Environment

This crazy noise on waters of Monterey Bay sounds like a scene out of ‘The Birds’

Listen to hundreds of birds caw loudly on a dark Monterey Bay night

Allison Gong, a Santa Cruz-based marine biologist and biology professor, came across hundreds of birds cawing loudly in Monterey Bay on September 1, 2017. "This is what it's like to be in a mixed flock of sooty shearwaters and common murres," she
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Allison Gong, a Santa Cruz-based marine biologist and biology professor, came across hundreds of birds cawing loudly in Monterey Bay on September 1, 2017. "This is what it's like to be in a mixed flock of sooty shearwaters and common murres," she

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.

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.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

A drone captured this scene of a pod of orcas feeding on a sevengill shark on Dec. 13, 2016, off the coast of Monterey. The drone footage, by Slater Moore of Monterey Bay Whale Watch, shows about 25 whales and two babies.

The Princess Monterey Whale Watching team caught these humpback whales lunge feeding alongside sea lions in Monterey Bay on July 30, 2017.

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