Alfred Hitchcock Horror Film Becomes Reality for this Family

Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock

An Alfred Hitchcock horror film has become reality for one California family, and just what exactly happened might surprise you…

Apparently, 1,000 birds got stuck in the fireplace of a Montecito, California home, and yes, it is every bit as horrific as it would sound.

It was truly a nightmarish scene that would make Alfred Hitchcock proud; these birds were one thousand strong and they got stuck in the fireplace of this California house last weekend.

“Every day is different in the fire service!” the Montecito Fire Department said in their statement of the events. “Sunday night, your Montecito firefighters were called to a home where about 1,000 small birds had become trapped in the chimney.”

These birds, which were identified as Swifts by the Santa Barbara County Animal Services, have a tendency to fly up and out of these flues on their own overnight. However, when the homeowners returned on Monday morning, the unlucky birds were still there and trapped under the fireplace screen.

The animal rescue team developed a plan to create a chute system so that they could funnel the birds through the house and out the backdoor, and that was more successful. The birds were returned to the skies, and at least this episode had a happier ending than the Alfred Hitchcock film.

“We are grateful for the positive outcome to this unusual call and the opportunity to problem-solve with our partners at Santa Barbara County Animal Services,” the fire department said.


There was a similar Alfred Hitchcock incident that occurred in Torrance, California just a week prior where about 800 birds had funneled into a family chimney and ultimately took over the home. The family was forced to vacate their home and take the baby to a hotel for the night.

There is a video of that incident that is showing the flock circling above the house’s chimney before they swoop down into the flue en masse. Another clip within the shot shows them up against a window inside the home.

All in all, this is not the “Tennessee Bird Walk”, but the more morbid Alfred Hitchcock version instead. Birds and chimneys certainly don’t mix.

Swifts are known to roost in chimneys, and this group is likely on their way to migrate south for the winter.