Avoiding bird strikes?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Plaka, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. Plaka

    Plaka Brevis illi vita est

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    I've had three bad experiences with birds. The first time I was attacked by an owl. I was doing maybe 10mph on the road to the Cheyenne Mountain zoo and this little owl-with-attitude attacked my helmet, two passes from the front, screeching, talons out, the whole bit. Ducked twice and gassed it to lose 'im

    The second time doing 60ish on some urban freeway I drove through a flock of low flying sparrows. Caught one in the throat (MY throat), it stuck for a second, then tumbled aside. I didn't stop.

    The third time was running across South Park two up at 90. A little black bird was playing with the cars ahead. It would fly across the road in front of a car (and everybody does 90 on that stretch) and then pop up into the air on the wave pushed by the car. It did the two cars in front of me then tried with me. It hit me high in the chest. Felt that one through the leathers. I stopped and walked back. Very daid boydy.


    So what do you do to keep 'em off of you?
    #1
  2. HooliKen

    HooliKen Awesome is a flavor

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    2003 out for a sunny afternoon ride on my 954RR in Madison County VA. One of these flew out of the ditch and caught me square in the chest.....

    [​IMG]

    Somehow got the bike stopped, fell off into the road without an ounce of wind left in me. Old couple saw the whole thing and stopped to check on me. Huge bruise and my JR leathers stunk like ass for at lesat a month. Killed the fucker dead......:D
    #2
  3. AlsoRan

    AlsoRan Lone Trail Of Dust

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    Just last month I rounded a right turn and in the shade by the edge of the road was one of those turkey vultures feasting on some road kill. It was a surprise for both of us and I'm not sure if it panicked or if it attacked, but it jumped up and headed right for me. I ducked and it went right over my shoulder. All I saw at that point was wings! :eek1

    I'm not sure what to do in a case like that but duck, but I know on my return trip down the same road a few minutes later I was going a lot slower!
    #3
  4. SoSlow

    SoSlow Having fun

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    I was riding down a highway with water in the ditches to either side. A flock of Canada geese decided to take off and fly horizontally across the highway right in front of me.

    My great technique was to lay down on the tank as much as I could and whimper "holy %*(@" repeatedly until I was clear.
    #4
  5. Plaka

    Plaka Brevis illi vita est

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    One of the stinkiest birds on the planet, but loaded with unusual features. They can urinate on their own legs for cooling for instance. But get down wind of a nest and you know all about it. A loooong way down wind.
    #5
  6. Racer111v

    Racer111v Been here awhile

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    Turkey vulture............holy crap. I always bitched about catching a crow in the chest at 45 mph or so. :eek1
    #6
  7. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    I had a very similar incident. I took some sort of bird in the chest while playing in the mountains on my SV650S. I was about 4th or 5th in line of about 8 of us and we had just exited a series of turns into a long straight. I never even saw the bird, just suddenly couldn't breathe and all I could think about was getting stopped. I managed to stop right in the road and layed down on my tank grasping for air. My buddy behind me came up beside me barely able to contain himself between his laughs as all he saw was a plume of feathers explode. He explained to me that I took a direct hit from a bird. Once he realized I was going to be okay and started to get my breathing back to normal, he took off to catch the others.

    The bird exploded on my chest and I was covered in all kinds of bodily fluids and a gooey mess. It didn't help that they were perforated leathers and had gone through to my shirt too. :eek1

    That was one stinky ride home! :lol3
    #7
  8. el queso

    el queso toda su base

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    Years ago my brother hit a bunch of ducks at about 150 mph in a drag boat at Lake Ming. I guess they were used to ski boats and they didn't calculate their departure quite right. He didn't get injured, but he was a bloody mess - literally.

    Me, I've never had a problem with birds, but I've had bees and hornets kick my ass while riding a few times.
    #8
  9. Bar None

    Bar None Long timer

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    The vultures are a real problem here out in the country when they are eating road kill. I slow down to a very low speed when I see them on the road ahead of me. Never know which way they are going to take off.
    #9
  10. rdwalker

    rdwalker Long timer

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    We have a lot of dead deer in our area - as a matter of fact, there is a fresh carcass being cleaned right now, next to the entrance to our driveway. The sanitation job is done by turkey vultures.

