Birds hitting the car

Birds hitting the car

I have not seen this topic ( I volkerized it), so I aplogize if this has been posted elsewhere.
I have only had my car for a week and this morning was really the first time I drove on a quiet two lane road. Two birds hit my car within a mile of each other. I am wondering if birds rely on sound to avoid cars. Anybody else experience this or was this just not unusual.

Theresa | January 30, 2013

Maybe they didn't like the color of your car? ;)

kilimats | January 30, 2013

WOW, if this turns out to be the case (bird needing sound to detect car) then this might handicap the model S growth

I hope they were both drank :)

dborn | January 30, 2013

Birds regularly fly into the windows of my house striking the glass. I have even found the odd corpse. What attracts them? The reflection? Maybe the same thing causing them to hit your car?

rlpm | January 30, 2013

Maybe they saw your Model S, and thought to themselves, "Holy crap is that a …" thud. :( Poor birds.

I think such "dive bombing" birds are being dared by their bird friends to try to fly in front of cars as close as possible, in some sort of contest of avian machismo.

Years ago, a sparrow finch hit my car's grill while I was traveling on an interstate at ~70mph. When I got out at my destination, I saw that it was stuck, head first, in the grill, and definitely no longer alive. It was a freak occurrence, as were hopefully your encounters today.

Robert22 | January 30, 2013

Perhaps Prozac-laced birdseed might be a good idea after all.....

Robert22 | January 30, 2013

I wonder if the birds could have been infected by a new disease that's working its way through the avian population......chirpies. It's a canarial disease and believed to be untweetable.

hfcolvin | January 30, 2013

dborn - I hope the odd corpse you refer to is a bird's. Otherwise I would think you live in a pretty rough neighborhood - Detroit maybe?

"untweetable" - bad, bad ....

stevenmaifert | January 30, 2013

Don't let PETA hear about this. They'll take Tesla to court and get Model S banned!

HansJ | January 30, 2013

Reminds me of the old joke.

"Whats the last thing to go through a birds mind when it hits your car windshield?" ...

Anthony H | January 30, 2013

Shouldn't you be out driving?

HansJ | January 30, 2013

@Anthony H
Maybe I am?

Liz G | January 30, 2013

This thread made me think of the commercial from the Superbowl a couple years ago.

Randal Taylor | January 30, 2013

Tesla enthusiasts yes, bird enthusiasts, NO!

GLO | January 30, 2013

I am very worried now...

DouglasR | January 30, 2013


ian | January 30, 2013

Somehow I think this pales in comparison to this:

Yes, I keep my cats indoors. ;-P

Brian H | January 30, 2013

chirpies? canarial? Definitely bannable. Anti-avian, discriminatory and un-PeepCee.

Beaker | February 1, 2013

PETA -- People for Eating of Tasty Animals

Timo | February 1, 2013

I wouldn't worry about sound in this, bird eyesight is in general way better than mammalian eyesight and almost all of them rely on sight for recognition of things.

Some birds just don't see the glass and think they can fly thru it, some are stupid enough to think they can fly thru mirror: why they don't avoid that other bird in the reflection is a mystery.

Coincidence almost sure.

stealth_mode | February 1, 2013

I think the magnetic navigation Organ (magnetoception) of the birds is heavily disturbed by the GIANT magnetic field emitted by this 400hp motor which is modulated with high frequency of the performance Inverter (the whining was described in several posts when flooring it). So they loose track and while admiring this wonderful car they smash into it like people running into a street light...
Maybe Tesla should come up with some bird protection device like in passenger jets. say in return for getting Boeings BMS and battery fire fixed ;-))

David Trushin | February 1, 2013

I once had a bird fly into the grill of my car. However, it survived. Although it took me an hour to extract it from the front of the car (had to remove the front cowling) and another 1/2 hour chasing it as it flew around my garage trying to convince it to go outside. All ended well.

Superliner | February 1, 2013

Not the dreaded Bird and Conveyance high speed fusion! Could make for a rather "fowl" experience! lol!! hope it did not damage your S

holidayday | February 1, 2013

Birds (making this up as I go) like to "surf" the air current over the car, so as your car goes by, birds fly near the car to get the boost from the rush of air as you drive by.

A Tesla has a much smaller boost of air, due to it's low drag coefficient. Smooth laminar air flow compared to the normal wild turbulence.

Birds accustomed to regular SUV's creating a summer breeze come down from the trees and instead of getting the big boosts of air, suddenly find themselves in a snare. With no gust of wind, they find they are pinned. The side of your Tesla they will hit. . .

I think I'll stop there.

jat | February 1, 2013

If birds are attacking your car, it is a good thing you can easily avoid gas stations -- wouldn't want to be around them when they catch fire and explode.

Brian H | February 2, 2013

I doubt that. Look up "Faraday cage". I think the copper and steel housing contains the magnetic field. Get a compass and check: walk around the car and see if it swings. You'd have to have a serious field to bother birds so far away. Field drops as the SQUARE of distance.

lph | February 2, 2013

Dont worry. There is an app. on the way that makes the car duck when one approaches ;-)

David Trushin | February 2, 2013

lph, is the reasoning that if the birds see a duck they will avoid it?

Brian H | February 2, 2013

Even moreso with geese; they're easier to duck. Than ducks. Less of a bird-in.

DouglasR | February 2, 2013

Brian, I was certain that when I looked up the word "moreso" I would find something fowl. Alas, it looks like a run-of-the-mill typo. I'm disappointed.

