Hundreds of birds took over a petrol station forecourt in eerie footage that looked like a scene straight out of Alfred Hitchcock’s film The Birds.
The birds, called grackles, were filmed at an ExxonMobil station in Houston, Texas, by ABC 13 anchor Christine Dobbyn as she went to get petrol on February 2.
Christine said while she had seen the birds at the station before, she had never seen as many on the ground.
“Typically, they are up on the power lines,” she said.
“It was crazy that night. I ended up moving across the street to another gas station even though there were some there as well.”
Yet despite her apprehension about whether the birds may attack she said she managed to full up her car without any issues.
But she still didn’t understand why there were so many birds there.
Scientists have now explained the reason behind why there were so many birds on the ground.
Dr. Kevin McGowan of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology told BuzzFeed News that the species roost in large numbers – often in car parks.
Yale Ornithology Professor Richard Prum added that the flock may have been disturbed from its original spot for the night and so moved to a well-lit spot.
He said: “What I think may have happened is that a night roost was disturbed so that the birds left the roost in the dark.
“They might flock away at this point looking for a safe space. That could lead to birds flying down to the well-lit gas station.
“They are obviously not feeding on anything, so there is no real reason to be there except that it is well-lit and not too disturbed. So better than all the alternatives at that moment.”
The Birds is an American horror-thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, loosely based on the 1952 story of the same name by Daphne du Maurier.
The plot focuses on a series sudden, unexplained bird attacks on people in Bodega Bay, California.
The film was critically acclaimed when it was released in 1963.