6:30 a.m., July 27)
wreaks havoc in the Hamlet
By Fred Sherwin
over a month ago, a stretch of residents on Beechmont
Crescent in Blackburn Hamlet couldn’t figure out if they
were living in a spin off from the Alfred Hitchcock movie
Birds, a Woody Woodpecker cartoon or an
excerpt from the TV show, Animals Behaving Badly.
the longest time, homeowners and visitors to the quiet
suburban street, which is tucked in behind Innes Road,
were wondering how and why the side view mirrors on their
cars were being smashed to pieces.
could figure out what they had done wrong to make somebody
break their mirrors, or why someone would do this to their
cars and trucks,” says Paul Graham who lives on the street.
the weeks passed, the vandalism continued and the locals’
frustration continued to mount because replacing a side
view mirror costs more than a couple of bucks and driving
without one is extremely difficult and against the law.
Insurance claims were the norm for those unlucky residents
of Beechmont Crescent and they wanted answers.
culprit was discovered one morning purely by accident
when Graham’s neighbour was walking to his car. To his
surprise the vandal wasn’t an individual, or even a group
of wrongdoers, but rather a what, which came in the form
of a rather large woodpecker.
normally tree-dwelling bird would land on an unsuspecting
and innocent vehicle, see its reflection in the mirror
and wage a personal war against its perceived enemy by
pecking at it with its chisel-like beak until it disappeared.
first I didn’t believe it, I thought my neighbour was
pulling my leg but he said he took a picture and has proof
that it’s a woodpecker causing all the commotion on our
street,” remembers Graham.
human nature to be a tad skeptical when hearing such a
tale, but Graham was starting to become a believer when
he saw the photo. He was all-in after the not-so-friendly
feathered friend turned his own side mirror into a hollow
plastic shell and a pile of broken glass near the curb.
the destructive scoundrel would go into attack mode early
in the morning before most people are up. The early bird
was not only getting his share of worms in the morning,
but a row of several new mirrors to lay his beak into.
woodpecker’s hit list continued to rise and the number
of damaged vehicles swelled to nine.
scenario was becoming something Alfred Hitchcock would
have been proud of, or had his directing fingerprints
all over. Could this be the sequel to his famous 1963
horror-thriller film, “The Birds”?
Master of Suspense would have had a field day with this
plot, making his audience think of how the residents of
Beechmont Crescent would protect themselves from being
terrorized by this zany bird. How would the story end,
what could be done to discourage or stop this mirror smashing
demon from causing more damage?
casualties of the wildlife assault and several other potential
victims came up with the clever idea of putting plastic
bags over their mirrors while they were parked on the
reaction to the action worked perfectly, the attacks on
the defenceless side view mirrors ended with the woodpecker
forced to change streets to change locations.
flying demolition expert may have disappeared from Beechmont
Crescent but from the sound of his fighting spirit, there’s
a good chance it will turn up again in another unsuspecting
neighbourhood —perhaps even yours.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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