Robert22 | February 2, 2013

Birds use the earth's magnetic field to navigate using a pigment (cryptochrome) found predominantly in the retina of the right eye (you can't make this stuff up), which through quantum entanglement is believed to overlay a visually percptible image of the magnetic field that changes with the position of the bird's head. If you patch the right eye the bird loses its compass.

Seriously OT but very cool.

Robert22 | February 2, 2013

Intriguingly, a few humans with high superoxide concentrations may possess the same ability but I'm sure they're not rushing to tell people about it.

Brian H | February 3, 2013

moreso is no typo, mill-running or other. Wise.

olanmills | February 3, 2013

If this turns out to be a real problem, then I would actaully be supportive of the EV noise proposals. We already have a problem with stray and owned cats killing too many birds!

Dmetcalf | February 8, 2013

A large Sand Hill Crane shattered my windshield today- see it on TMC accidents link. I feel bad, but couldn't avoid it entirely. One of my employees suspects the quiet and aerodynamics as a problem for the birds- another driver almost hit one last week too.,,

lessdeth69 | September 4, 2015

I drive a Chevy Volt and have never had so many bird near misses and slight impacts. I use the pedestrian warning quite frequently to give birds advance warning. One of my friends test drove my Volt and within a few blocks of us taking off, a dove crashed into my windshield. I don't know if it's the silent powertrain, or magnetic fields throwing off the birds but there is a noticeable difference from every other car I've owned previously.

Big T | September 4, 2015

Never, ever had a close call with a bird while driving my S. Squirrels are another thing entirely. But then I have almost hit squirrels in every car I've driven.

staze | September 4, 2015

There is now a study which is somewhat related indicating the impacts of road noise on animal habitation.

Looks like my post in January was removed from the forums. I actually killed a bird with the sun roof air deflector. We didn't discover the accident until weeks later. Poor bird had been compressed under the sunroof for a while. Pics upon request.

Ankit Mishra | September 4, 2015

My house has the front part covered with glass. Birds give the glass part a daily visit. They come and hit the glass part again and again with their beaks making loud noises. I think its the reflection that drives them crazy. It doesn't happens always but there are few birds that give the glass parts a daily visit. I think they are pretty determined and consistent in whatever they are trying to achieve. | September 4, 2015

We moved as far away from Bodega Bay as possible.:-))

AmpedRealtor | September 4, 2015

@ ankitmishra,

And you haven't done anything to address the situation? Come on! How about some decals on your window, or hanging some items in front of the windows to break up the reflections?

dborn | September 4, 2015

I have had birds committing suicide breaking their necks flying into my house windows at speed. Even an imprint of the bird on the glass! The outline is due to ? Dust from the feathers? I think it might be a territorial thing. They see an intruder on their territory.

Ankit Mishra | September 4, 2015

Nope, I haven't done anything. The glass is the part of the house and it was constructed by my parents. It is a thing that they like and they aren't going to cover it. I know it might make you feel sad, but birds are not hurt in anyway. They land alone or in groups and then attack the glass and then go away. Certainly it is sad to see less mentally capable creatures wasting their time on such stuff, but even humans do that. If a dog chases a car, people won't stop driving them.

Ankit Mishra | September 4, 2015

When I look from the other side of the glass at those birds struggling with the glass (its a room covered with a lot of glass), it makes me realise how futile their attempts are. Even if I get out of the room to shu them away & try to tell them that a human is inside the glass they don't care. They are enslaved in a useless activity struggling with it again and again. It makes me think about us humans, there might be some entity viewing us from the other side of the glass pitying us for our small intelligence. But who knows, maybe some day the regular effort of birds might break the glass. On that day, birds would have won. | September 4, 2015

Had a few bird strikes a few years ago & posted a similar thread (which I can no longer find). There was no pattern of increased bird strikes by other Tesla owners reported then. I have not had any since. I think it's likely a random occurrence.

Larry@SoCal | September 4, 2015

Back in the '70s there was a report that Chevrolet had rented the Indy track for testing the Corvette. It was said that they hit birds, that birds relied on loud engine noise to warn them but the Vet was too quiet. FWIW

222 | October 4, 2015

Ok. So I got my 85D 2 weeks ago.
Driving through a quiet area at @35mph and a couple birds on my right started to fly across the road to the left.

Two flew gently across the front of the car while I was driving.
The third was in no clear danger -- could have just glided upwards a little -- but it seemed 'confused' if I may say so.

It just gently hit the winshield and bounced on the hood before it bumped in front then under my car. I hope it didnt die, it looked more dazed than not in my read view mirror.

I've never seen anything like this before in 20+ years of driving. Birds are so graceful in avoiding cars and this one seemed like it could just glide a little above me and avoid me.

I remember these posts from before I bought my MS.
Thought I should share.
I dont think it's random.
It's gotta be from the sensors or engine messing with the birds.

Gonna tint my windows next week to help avoid the poor things hitting my brand new car ....

rharris | October 4, 2015

I can confirm that this does happen. I have NEVER hit a bird in the back roads of Oregon. But within a month of Model S ownership, I hit (upper windshield). I think noise might be an issue or the rate of acceleration.

222 | October 4, 2015

@rharris - This was on the OR coast.
Lol, hopefully its not the Oregonian birds on pot ;)

I was doing 35 with no acceleration.

prp | October 4, 2015

Australian birds suffer the same problem.

NKYTA | October 4, 2015

Crows in my neighborhood are to damn smart. ;-)