I happened to catch the last 15 mins of The Birds yesterday. It still grips me and although I've seen it a hundred times, I have to keep watching till the end.
So my question is probably a familiar one, but I'm going to ask it anyway.
Does anyone really know why the birds attacked?
God, I love Hitchcock. He still has us asking this question.
Curious to see the responses.

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I didn't know that. Incredible. Thanks for the info. I'll have to watch it again with this new viewpoint. Do you think Hitchcock was going for a different angle, a different message or just having twisted fun?
I don't know what set off the birds in the movie, but I had great fun thinking about scenes from that movie this morning, as I watched a standoff between assorted birds at my house, and my cat. I think it must be nesting season. Every year around this time, the birds get very upset when they catch a glimpse of my cat through the window. They perch on a chair or a limb near the window, and screech at him at top volume. I've even seen them dive-bomb the screen. This of course, drives the cat crazy. (He's an inside cat, partly for the safety of the birds, and partly for the safety of the cat). The birds get very feisty. I can envision a species of birds feeling threatened by humans, and turning on us in a similar fashion.
It's amazing the lasting impact a good story (or movie) can have. It's been years since I last saw the movie, but it's the first thing I think of when birds start to congregate.
One day last week I was in my car, sitting by the bay where I live (100+ miles from Bodega Bay, where the film The Birds was made), and a huge flock of gulls descended right around where I was parked. There were so many of them that when they flew over, for a moment it was like this huge shadow overhead. Spooky. Of course I thought of Hitchcock's film -- and even if I'd never seen it, it was scary. Though the original story is even scarier.

Those real-life gulls around my car did behave oddly too -- I didn't stay long, told myself I was leaving because I didn't want white bird droppings all over the car, but the truth was I just felt nervous with too many gulls around, though they weren't doing anything. I see them there every day, just not that many and not usually on the pavement of the parking lot. When I started the car to drive away, they didn't fly off either. The sound of the motor didn't frighten them. I backed out slowly and then proceeded forward equally slowly, and they must have gotten out of the way because I didn't run over anything -- but when I looked back after getting out into the main road, they were still there on the pavement in the parking lot, and on the path and the grass in front of it by the bay.

Later on I read an article in National Geographic about swaming behavior, what causes it and what goes wrong, and I got into this sort of fantasy thing about What If something suddenly popped up in the evolution of bird life so that they might swarm, as in the magazine. So far as I remember, only insects swarm at this point in time. No warmblooded creatures.

Now there's this question on Crimespace about The Birds. Is this some kind of weird synchronicity, or what?



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