Ornithophobia and a Murder of Crows

Howdy and welcome to this edition of Monsters and Mayhem, a place where we talk about the creepy, the weird, or things that go BANG!

This week I’m talking something that scares me beyond rational thought:


Go ahead, laugh. It is pretty funny when you think about it. See, I’m not scared of parakeets, nor am I scared of big, gorgeous hawks or falcons. No, I’m scared of…pigeons. That’s right: I’m terrified of medium-sized birds. I’m not sure why I get so creeped out by them, but when a crow fixes it’s beady, little eye on me, I walk faster. I just have this mental image of it chasing me and pulling my hair and pecking at my eyes with its nasty, pointed beak. The very thought of Hitchcock’s movie The Birds–which I have never seen, and never will–gives me the heebie-jeebies. I mean, come on, a group of crows is called a murder! Not a flock–a murder.  Who comes up with this stuff if medium-sized birds are supposed to be normal?

Common Grackle

Common Grackle

Try this on for size. One evening, at dusk, I left my office building and headed to the parking garage. The garage is dim even on sunny days, so at twilight, it’s pretty creepy. When I get to the second floor where my car is parked, I see them. Two dozen grackles (if you aren’t from Texas and have never seen a grackle, here’s a link — they are nasty birds. I mean, just look at that eye!) were perched on various cars all over the lot. They were cheeping at one another when I came out, but as I closed in, they all fell silent and watched me.  It took everything I had not to bolt for my car like a Hell hound was on my tail because I harbored a secret fear–I thought if I ran, they’d chase me for sure.


This may also explain why I scared myself silly writing about the Takers in Blade’s Edge. Winged, bird-like demons? ::hides::

Now the only problem I really suffered from the mob of grackles was a bunch of bird poop on my car, but I’m still just grossed out by the whole affair. Maybe I have a mild form or Ornithophobia. Who knows.  I love watching falconers work with their birds and adore the sight of hawks sailing over the prairie in spring. But when I took my kids to the zoo, my husband had to go into the bird feeder cage with them because I was not going in there. ::shudder::

How about you? Do birds bug you? Or is it snakes? Or spiders? Or how about soup cans? I truly believe all humans harbor at least one fear. I’ve shared mine — what are yours?


  • Slugs, snails, worms, pretty much anything slimy and boneless will make me panic–which is so crazy because I know they can’t get me. I mean, who can’t outrun a slug? Still, there it is. I don’t go outside without shoes on. Ever.

    • Oh, slugs will make me scream like a girl! My mom asked me help her pull bag worms off our cedar try and I offered to do the dishes for a week to get out of it.

  • I know it’s cliche, but any bugs. I will literally trap them in the bathroom, roll up towels at the bottom of the door, and force my husband to get them when he comes home. God bless him for indulging me.

    • Heh, I’m not that bad with bugs, but I don’t like touching them. Funny thing, I’m okay with the geckos we have in the yard, so long as they don’t startle me by popping out of the bushes while I’m planting flowers or something.

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