As I stand at sunset overlooking the picturesque Seven Springs Vineyard in Oregon’s Eola hills, I can’t help but think that Alfred Hitchcock must have been a vineyard manager.
The birds, the birds are coming…
They maintain a tight formation, flying low over the unsuspecting vines like the darkened shadows of a bomber squadron over a war-torn city. The allure of the ripe Pinot Noir grapes drives them through the constant boom of the “bird bangers” (propane fired devices that produce an incredibly loud cannon-like acoustic explosion) and motion sensing speakers that emit the recorded calls of hawks and other predators.
Dark, beady eyes seek out the blue-black orbs that contain the sugary liquid they crave.
The birds do not discriminate. In their wake precious rows of grape clusters destined to produce legendary liquid are left in tatters. Mangled skins clinging to limp stems are all that remain of the once plump and proud bunches.
The keepers of these lands claim this to be one of the worst seasons ever for these winged menaces. Yet another example of the constant struggle between man and nature…the expectation of the unexpected.
Though the timid robin may seem carefree and harmless, there are those that know better. Beware of the birds…for they are relentless.