Birds bold enough to fly over the rally were greeted with boos. (Photos/Hilal Bahcetepe)

Birds Aren’t Real lands fans in Washington Square

MANHATTAN — Even its creator admits that the Birds Aren’t Real movement isn’t real.

Yet that didn’t keep scores of supporters—and people who called themselves counter-protesters—from flocking to Washington Square Park on a beautiful Saturday evening.

“Once you’re sort of inside the circle of the conspiracy theory, everything makes perfect sense. If you buy the premise, everything else follows. Some people probably actually think this is real. Which is also a part of the goof,” said Fritz Capria, a New Yorker who attended with Debbie Rosenberg.

The satirical campaign, given wing by Peter McIndoe, 24, a performance artist and filmmaker, delivers its supposed conspiracy theory via social media, on billboards and in local TV news interviews.

America’s birds were eliminated by the federal government decades ago, McIndoe says. That means, just like birds replaced across the country, the pigeons, sparrows and robins of New York are drone replicas that spy on the populace.

Fans celebrate Birds Aren’t Real as way of showcasing how easily dangerous misinformation spreads online, spiraling out of control—and into the collective consciousness.

Men who called themselves counter-protesters decried the movement as misguided, even as comedy.

“Persuading people in the wrong direction makes people go off on the wrong ideas,” said one.

“There are actual conspiracy theories out there,” said a man who called himself a counter-protester but would not give his names. “It’s like making them all look like a joke when they’re not. There are things we need to be afraid of, and this is not one of them.”

McIndoe broke character last year to reveal his more serious intent. Hundreds of thousands still follow Birds Aren’t Real’s social accounts.

“Eric Adams, you look me right in the eyes—you don’t scare me for a second,” said McIndoe, accusing the mayor of approving of millions of bird drones. “I know you’re up there in your penthouse in the Empire State Building. I want you to know, we’re here buddy!”

However, the movement has work to do with the youngest New Yorkers, it appears.

Watching the rally while perched on a man’s back, one little girl didn’t approve of  the spectacle:

“They’re real!” she shouted.