So much for a silent night.
Allison Gong, a Santa Cruz-based marine biologist and biology professor, was out on Monterey Bay on a recent Friday evening when her group came across a flock of hundreds of birds. Gong shot a video of the experience.
And it sounds just like a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.”
“Several people have mentioned that the amount of noise is surprising, which it is,” Gong wrote in an email.
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Gong said the flock was composed of about 70 percent sooty shearwaters and 30 percent common murres. Both species of birds are common in Monterey Bay at this time of year, Gong said, and at one point, her group was floating among flocks that totaled over 1,000 birds.
“Being surrounded by the birds as they were doing their thing was an amazing experience,” Gong wrote. “It’s always fun looking out for the shearwaters when they pass by during their migration.”
The noise heard in the video is coming from murres, which are much noisier than shearwaters, Gong said.