HARBOUR BRETON, N.L. — For Johnaton Poulain, it's like living in the middle of an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
The rattled Newfoundlander has endured weeks of torment by a pair of ravens that have been laying siege to his new house on the province's south coast.
He says he has tried everything to stop the pernicious pests from pecking at his windows and buzzing his multi-level home — all to no avail.
Now, the 27-year-old is hoping a bit of divine intervention might solve the problem.
Johnaton Poulain says he's worried the crows could get inside his house when he's not there. (Photo: Alex Calin via Getty Images)
"I have a priest coming up this evening just to bless the house because I was a little bit superstitious over this,'' he said Tuesday from his battered home in Harbour Breton.
"My grandmother's a total holy person and she said, 'Just get it blessed,' because I didn't know if it was an omen or what. I find it very, very weird they keep attacking this home, because there's a new home on the back of me that doesn't get touched and there's new homes in the area that they don't touch.''
Poulain said he decided to catch a flight out of Fort McMurray, Alta., where he works after a neighbour sent him video of two ravens mercilessly thrashing around his windows and scratching at the seals around them.
The video, which has been watched close to 7,000 times on Facebook, shows one of the birds appearing to jump several feet in the air, directly outside an upper kitchen window.
He said there are now 10 panes of glass that need to be replaced because of damaged seals, and one window in the basement that had its screen torn away by the birds. At least one of the window sills was flecked with blood,
presumably from the birds' pecking.
He didn't yet know the cost of the damage to the home, which he bought for $280,000.
He was supposed to be back at his job in Fort McMurray on Tuesday, but said he will wait until his girlfriend returns home from her job in the offshore later this month or he finds a way to scare off the birds.
Poulain said he has placed three fake owls in various spots around the home, which he moved into after construction was completed just before Christmas.
"I find it very, very weird they keep attacking this home."
But, he says the birds are using the plastic statuettes as resting posts while they hack away at his windows.
"You can see them sitting on the owls' heads,'' he says with a sigh, adding that he has an air horn that he blasts at them when they're outside the windows. "I never heard tell of anything like this before in my life.''
Poulain said the birds take off when he is home and then return when he leaves the property, which is surrounded by other homes that haven't had the same kind of problem.
Poulain says the birds have already destroyed 10 of his windows. (Photo: Pshchoen Felder via Getty Images)
"It's like they watch my vehicle and when the vehicle goes, they're like, 'Alright let's go back,''' he said.
Poulain said he has inquired with wildlife services about what he should do, but hasn't received help. He said he also asked a bird expert at Memorial University about the birds' behaviour and was advised to get the air horn and hang coverings in the windows to lessen the birds' reflections.
Asked if it's possible the birds just want him to stay at the home, Poulain chuckled and said, "They might just want to move in and take over the mortgage, and that would be fine.''
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