Hundreds of Birds Invade Town in Alfred Hitchcock Movie Come to Life

Hundreds of birds have swarmed an Australian city in scenes that could have come straight out of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds.

The 1963 horror-thriller movie, based on a Daphne du Maurier story, is about a series of violent bird attacks in the town of Bodega Bay, California.

Now a video showing a startlingly similar invasion in the city of Nowra, just south of Sydney, is going viral.

The footage shows hundreds of white cockatoos perched on street lamps, lawns, roofs and cars, as more fly around a suburban street.

TikTok user @justsheff33 set the clip to the "Oh No" song—often used to accompany footage of worrying situations on the platform. The video has been watched more than 170,000 times and has amassed more than 13,000 likes.

Australian media outlet 9News reported that the birds are corellas, a type of white cockatoo native to that part of New South Wales.

Although there have been no reports of bird-related fatalities—the corellas' antics may not quite make the cut of a horror movie yet—the cockatoos are known for being destructive.

9News reported: "In the past, local businesses have had problems with the birds damaging shop fronts and leaving their droppings everywhere."

The website of South Australia's Department for Environment and Water states: "Large flocks of little corellas can have a harmful impact on the state from an economic, social and environmental perspective."

The birds have caused damage such as "stripping the leaves off trees that they roost in, damaging tarpaulins covering grain bunkers, and wiring and flashing on buildings, taking grain from newly seeded paddocks, and creating a noise nuisance to local residents."

While the video makes for an awe-inspiring sight, this is not the first time cockatoos have swarmed an Australian city.

In 2019, Australia's ABC News reported that the country's coastal cities had seen an influx of corellas in recent years, as the birds moved in search of habitat, food and water.

Sean Dooley of the group BirdLife Australia told the news outlet that corellas began arriving on the coast in the late 1990s, for reasons associated with the millennium drought that pushed them out of their traditional inland habitats. Since arriving on the coasts, they had "boomed in numbers."

Despite the trouble they have caused in coastal towns, the birds are said to be smart and playful. Gisela Kaplan, a professor of animal behavior at the University of New England, told ABC News: "They are charming, family loving, solidly cooperative, highly intelligent and long-lived. They, and our other cockatoos, are about the pinnacle in bird evolution."

Australian Cockatoos
Australian cockatoos sit on a fence in the western Sydney suburb of Windsor on March 23. A flock of corella birds have swarmed a suburban street in Nowra, New South Wales. David Gray/Getty