“Population of the birds . . . range as high as 6 million,” 1975

Last Friday’s post with the helicopter and swirling grackles drew an interesting comment from the always helpful David Scott:

The more interesting helicopter escapade was an attempt to drape a huge net over those trees by Chem Lec and perhaps by Hackerman’s swimming pool. But the net was blown by the downdraft and would never get in place. An Assist Prof in Biology tried to study the birds, having students place cardboard on the ground to count droppings. Didn’t get tenure as I recall.

I’m home with a cold today (and although there are others I might point a finger at I believe Patient Zero was my oldest granddaughter), which left me with time to look around for a picture I only dimly remembered. I found it this afternoon and it was just as Professor Scott said. Here’s the photo, taken in January, 1975 by Houston Chronicle photographer Darrell Davidson:

And here’s the description that went with it:

For those of you who weren’t here, just think about that for a minute. Six million birds. Yikes.

Bonus: The Admission Office sign, right next to the visitor lot by Cohen House, is new. This should significantly reduce the confusion endured by high school kids and their parents trying to figure out where to go for the campus tour. One would hope.

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5 Responses to “Population of the birds . . . range as high as 6 million,” 1975

  1. Philip Walters says:

    Umbrellas were THE fashion accessory of the time

  2. loki_the_bubba says:

    It was always good fun to be walking with a group of friends, slow walk to let them get ahead as everyone approached a tree, start clapping loudly as they went under, and run the other way…

  3. Anne Berkley says:

    I remember the birds 1957 to 61. Starlings? Do they still show up? Umbrellas, YES

  4. Melinda Clark says:

    It was horrible! The mess! The rank smell was so dreadful too! So glad that those birds moved on!

  5. Barbara Bane, Jones '77 says:

    I remember running the gauntlet daily from Jones to the rest of campus in the mid 70s. A favorite evil prank was waiting until someone crossed under the trees, then clapping and letting out a shriek to send the birds off in a panic, bombing everyone below.

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