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'We Walked Into A Nightmare:' Torrance Family Finds 800 Birds In Home

TORRANCE (CBSLA) - A family said they came home from dinner one night last week and walked into a scene that looked like it was taken out of Alfred Hitchcock's horror movie, The Birds.

"We Walked Into A Nightmare": Torrance Family Finds 800 Birds In Home
Inside a Torrance, Calif., home where hundreds of birds were found. April 2021. (Credit: Patrick Belleville)

"We walked right into a nightmare," said Patrick Belleville. "The birds were stuck to the ceiling, stuck to every wall. They were hanging onto pictures."

Belleville said a friend called animal control. The agency told them to open all the windows and doors, but the birds stayed put.

"Every room: bathrooms, bedrooms, they were all full of birds," Belleville recalled. "They were just going crazy. They were hitting me in the head."

The rest of the family stayed in a hotel for the night while Belleville removed more than 800 birds from his home by hand.

"I stopped counting after 800 birds," he said. "I was just grabbing them and throwing them in the box, taking them outside, shaking them out of the box, and letting them go."

Belleville worked through the night, and a mess of droppings, to save his home from the birds. For two more days, some of the hidden birds continued to terrorize the family.

"There were random birds flying out of closets and stuff," he recalled.

Belleville steam cleaned all of his sofas and floors. He had to throw away a lot of his belongings that could not be saved from the mess.

On Sunday, a similar scene happened in Montecito where the local fire department said more than 1,000 birds invaded a home.

Animal control said the cause of both cases might be chimney swifts, there were no screens on the chimneys, which appears to be how the birds entered the homes.

Nobody was hurt in either incident.

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