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

by : Julia Banim on : 17 Oct 2019 15:12
Mystery Over 'Kamikaze' Birds Who Flew Into NASCAR Hall Of FameMystery 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.

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 CarolinaBirds 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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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Animals, Birds, Charlotte, NASCAR Hall of Fame, North Carolina


Charlotte Observer and 4 others
  1. Charlotte Observer

    Terrifying scene plays out as 300 birds ram NASCAR Hall of Fame windows in Charlotte

  2. Audubon

    Audubon Urges Lights Off After Hundreds of Chimney Swift Collide with Building

  3. WSOCTV9/YouTube

    VIDEO: Hundreds of birds crash into NASCAR Hall of Fame building

  4. Carolina Waterfowl Rescue/Facebook

    Carolina Waterfowl Rescue/Facebook

  5. Carolina Waterfowl Rescue/Facebook

    Carolina Waterfowl Rescue/Facebook