Friday, May 16, 2008

A New Phobia

I read an article in last Sunday’s Saint Petersburg Times that frightened me.

A female tourist from Ohio was wading waist deep in the Gulf of Mexico when a Pelican swooped down and attacked her. She required 26 stitches inside and outside of her mouth. This incident happened close to my old home on Treasure Island, Florida.

Unlike Gulls, Pelicans are usually not aggressive birds. They’ll rarely come close to something larger them themselves. I’ve seen Gulls attack small unattended children who were eating a snack on the beach. The Gulls were not going after the child but the food that the child was eating. The worst that the child received was a peck on the hand.

Pelicans can be beggar birds. I have seen them wait patiently for a fisherman to filet a fish and throw them the scraps. But they never come close enough for you to touch them. Herons and Egrets will; some will actually eat out of your hand.

I have never been afraid of birds (Ornithophobia). I have too many other Phobias to worry about. Flying insects yes, but birds no!

Now I’m beginning to wonder. If Pelicans are becoming aggressive, what will other more aggressive birds do?

The newspaper article played the incident down saying it was a freak accident. They don’t want the tourist to be worried about the birds. We already have had Shark attacks, Sting Ray attacks and Alligator attacks here in Florida.

So why does this Pelican attack scare me?

In 1963 I saw Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”. It scared me! Every time that I saw a group of birds hanging around, usually on a telephone wire and watching me, I felt nervous. But realizing that it was just the thought of what I had seen in the movie, and not the birds themselves that terrified me, I dismissed this fear.

Now I’ll have to rethink my stand on Ornithophobia.

The Beach Bum

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Blogger The Curmudgeon said...

I saw "The Birds" when I was a kid... or, rather, I started seeing it.

To this day I haven't been able to bring myself to get all the way through it.

But there's nothing irrational with a fear of birds. Remember: birds are the only living descendants of dinosaurs... and why shouldn't you be afraid of them?

Sat May 17, 09:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anything with a Pecker bigger than yours should cause some concern.

Mon May 19, 05:54:00 PM  
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