    These things are seriously big and intimidating - and travel in flocks. Even in my car, I am swinging around to give them a wide berth.
    Really scary when I wind up jogging, while they are feasting on roadkill or garbage. They try to chase me away from their loot by displaying their wingspan and it works!

    I'd hate to collide with one, it was bad enough when a swallow flew into my chest once.
    #10
  11. Aussijussi

    Aussijussi Long timer

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    When i was still living in OZ, had a parrot hit me in the chin part of the helmet, i was doing maybe 80 mph, nearly fell off the bike. Few years back i was on a collision course with a large grouse, that could have been nasty. Every spring seem to collect a bird of some kind, mostly get hit on the lower parts of the bike.
    #11
  12. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    To avoid bird strikes, use only non-union birds.

    Best ride in "right to work" states!
    #12
  13. HooliKen

    HooliKen Awesome is a flavor

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    I see what you did there.........Well played sir, well played.
    #13
  14. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Been here awhile

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    So I'm not the only one with talon scrapes on his helmet. Owl one evening decided something was worthy of attack about me or my helmet. Rather startling.

    Bats are more my nemisis. I've hit at least three. One with my face. If there's a magical avoidance technique, I've not learned of it.

    Never hit a vulture, but I did have one evacuate itself upon me, apparently as a last ditch defence technique. That was gross, to say the least.
    #14
  15. jnclem

    jnclem True Airhead

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    One thing to remember is that if there is any appreciable wind, they will almost always try to launch into it. Sometimes they wait too long, and have to take off downwind, which will keep them lower and slower for a few beats.

    If I'm coming up on a carcas with a vulture or other large bird on it on my right, and I have a stiff breeze from my left, I know that bird is going to launch out in front of me. Of course, this does nothing for incidents with small birds surfing the traffic flow, or the rogue owls some of you seem to encounter. But eagles, large hawks, vultures, and even magpies, feeding on carcasses in the ditch or on the road can be somewhat predictable.

    I think it is just like cagers, they see us coming, but misjudge the speed badly.
    #15
  16. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Long timer

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    I duck behind the screen and close my eyes.
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  17. Xtremjeepn

    Xtremjeepn Motorhead!

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    Um..........:lol3

    It must just be you. :D

    When I first saw this thread I passed it by. Thinking that the OP must live somewhere with a crazy amount of birds because I've ridden for 33 years and hundreds of thousands of miles in Colorado and never had this issue.:deal

    Then out of curiosity to see where all these bird strike problems are I opened the thread to see that you live just miles from me:huh Colorado isn't exactly thick with birds.:deal

    So, my conclusion.......it's you:lol3. You are some sort of bird magnet:norton




    Out of curiosity. What bike are you riding? I did feel like birds dive bombed me and were generally "more in the way" when I was on my 2007 R1 than any other bike. But never had any contacts.
    #17
  18. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    Turkeys are becoming a problem here in NH, since their reintroduction 30 years ago, they have become so successful, I don't think F&G has a big enuf bag limit

    about 10 years ago, a fellow on Goldwing was killed by a turkey, nearby

    personally, I travel enuf that locally, I know where to expect them, the average rider would not have that knowledge
    #18
  19. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    I don't really think there's much you can do. In the late summer around here, we get these tiny finches in the grass right by the edge of the road. Every time a vehicle approaches they all freak out and explode out of the grass RIGHT INTO THE ROAD in a huge flock. Two years ago driving from Ruidoso to ABQ on the byways in our Xterra, we must have killed several dozen of those small birds. Last year I hit at least three on my motorcycles.

    Now...the huge birds of prey and carrion birds? Would NOT want to hit one of those. Best I can say is keep your eyes open and if you see one on the side of the road ahead, slow down!

    In the mountains here, lately the wild turkey population has exploded. These birds are fucking dumb too and travel in huge flocks and walk right across the road in front of you.
    #19
  20. No False Enthusiasm

    No False Enthusiasm a quiet adventurer

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    Dodged a couple of buzzards in Big Bend last week...

    Returned through the Hill Country and damned near got a turkey just northeast of Brackettville...

    As mentioned earlier, certain birds and a few older gentlemen urinate on their legs to dissipate heat...

    NFE
    #20