Mystery Over ‘Kamikaze’ Birds Who Flew Into NASCAR Hall Of Fame

Mystery Over 'Kamikaze' Birds Who Flew Into NASCAR Hall Of FameWSOCTV9/YouTube

Hundreds of birds have flown straight into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina, in scenes eerily reminiscent of those from the work of Alfred Hitchcock.

The surreal incident occurred on the evening of October 15, and was filmed by a NASCAR Hall of Fame employee.

The video, which has since gone viral, shows hundreds of birds lying on the ground after having flown straight at the glass-fronted building. The birds reportedly continued to slam into the windowed wall for more than an hour.

You can watch the footage for yourself below:

The birds in question were chimney swifts, which reportedly do not usually fly into windows. Although there have been instances of chimney swifts colliding with windows in North Carolina cities, this usually just involves one bird. The number of birds in this case is unprecedented.

As reported by The Charlotte Observer, Carolina Waterfowl Rescue counted 310 chimney swifts at the scene.

Sadly, a third of the birds were dead by the time Carolina Waterfowl Rescue arrived. According to Fox 46, 100 of the birds died during following the collisions, with 100 seriously injured and 100 were left stunned.

Questions have now turned to why exactly this happened, and what can be done to prevent birds being injured in a similar manner going forward.

Three hundred birds hit a building uptown. We got the call about 11pm and our rehab team sprung into action to help. …

Posted by Carolina Waterfowl Rescue on Tuesday, October 15, 2019

In a press release, Audubon North Carolina has urged the NASCAR Hall of Fame to turn its lights off after dark until the end of migration season in November.

According to this press release:

We suspect these birds faced a ‘perfect storm’ last night.

Chimney Swifts were out past their bedtime possibly because they could not find a suitable chimney in which to roost (or experienced some kind of disturbance, causing them to leave a roost chimney), and lights inside the NASCAR Hall of Fame shone brightly, reflected by low cloud cover, attracting and disorienting the birds and leading to collisions.

Audubon North Carolina has explained how simply switching off lights can reduce bird collisions by significantly, by ‘one-third (in a Winston-Salem study) to 80% (in a Chicago study)’.

Birds NASCAR North CarolinaCarolina Waterfowl Rescue/Facebook

Carolina Waterfowl Rescue is now accepting donations to treat birds that have been left ‘severely injured with broken wings, legs or other fractures’.

At the time of writing, $640 has been raised to help these wounded birds. You can find out how you too can donate here.

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