the night.”
Some people believe birds are attracted to power lines during the winter for the heat. Experts say while that is possible, there is no data to back it up.
The birds should clear out by March.