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California couple arrives home to find hundreds of birds in the house

May 6 (UPI) -- A California couple returned home after a trip to find the inside of their home had been taken over by hundreds of birds.

Gary and Patti Reitemeyer said they returned to their Redding home after a trip to Sacramento and discovered hundreds of swallows had apparently flown into the house through the chimney.

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The Reitemeyers said a neighbor who stopped by their home to feed their cat about 14 hours before they arrived home reported there appeared to be about 20 birds in the house.

"As we pulled up, we were thinking you know, 20 birds or so-that's no big deal. We open the door and it's like an Alfred Hitchcock movie," Gary Reitemeyer told KRCR-TV. "There were birds flying everywhere. I mean, it was crazy. We were ducking and dodging."

The couple said this was the first incident of its kind in their 30 years of living at the home.

The Reitemeyers hired workers with ServPro to clear out the home, but they said they will have to stay with their daughter in Sacramento for a while.

"You can't get all that bird stuff out of the furniture," Gary Reitemeyer said. "So all of the furniture is gone, all of the carpet is gone, the blinds are gone... everything. Everything is gone."

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A Torrance, Calif., family faced a similar situation in April 2021, when hundreds of Vaux's swift, a migratory bird species, swooped down their chimney into their home.

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