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BirdNote: Hitchcock's Movie, The Birds

Corbis Images

In Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 thriller, "The Birds," Bodega Bay, California, is inexplicably besieged by crazed birds.

After the birds attack and kill several residents, the townspeople flee in terror. We never find out why the birds became deranged, but research may give Hitchcock's film some scientific credibility.

After a flock of disoriented Sooty Shearwaters swarmed Monterey Bay in 1961, poisoning was suspected. When a flock of confused and dying pelicans came ashore in the same area in 1991, scientists found actual evidence of poisoning that causes confusion, seizures, and death in birds. Maybe Hitchcock's movie isn't so far-fetched, after all . . .