Every town has a history. If it exists, it has a history. And some are quieter than others. But in 1974 and 2013, it was anything BUT quiet in two Kentucky cities.

The Hopkinsville Blackbird Invasion

It was nearly 50 years ago--in the fall of 1974--when the townspeople of Hopkinsville KY looked up into the sky only to see it darkened by a bizarrely massive amount of blackbirds. Only 11 years removed from Alfred Hitchcock's immortal The Birds, they must have thought a similar occurrence was upon them.


The droppings, the health hazards, the environmental issues. All concerns were on the table. Tens of millions of blackbirds descended upon Christian County that day, certainly enough to get federal authorities involved, as these enormous flocks were encroaching on Fort Campbell territory. When the Army concocted a plan to use a specific type of detergent that would wash the natural oil from the bird's feathers--the oil is what keeps them warm--the Council on Environmental Quality, the Society for Animal Rights, and Citizens for Animals stepped in with their own unique brands of roadblocks.

Ultimately, the birds left when the weather got warmer...THE FOLLOWING SPRING. That's an awfully long time to deal with millions upon millions of blackbirds.

The LaGrange Blackbird Invasion

How freaky it must have been, then, to have THIS kind of history repeat itself 38 years later. In January of 2012, folks in Oldham County must have been thinking about the Hopkinsville incident when multitudes of blackbirds made life miserable and little frightening for LaGrange KY.

I don't know why blackbirds--and starlings, I suppose--find Kentucky so attractive, but I do know this...I'm eyeballing 2050 on my calendar. I mean, if this IS some sort of weird 38-year-cycle, I'd like to be ready.

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