Murder Mystery Grows as Dead Birds Found in Rich New York City Neighborhood


It seems so quaint and long ago now, that time when we were worried about the sky raining dead birds, long before you-know-who commanded the nation’s attention. It was life or death then, and not just for a bad sitcom or abusive drug addict. (Get well, dude, but forget the TV show.) So when dozens of baby finches were found dead in the New York City neighborhood of Gramercy Park on Monday, it hardly made a news thump. But it seems worth amplifying: the apocalypse is coming to our island, maybe. Or at least there’s someone on the loose killing baby birds!

The New York Daily News reports that a bunch of the birds, each only about 2 inches long, making them extra cute and helpless, were found “either disoriented or dead” on Sunday morning. But these birds may have not just fallen from above; they may have been placed there to send a message:

An email circulating Monday pointed the finger at Aldon James, the self-described “Bird Man of Gramercy Park” and eccentric president of the National Arts Club on Gramercy Park South.

Rockland County bird breeder Pierre Brooks told the Daily News that James bought more than 50 Australian zebra finches from him last week at $1 apiece – but doubted he was responsible for the dumping.

Apparently James is feuding with his neighbors, which makes the circumstantial evidence pretty creepy, considering he initially lied about it:

He also gave conflicting statements about the birds Monday – denying he had bought any finches before later confirming he got about “four dozen” from Brooks.

“The rumor that I released these birds in the park is not true. I did not release these birds,” said James, adding that he led a team of National Arts Club staffers and neighbors who rescued some of the creatures.

On one hand, it’s odd to root for the cause of death to be a case of animal abuse, but thinking as a vulnerable human, at least nature didn’t strike them down.

‘Bird Man of Gramercy Park’ in middle of flap as dozens of baby finches found dead or dazed [NYDN]