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Question: "bird" process is taking over

I installed Yosemite and configured iCloud Drive. I copied a lot of files yesterday. Today the fan is on constantly. I see a process in Activity Monitor called "bird" that is constantly near 100% CPU. Any ideas what is going on?

MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.0.x)

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Here's what I did. It seemed to work well.

  1. I unchecked iCloud Drive in System Preferences
  2. I restored the original files from another backup. They had been deleted and rearranged during my initial attempt to put them on iCloud Drive. I made sure they were in another folder so that when I did the following, the restored files wouldn't get touched
  3. I went to the iCloud Drive web interface and deleted all files
  4. I checked iCloud Drive in System Preferences
  5. A bunch of file showed up in iCloud Drive in Finder – The fan started blowing. I didn't look at Activity Monitor but I'll bet bird was using a lot of CPU
  6. I deleted all of the files in the Finder (i.e., the iCloud Drive folder)
  7. Now there were no files in iCloud Drive – either from the browser view or the Finder view. Back to where I started.
  8. I copied about 2 GB of files to iCloud drive.
  9. No fan noise. The transfer was relatively quick. I copied another 2 GB of files. Same result.


My conclusion: Do all file curating on the physical drive first. Once I've cleaned up and arranged the files, upload them in small batches. After 20 or 30 GBs have been up loaded, future file uploads and file management in the cloud should be fairly low impact.


Hope that helps someone else.


Mike

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Dec 19, 2014 7:20 AM in response to WmsAve In response to WmsAve

Just for other readers...


If you open terminal and enter:


brctl log --wait --shorten


You can see a log of iCloud Drive transactions being made.


It looks like the best, current way to view the syncing status of iCloud Drive. You'll also be able to view when a transaction fails, which lines up with the error message nyeates1 posted, which may be triggering the bird process issue.

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Oct 22, 2014 6:39 PM in response to WmsAve In response to WmsAve

The 'bird' process is indeed the back end process behind iCloud drive. Are all your files copied? If not, it will take some CPU and copy some files until they're copied. Performance varies; I've seen it take quite a while to copy, say, 10 GB of files. How much did you move to iCloud drive?


Killing the process may not help; it will just start up again. You could try restarting, but you may just want to give it time.

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Oct 19, 2014 10:19 AM in response to Barney-15E In response to Barney-15E

I force quit it and it popped back up. I saw another thread that suggested logging out of iCloud Drive and logging back in. I wasn't sure how to "log out" other than to go to System Preferences and unclick iCloud Drive. When I did that, I got a warning that said it was still uploading files, etc. I unclicked it anyway and bird stopped showing up and my fan stopped.


I have a gut feeling about what happened. I copied files to iCloud Drive the way I normally would: click and drag from Folder X on my MBA to Folder X on iCloud Drive. My objective was to get files off of my MBA and into the cloud to conserve space on my MBA. The apparent operation was very quick. In some cases, when I clicked and dragged the file appeared to be deleted from my MBA drive.


I think Apple has programmed iCloud to look like it's fast. But file transfer speeds are a factor of many things outside of Apple's control. It gave me the illusion that all the files were transferred when they really weren't (I had multiple gigabytes of files). I think what happened is that because I thought everything was done, I closed my laptop. When I opened it again the next morning, iCloud tried to continue the file transfer process. I saw no progress indicator at any time.


Apple provides very little (that I could find) instructions on use. The first time you set up a cloud account, the long pole in the tent is getting all the files over to the new account. After that, file-by-file transfers are fast. I should have remembered that. I will start again and leave plenty of time for the files to transfer. I'll do it in small batches so that I am sure that the files made it before closing my laptop.


If anyone more knowledgable that I am can confirm or deny the above, I would appreciate it.

Oct 19, 2014 10:19 AM

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Oct 22, 2014 6:39 PM in response to WmsAve In response to WmsAve

The 'bird' process is indeed the back end process behind iCloud drive. Are all your files copied? If not, it will take some CPU and copy some files until they're copied. Performance varies; I've seen it take quite a while to copy, say, 10 GB of files. How much did you move to iCloud drive?


Killing the process may not help; it will just start up again. You could try restarting, but you may just want to give it time.

Oct 22, 2014 6:39 PM

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Oct 23, 2014 5:47 AM in response to WmsAve In response to WmsAve

I had the exact same experience, combined with the Finder crashing. I had to re-install Yosemite, but the "bird" problem remained. Unlike you, I only have a handful of small files stored on the iCloud Drive, and they were already there before I installed Yosemite, so it cannot be that the system is just taking a long time to move lots of big files to the cloud. I went to Preferences and turned off iCloud Drive, I got the same meaningless warning about interrupting file transfer, "bird" went away, and things seemed to go back to normal. I will keep Drive shut off until Apple issues a bug fix.

Oct 23, 2014 5:47 AM

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Oct 23, 2014 7:52 AM in response to William Lloyd In response to William Lloyd

Here's what I did. It seemed to work well.

