• Last modified 781 days ago (Aug. 1, 2019)


Bird incidents have residents crying 'fowl'

Staff writer

Beth McGuire found herself in a bad remake of the movie “The Birds” this past month, when she was frequently dive-bombed in her yard by a Mississippi kite.

“He’d have me on the ground, swooping as low as the mailbox,” she said. “He was dead serious. He was going to get me.”

Marion city workers recently cut down trees next to her house on S. Garfield St., so McGuire is hopeful that will deter the birds from nesting nearby.

“It’s not as big as a bear coming at you, but those birds get up to good speeds,” she said. “They can pull the hair on my head when they go over.”

McGuire decided to call Marion police last week, asking if she could shoot the birds to solve the problem.

“The last straw was when it had me on the ground and I was shaking like a leaf,” she said. “My husband wasn’t home, and it just scared me.”

McGuire said she was not allowed to use a gun inside city limits.

She started coming out with an umbrella, preventing the bird from getting as close, but McGuire said it was still a concern.

“Why they attack people, I don’t know,” she said. “They just feel like you’re in their territory, I guess.”

There is a precedent for the attacks, police chief Clinton Jeffrey said.

“It’s not the first time this has happened,” he said. “It happened about six years ago, but it wasn’t the same people, or even the same part of Marion.”

Chickens became another problem for residents last week, with Jeffrey having to capture a lose rooster after multiple reports.

“It’s only the second time there’s been a free-range rooster when no one knows where they came from,” he said. “Usually, we see them on a property or in someone’s chicken coop. That’s not all that often, and then we just tell them they can’t have roosters in town.”

The captured bird was taken to a nearby farm and set free, Jeffrey said.

“I don’t know what would happen if we couldn’t find a place for it.”

The rooster relocation was the first successful capture. The rooster in the previous incident died while being captured, Jeffrey said.

“I don’t know if it was trauma and he had a heart attack, or what,” he said. “We didn’t shoot it, but used one of the dog catching poles, and he didn’t make it.”

Last modified Aug. 1, 2019