More fun and japes with the animal kingdom. We all need a laugh right now.

I read yesterday that some birds are more likely than others to be killed by traffic. Those with bigger brains can actually learn traffic patterns and predict driver behaviour. However, there’s a trade off. Bigger birds are heavier and are hence slower into the air, and hence are more likely to be hit if surprised. I can vouch for that. I’m going to reprise a post from years ago to indicate I already know all you need to know about the aerodynamics of big, stupid, slow birds.

The RTA bit is towards the end, but I think your journey there may amuse you.


Two things about peacocks. No, three. One, a peacock’s brain is so small it makes a goldfish look like a candidate for Mensa. When someone coined the term ‘birdbrained’ they had peacocks in mind. Two, the village where we live has a thriving flock of the damned things living wild. Three, peacock shit can burn a hole in the paintwork on your car and then etch the metal. Anything plastic or fibreglass just melts. It’s not good for your lawn either.

Sorry, four things. Four, they’re heavy. I hit one once in a Transit. It was like hitting a vulture. It took out the nearside light cluster and most of the grill, and its beak punctured the radiator. Honestly, there would have been less damage if we’d had one of those frozen chickens fired at us by the people who test aircraft components to check their resistance to birdstrikes.

Five things. Sorry, I forgot one. Five, peacocks explode on impact. They must live on a diet of TNT. Under the bonnet it looked as if a small Ancient Greek had been trying to divine the future. Cleaning part-cooked entrails off an engine before the guys at the garage will go anywhere towards repairing the bodywork damage is not a job for the faint hearted.



See? I was well ahead of the researchers at Université Paris-Sud. The only difference ‘twixt me them and me is I didn’t get published in Royal Society Open Science. Were it not for the Royal Society handle, I’d expect this to be an online vanity publisher.