In a bizarre scene straight out of a horror movie, hundreds of birds flew into the NASCAR Hall of Fame Tuesday night in Charlotte and crashed to the sidewalk, Carolina Waterfowl Rescue said.
The nonprofit said it received a call about 11 p.m. from someone reporting birds by the dozens were dying as they dived straight at the buildingâs windows.
It counted 310 chimney swifts, a third of which were dead when rescuers arrived, the agency said.
A video posted on Facebook by witness Holl Belle shows the birds striking windows and doors near the main entrance. She says in the video that this went on for more than an hour.
âDonât let them hit you. Thereâs something wrong with them,â someone says in the video. âItâs a whole flock. Thatâs odd.â
The scene got stranger still, she wrote, when some birds got up and tried âkilling themselves again … running into different buildings.â
The museum closes at 5 p.m., so only staff were on site at the time. The adjacent office tower houses the Charlotte Observer, NASCAR offices and Duke Energy employees, among others.
Belle, who says she works in the building, reported that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police picked up the birds, after telling employees to go back in the building.
Carolina Waterfowl Rescue is seeking donations to treat the injured birds. It says 100 of the birds were âseverely injured with broken wings, legs or other fractures.â
âThe other third appears stunned and will hopefully be released in a few days,â the group said on Facebook.
State biologists say birds are most likely to fly into buildings in the fall when they begin migrating.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology says about 1 billion birds in the United States die each year after flying into windows.
âSome of these nighttime collisions are due to chance, but much more often the nocturnal migrants are lured to their deaths by the lights,â the lab reports.