One morning this spring Husband and I were having our morning coffee in the living room and watching the birds in the back yard.  Two hummingbird feeders were up on the edge of the veranda cover to welcome the first of those visitors.  A large flat  feeder hangs from a tree and small one on the fence stay up all year-long that provide seeds for the usual birds – many doves and an occasional pigeon.  Recently we had seen colorful spring visitors – a pair of cardinals, a painted bunting.  Squirrels stop by also to check their  feeder in a tree for peanuts and sunflower seeds.

Normally our thirteen year-old cat, Wiccan,  just naps in a chair outside after her morning meal or attempts to hide beside some ornamental grass near the bird bath in the hope of catching a feathered creature.  She has slowed down with age, but I still occasionally find a pile of bird feathers as evidence of her success.  However, I do try to protect them from her when I can.

As I sat there enjoying a second cup of coffee and the bit of nature in the back yard, a black streak raced across the veranda.  Wiccan was after a bird.  Husband jumped up and rushed out the back door.  I followed quickly and held the door open as I watched him come back to the door with a small brownish bird in his hands.  Perhaps it was hurt.

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The bird slipped swiftly out of his hands and seemed to be flying straight toward me.  I raised my arms up in natural defense as Tippi Hedren did so many times in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 thriller,”The Birds.”  This frightened bird veered off to the freedom outside while I lost my balance (one foot inside and one foot outside) and twisted to the left.  I fell inside the house as I crashed into my favorite ornate floor lamp.  My left ear hit it first…then my left arm…then my left hip…final stop…stunned on the floor.  Blood dripped from my ear.  All I needed was that green suit like the one Tippi wore!

My first thought as I sat there on the tile floor was concern for my lamp.  Was the glass shade broken?  One glance upward confirmed that it was not harmed.  Startled Husband came to help me up.  After I wiped the blood from my swollen and red ear, I needed another cup of strong coffee. (Didn’t Tippi get something stronger?  Brandy, perhaps?)  I had no broken bones – only a few bruises the next day.  So be careful when you are bird watching.  It can be dangerous!

 The 50th anniversary of “The Birds” is this year.  I may have to watch it again with new appreciation!


  1. The moment I saw this post pop up and saw the title, I said, oh my what has Jo Nell gotten into!!! Two nights ago we watched the film “The Girl” about Hitchcock and his relationship with Tippi. The film has left me with a deep appreciation for Tippi and a bit of disgust with Alfred. You poor thing! I am glad you were not hurt worse…….but now that it is over I did get the giggles…..I can just see all of this taking place in with the soundtrack of “The Birds” playing in the back ground. What an adventure!!!


    • It was pretty funny after it was all over and I had more coffee! Mainly my pride was hurt. I missed “The Girl” but we did see “Hitchcock” with Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock and Helen Mirren as his wife. I am glad my adventure made you giggle. Humor keeps me going. “Blessed are those of us who can laugh at ourselves for we shall never cease to be amused.”


  2. My goodness, you had a quite a scare! As for the film “Birds”, this remains to be one of the scariest movies I have ever seen.

    I hope your ear heals quickly, and by all means, help yourself to some chocolate to speed the recovery process along! 🙂

    ~ Cara


  3. Glad you came off more lightly than the actress in the Film… but Ouch all the same. I remember seeing that film when it first came out and it was quite scary then!.. I hope all soon mends and heals soon, and thankfully nothing was broken…. 🙂 ~Sue


  4. You could have collaborated with Hitchcock to include you in the film. The acting was undoubtedly perfect with your world crashing down and you, maimed and in shock while the bird flew off to rest up for a 2nd go round! Clever post, but I’m glad you survived to tell the tale. 🙂


    • Yes, I could have played the part of a little old lady who is not hurt by the birds but simply falls down and is injured. Jessica Tandy was in it too. It was funny as I was still in robe and house shoes.


  5. There I was – watching The Birds on Turner Classic Theater. There you were Jo Nell staring in your very own version.. When someone asks “what happened to your ear?” you have two choices. The bird did it. The lamp did it. Either one is a good story. Take care. V.


    • I really did think the bird was going to come into the house as I held the door wide open with one foot in and one foot out. Silly woman! My ear was red and swollen for a couple of days but I tried to hid it with my hair. I have no problem laughing at myself! Thanks for the comment and concern.


  6. OMG there are so many traps out there for us and you hadn’t even left home yet. Next time put the brandy in the coffee after the fall not before. Glad you weren’t seriously hurt though.


  7. If there’s ever a remake of “The Birds” you could provide some expert advice on what it’s like to be attacked by a bird. 🙂

    I saw The Birds a year or two ago, and really enjoyed it–both the scary parts, and the Marin County scenery and the context. I particularly enjoyed the beginning where she is in the pet shop with the Myna bird. It brought back memories of pet shops I loved to visit when I was a child. Back then it seemed like every pet shop had a talking Myna bird–now I can’t remember when I last saw one.


    • Yes, there were some lovely scenes in it from San Francisco to the northern coast and Tippi was lovely in her green suit and heels. I haven’t seen a Myna bird in a long time either. I could certainly use my bird experience for a movie part – a frightened little of lady! lol! Thanks for the encouragement, Sheryl!


    • You see what I mean! Be careful of those wasps! I have hummingbird feeders up right now too and they are swarming my three feeders. Unfortunately, the wasps like the sweet water also. Once I put the feeders up I feel I should keep feeding until they go further south.


    • Yes, we do get a bit too eager sometimes. Right now hummingbirds are passing through on their way south so I am constantly refilling the three feeders. I am very careful when taking them down and hanging them up! They drive Wiccan crazy!


  8. Oh, my goodness! I fell earlier this year, so I’m serious when I advise being gentle with yourself for a while. The aches set in afterward. By the way, one of the scariest short stories I’ve ever read was Daphne du Maurier’s story that Hitchcock based the movie on. Have your read it?


  9. Jo Nell! You write so very well that I “saw” the whole thing in slow motion! I was horrified when you fell. And relieved when you only had a smashed ear. What a bird watching experience that was. And, yes, it’s reminiscent of The Birds. I loved this story! 🙂


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