This Weather Is For The Birds

For old-time movie buffs and for those of us who actually remember watching the original, the mention of Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic film The Birds conjures up the image of mobs of vicious blackbirds attacking and inflicting injury on running, screaming people. So it seems the birds have arrived in Iowa City. For the past week or two, in late afternoon, crows by the hundreds have gathered for their evening roost in the huge oak trees in City Park across from our office building. Their cacophonous caws can be heard for a few blocks while they fuss around and arrange themselves in the tree tops for the night. Far from being frightened, I am fascinated by their large numbers and surmise they must be mobbing together in the winter before the mating season begins in early March, when they will disperse and stake out their own territories. I was able to capture their ear-splitting cries and their circling flights on my cell phone video.

I’ve also noticed large groups of robins and cedar waxwings in the ornamental berry-laden trees next to the Levitt Center. It is an unusual treat to see so many robins in Iowa this time of year, as we normally think they arrive in early spring. Whenever I see various birds arriving “too early” in the north, I worry. I keep my feeders full and hope they will survive this awful blizzard!

Diane Baker
Director of Alumni Travel

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