Why do birds fly in front of cars?

Different animals have very different ways of communicating, reproducing, and raising their young, this includes birds. There are some bird behaviours that seem very bizarre to humans, these behaviours include running away from home, destroying bird nests, and flying in front of cars. Humans may not know exactly why birds do some of these things but birds do, even if it seems counterproductive to survival, like flying in front of cars. This article explores the question of ‘why do birds fly in front of cars’ 

Birds see their own reflections on cars, these reflections cause birds to think that their reflection is another bird. When this happens, said bird will fly in front of the car to attack the “rival bird”. Birds also see cars as predators, thus they will fly in front of the car to try to distract and redirect it away from their young.

Why do birds fly in front of cars?

Birds are not suicidal when they fly in front of cars. On the contrary, they may be trying to save the lives of their nestlings which may be nearby. Birds would fly at anything, including an elephant, to distract and redirect danger away from their young. The bird flies at the predator, which in this case is your car, to get the car to focus on the adult bird and change course away from its nestlings which are much more vulnerable. Once the predator is redirected, the bird will make its way back to its young.

Alternatively, birds fly in front of cars to attack the “rival bird”. Birds see their reflections on car surfaces and attack what appears to be a rival bird that would otherwise harm their nest. Birds attack other bird nests all the time, thus, birds are always on the lookout and are ready to attack another bird, even if the rival bird is simply a reflection of itself.

Birds may also accidentally fly in front of cars while going about their normal activities. In such a case, it is merely a case of accidental collision as the bird doesn’t know how to manoeuvre through traffic. In this case, a bird that flies in front of cars is simply unfortunate.

Why do birds dive-bomb cars?

Birds dive-bomb cars as an inborn response to danger. It is very likely that the bird which dive-bombs a car, has a nest nearby that it is protecting. Most times, the birds will avoid making contact with the car. But a few birds scratch and peck at the car upon contact as a way to ward off any danger to the nest. 

Will birds attack me if I get out of my car?

Birds will attack a person who gets out of a car if the car is near their nest. As discussed earlier, a bird is always on the lookout as it needs to protect its nestlings, if a bird attacks someone getting out of a car it is likely protecting a nearby nest housing baby birds. It is safer to stay inside a car and focus on moving the car away if a bird is attacking it, than trying to stop the bird. Its mate may join the attack if you get out of the car. 

Do birds purposely poop on cars?

Birds poop on the go and many times a day because they have fast digestive systems. If a car is parked near their nest, it might seem as though birds poop on the car purposely. But pooping on cars is simply a lack of potty training on the bird’s side.  


In conclusion, birds fly in front of cars for one of three reasons, either the bird thinks your car is a predator and the animal is trying to ward it away from its nest, it sees its reflection as a rival bird and attacks the rival bird to protect its nestlings, or, the bird is simply going about its day and the car is in its path. If you get out of a car that is too close to the bird’s nest it will likely attack you to keep you from getting too close to its nest. Birds will also poop on your car if the vehicle is too close to the nest 

If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other bird related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: Will bleach keep birds away?, How did a bird get into my house?, How do birds grow feathers?, Bird stuck in the chimney behind the gas fire, what to do,

Why do birds fly in front of cars?
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