Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sooty Shearwaters

I was driving around listening to a local radio station that made passing reference to Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds being inspired by a local event. I'd never heard of such a thing and was intrigued. I knew the film was shot in Bodega Bay, just north of San Francisco; what I didn't know, what took me my entire life to learn, was that Alfred Hitchcock's primary residence as of 1940 was Scotts Valley, a little town up in the Santa Cruz mountains. This explains why some of his films were shot in Northern CA. Apparently in 1961 flocks of sickened Sooty Shearwaters carpeted the seaside town of Capitola, crashing kamikaze style into anything that got in their way. Hitchcock read about this bizarre event and weaved it into his 1963 film. (image from Wikimedia Commons)


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