A Louisiana woman said she was “completely terrified” when a flock of birds swarmed her car on a bridge in the New Orleans area on August 13, just moments after her mom called to warn her.
Dashcam footage captured by Michelle McKenzie Poche shows Poche getting a call from her mother warning her about “blue marlins” on the bridge, and her shocked reaction as purple martins fly into her car, hitting the windshield.
“Despite the laughter in the video I was completely terrified,” Poche told Storyful. “It was 100% a nervous, almost crying laughter. When I first got to them I thought they would stay to the side of the road but they came up to me and then they kept coming,” she said.
“Every time I thought they were done more would come. There’s no shoulder on that part of the bridge and there were cars behind me so I did not want to slam on my brakes, but I did decelerate some and just kept thinking I can’t swerve and lose control of my car, and please don’t let my windshield break,” she said.
In a statement to local news outlet WDSU, the Causeway Police Department said purple martins have roosted under the bridge during their migration to Brazil for the past 40 years.
“The birds try to avoid traffic. However, due to their numbers – sometimes tens of thousands – some may overfly the bridge’s roadway,” police said.
“If a driver sees birds, it’s best to use common sense, slow down, watch the road, but keep moving. In a few seconds the birds will be gone,” they said. Credit: Michelle McKenzie Poche via Storyful