A bird strike happens when an aircraft and bird collide in the air. While these incidents are not uncommon, they usually don’t do anything more than create a loud noise, rarely causing accidents.
Still, pilots must go through rigorous training to deal with a bird strike, and in the event of a bird (or flock of birds) taking out an engine, they are trained on flying with only one engine.
Bird strikes to both engines are very rare, but have happened. Remember the Miracle on the Hudson? After the plane hit a flock of Canada geese and blew out both engines, Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger safely landed on the Hudson River.
Though the majority of strikes to civil aircraft in the U.S. involve birds, runway collisions with other animals, such as deer, turtles, coyotes, bats, skunks and alligators, have also been reported, according to the FAA.