  1. I unchecked iCloud Drive in System Preferences
  2. I restored the original files from another backup. They had been deleted and rearranged during my initial attempt to put them on iCloud Drive. I made sure they were in another folder so that when I did the following, the restored files wouldn't get touched
  3. I went to the iCloud Drive web interface and deleted all files
  4. I checked iCloud Drive in System Preferences
  5. A bunch of file showed up in iCloud Drive in Finder – The fan started blowing. I didn't look at Activity Monitor but I'll bet bird was using a lot of CPU
  6. I deleted all of the files in the Finder (i.e., the iCloud Drive folder)
  7. Now there were no files in iCloud Drive – either from the browser view or the Finder view. Back to where I started.
  8. I copied about 2 GB of files to iCloud drive.
  9. No fan noise. The transfer was relatively quick. I copied another 2 GB of files. Same result.


My conclusion: Do all file curating on the physical drive first. Once I've cleaned up and arranged the files, upload them in small batches. After 20 or 30 GBs have been up loaded, future file uploads and file management in the cloud should be fairly low impact.


Hope that helps someone else.


Mike

Oct 23, 2014 7:52 AM

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Nov 6, 2014 10:43 AM in response to WmsAve In response to WmsAve

I switched to iCloud after Yosemite update today. I had hoped that Apple had made a better way of syncing files that Dropbox or Google Drive that I used before. But it seems all services work the same, by using up 100% of my CPU most of the time, so my Macbook is rendered unusable for most of the day.


I wish there was some way to set it up to only Sync once a day, preferably at night. Most people use sync as an easy way to backup their files. After I started syncing I havent gotten a whole lot of work done.


I am now looking for some nightly backup solution to replace this Sync ********.

Nov 6, 2014 10:43 AM

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Nov 7, 2014 5:10 AM in response to Keldber In response to Keldber

I found a solution that works for me. I setup a daily periodic script to rsync my files to an external backup server. First run where all files were transferred took 45 minutes and consumed in average 4% cpu.


Thats quite awesome compared to that iCloud had been syncing the same files for 6 hours straight with 100% cpu before I gave up on that.

Nov 7, 2014 5:10 AM

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Nov 15, 2014 10:45 AM in response to WmsAve In response to WmsAve

There must be an Apple bughere somewhere:

1) it doesn't take that much CPU for that long to sync a few small files.

2) "bird" eats up 95% of the CPU when I'm not connected to the internet. Even turning WI-Fi off doesn't solve the problem.

Force quitting the process doesn't work, it just restarts all over again. Somehow, at a certain point, the bird process just goes away. I wish I knew exactly what it does.

I hope they are aware of the problem and they fix the bug for the next release.

I should have waited before the move to Yosemite, there are quite of few of these annoying bugs that leave the system just hanging of crashing.


I wish I could just tell bird to stop eating up all my CPU and my battery when I'm on the bus!

Nov 15, 2014 10:45 AM

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Dec 6, 2014 1:24 PM in response to WmsAve In response to WmsAve

Troubleshooting notes:

  • I found that if you close all Finder windows and then quit or force-quit the 'bird' process, that the process quits and stays quit.
  • If you then go into a new Finder window and click on your 'iCloud Drive', bird comes back. So, to avoid this temporarily, without going and turning off the entire iCloud Drive, you can do this to get some CPU and FAN relief.
  • As soon as bird startups up I get the Console error:

bird: Assertion failed: ![_xpcClients containsObject:client]

The above error repeated in spurts randomly

Dec 6, 2014 1:24 PM

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Dec 19, 2014 7:20 AM in response to WmsAve In response to WmsAve

Just for other readers...


If you open terminal and enter:


brctl log --wait --shorten


You can see a log of iCloud Drive transactions being made.


It looks like the best, current way to view the syncing status of iCloud Drive. You'll also be able to view when a transaction fails, which lines up with the error message nyeates1 posted, which may be triggering the bird process issue.

Dec 19, 2014 7:20 AM

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Dec 19, 2014 12:10 PM in response to Junto26 In response to Junto26

Junto26 that is a great troubleshooting tip!


Apple asked for details back from me, but I gave up after 2 days of bird craziness and simply reinstalled OS from scratch.

Was careful about not letting two cloud sync services (iCloud and Dropbox) be backing up at once. Allowed all syncs to complete while the computer did notthing else.


No issues this time around.

Dec 19, 2014 12:10 PM

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Dec 19, 2014 12:34 PM in response to nyeates1 In response to nyeates1

Yep! I snagged it from another support thread, I don't deserve much credit.


I actually just subscribed to increase space in iCloud drive to put my big (100 GB+) iPhoto collection in there and keep it safe. Since copying it in, it's been chugging along for a while now (all day). In this time, I've seen the bird process running pretty high most of the time, dipping down to ~30% sometimes.


When I quit the process, I see the transactions stop, I see it re-establish itself, and pick back up (see screenshot).

User uploaded file

Just below the screenshot, you'd see "typical transactions" start again.


And soon thereafter, I can see the bird process jump back up in CPU usage. I'm tempted to say that the process just ramps up and works hard when it has a lot to do, rather than it being a true problem. Albeit, it does slow other things down.


On the plus side, at least one guy tested and concluded it works quickly compared to competitors. And to note, other syncing services can have high CPU usage while they're syncing too.


http://macography.net/2014/10/speed-test-icloud-drive-vs-dropbox-vs-google-drive -vs-box-com-vs-spideroak-vs-syncplicity/


My conclusion: if you put a big file in and you see the bird process ramp up, just keep calm and let it do its thing.

Dec 19, 2014 12:34 PM

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Question: "bird" process is taking over