Hundreds of birds flew down the chimney of a family home in what can only be described as looking like a scene from an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
A family in California returned from dinner last Wednesday, April 21, to discover hundreds of new lodgers in their home.
Video footage from the scene shows the migrating birds, identified as swifts, swarming around the home before flying down the chimney.
The homeowner, Kerri, lives in the house with her husband and child. She said while they attempted to count the number of birds, they lost track after 800.
She told KTLA, ‘It’s so hard to explain. If you don’t see it with your own eyes, you’d never believe it.’
The birds proceeded to run wild in their home, leaving droppings and dirt everywhere.
Keri contacted her local police department, which then put her in touch with animal control. Their advice was to simply leave the doors open, but the birds weren’t budging.
Patrick Belleville, a relative who came over to help with the situation, told the news channel:
They acted like they wanted to get out, but they weren’t going anywhere. They were just flying around, just everywhere, every room in the house, every bathroom.
On the day they discovered their home had been invaded, Kerri, her husband and child stayed overnight at a hotel while Belleville attempted to remove the birds for them.
Video taken on Monday, April 26, shows the birds piled up against their fireplace’s grate, and it genuinely looks like something from a horror movie.
Eventually, the fire service and Santa Barbara County Animals Services had to step in and went on to successfully make a chute system to funnel the birds out of the house’s back door.
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The Montecito Fire Service wrote on Instagram, ‘Every day is different in the fire service! Sunday night, your Montecito firefighters were called to a home where about 1,000 small birds had become trapped in the chimney. We worked with Santa Barbara County Animals Services to figure out how to safely free the birds. We had hoped they would fly up and out the flue on their own overnight.’
County Animal Services worked diligently throughout the day to design a chute system to funnel the birds out of the fireplace and release them through the home’s back doors.
We are grateful for the positive outcome to this unusual call and the opportunity to problem-solve with our partners at Santa Barbara County Animal Services.
While they were able to remove many of the birds, by Tuesday, April 27, almost a week after the birds inhabited Kerri’s home, some of the swifts were still there.
Ornithophobia worst nightmare