Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Birds

The only thing I took away from "Jurassic Park" was the advice that if you wanted to get an idea of how prehistoric creatures behaved, look at birds. There are herons living in our very un-exotic London suburb and when you hear their wings beating above, generally early in the morning, it can seem like you're about to get a visitation from the distant past. I snapped this one on a neighbour's roof this morning.


  1. I recently had a day at a sanctuary for birds of prey. Inevitably there was a show and I had the chance to have several birds of prey land on my (gloved) hand. I found it absolutely terrifying and only peer pressure stopped me running away. The talons and beaks close up are impressive and threatening but not enough in themselves to put the win up me. I think you have put your finger on what unsettled me - its the strange "ancientness" of the birds. Prehistoric is scary!

  2. A few weeks ago I got attacked - dive-bombed three times in the face and once from behind - by a large jackdaw. It was horrific and absolutely terrifying. Large talons and a beak, and a total wingspan of not much under a metre, and probably weighing the same as a toddler but flying at you at high speed and with incredible agility.

    If push had really come to shove, there would only have been one winner, but it was extremely traumatic.

    A better parallel than Jurassic Park might be Hitchcock - he really had a feel for the uncanny.

    Naturally, when I got back to the office, everyone laughed.