We rewind back to New Zealand, 2005 (also the time I lost my camera) — me and my friend P were happily trundling down the roads in the Southern part of the South Island on our little road trip to the Catskills. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and the birds were happily flying around us. These birds were pretty playful, ducking around and across the car, sweeping over the roof and windshield from time to time as they revelled in the wonders of the slipstream.
It all happened in a blink of course, but I remember it like it like it played out in slow motion. We saw one little birdie dip lower than the others in its flight, and that was followed almost immediately by a pretty audible THUNK, like a golf ball hit our front bumper.
The bird was tiny, probably the size of your typical sparrow, but hell you can feel the impact when something that fast collides with your car. P had been driving and was extremely horrified at the thought of being a bird murderer, even though it really was a bird dive-bombing out car. I happily mocked her, Bird-Killer! but got my just desserts when I took over the wheel and it happened to me as well.
Between us we accidentally murdered 3 country birds by the end of our trip – P had another bird encounter so she ‘won’ this particular battle that, believe me, neither of us wanted to start in the first place. I’ve never encountered anything like this before, whether in other cities or countrysides, so our only conclusion was that these birds out in this countryside were just not used to cars as a whole – P actually found scientific proof that city birds are smarter than country birds. Or they were just foolhardy extreme sports lovers, who knows?