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Posted by on Mar 23, 2012 in Featured, Photography, Wildlife | 4 comments

Friday Photo 40: Bird Strike

My cameras have been stashed away for the past few months as I move work spaces from one end of the “office” to the other. Packing stuff up was pretty straightforward. Unpacking on the other hand has turned into a bit of a hit or miss affair. Today I found my little point-and-shoot in the bottom of one the boxes and had a quick scan of the memory card to see what was on it.

Amongst some neat snaps of family and friends and the odd social function, I found a handful of pictures that I took late last year in the Sabi Sands area. Most of them are pretty regulation safari tourist stuff, but there was also this interesting one:

Bird Strike (c) Greg Pillhofer, 2012 [Click to Enlarge]

I call it “Bird Strike” for (hopefully) very obvious reasons. The impression left by a fairly dusty bird on a window pane under the eaves of the room we stayed in at the incredible Lion Sands Ivory Lodge. Judging by the clear definition of some of the birds’ features on the window, I think it must have hit with a fair bit of force. I’m glad to say that there was no sign of a body on the ground below the window.

That said though, I guess it is possible that the Lodge staff could have cleared the body from the scene when we weren’t around. But I like to think the feathered fellow, after overcoming the initial shock, made a safe getaway. They build them tough in that part of the world.

Pretty freaky image, don’t you agree?

“Bird Strike” © Greg Pillhofer, 2012
Original Capture: 16 December 2011, 15:53
Lion Sands Ivory Lodge, Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Mpumalanga, South Africa
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V | f/5 | 1/60 sec | ISO-400 | 27mm | Auto Flash


  1. Hey G

    I could not agree with you more, very freaky shot. I’m afraid that I’ going to go with the theory that the staff removed all evidence, or at least any evidence lying on the ground… The imprint is so clear the our feathered friend must have really hit it quite hard. By the colour and shape I would like to be as bold as to say that I think that it was a Grey Headed Kingfisher, or the Brown Hooded…

    But a great photo non the less…

    I love it when one comes across such great discoveries. Good shot buddy!


    • Hey Rey,
      Thanks. I think you and Eksteen are probably both right about the end result of this little flight accident.

      But how the heck could you even begin to work out what sort of bird it was? Did you do a bird CSI course or something?

  2. We have a glass sliding door on the farm which has been the cause of many bird deaths over the years. They usually don’t survive because their necks break on impact. With an imprint like that, I’m pretty sure the lodge staff saved you from seeing the body.

    • Yeah okay, between you and Rey you’ve convinced me. The dreamer in me occasionally overrides the realist in me.

      I’m starting to see a skull impression in the picture now. Could be my imagination, but between Eksteen, Rey and a comment on Facebook I’ve come to accept that the birdy didn’t make it.

      And as I type that statement I start to hear Depeche Mode’s “Fly on the Windscreen” playing in my head…

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