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The Birds Still Fly in Bodega Bay


More than four decades after it was filmed, the Alfred Hitchcock classic The Birds (which next airs on AMC November 10th and 22nd) still gets talked about in the tiny town of Bodega Bay, California, about an hour north of San Francisco. Hitchcock filmed The Birds on location in and around Bodega Bay, and the film treats the moody seaside village almost as if it were a character of its own.

The Visitor’s Center in Bodega Bay still receives thousands of Hitchcock fans every year, all hoping for a glimpse of scenery from the movie. Although some of the local landmarks seen in The Birds are no longer standing, a few key structures are still there, looking very much the way they did when Hitchcock filmed them in the early 60s.

Perhaps the most famous site is St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Bodega, shown here in the photo. When a flock of angry birds kill Suzanne Pleshette’s character towards the end of the film, the church can clearly be seen looming the background. Ansel Adams was so taken by the church that he featured it in a series of photographs.

Another stop on The Birds tour is the Potter School, just east of Bodega, which was where screaming children fled for their lives as hundreds of birds mercilessly attacked them. The schoolhouse is a private residence now, though that doesn’t stop thousands of people from driving up and taking a few photos. The Tides Wharf Restaurant and parking lot in Bodega Bay were used for the gas station, cafe and boat dock scenes in the film; the actual explosion and fire at the gas station was recreated on a studio lot.

Bodega Bay’s official website details the area’s famous connection to The Birds, the locals will steer you  in the right direction should you make a pilgrimage to the tiny town Hitchcock made famous.

Just keep an eye on the skies for any signs of danger.

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