These Battlefield birds are returning to their home planet

Bird-watching isn’t something I’ve done a lot of while playing Battlefield games, but some players are a bit more observant than I have. One has noticed some odd behavior exhibited by birds in Battlefield 1 – specifically, achieving escape velocity and blasting off into space.

A redditor named LongBelwas uploaded a .gif captured during some Battlefield 1 play on Xbox One. Through a pair of field glasses, you can see a handful of birds, seagulls perhaps, doing lazy loops in the night against a starry sky.

Suddenly, one of the birds picks out a very specific course, flaps its wings, and appears to hit supersonic speeds before disappearing into the firmament.

It’s not clear exactly why this is happening. Perhaps Battlefield 1’s birds have fulfilled their contracts and are preparing to warp through time to take on new roles in Battlefield V, which comes out in November. It’s also possible that the birds have been made aware of some impending calamity, and have decided to return to their home among the stars – sort of like the dolphins in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Here’s the clip:

Some comments in the thread have suggested the more probable explanation, which is that the ‘birds’ are really a particle effect, and the strange-looking launch into apparent orbit is actually just the game engine ‘fading’ them in and out, rather than simply having them appear and disappear on the screen, which is much more obvious and jarring transition.

Personally, I prefer to imagine that they’re reporting back to their planet, after having witnessed the devastation human beings are capable of in the First World War.