Recently, there was an incident where a Delta Airlines charter flight carrying the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team was struck by an "unidentified object". Delta's official statement claims that
Delta flight 8935, operating from Minneapolis to Chicago-Midway as a charter flight for the Oklahoma City Thunder, likely encountered a bird while on descent into Chicago. The aircraft, a Boeing 757-200, landed safely without incident; customers have since deplaned and maintenance teams are evaluating.
While I do not agree with the UFO label that this story seems to have run with, I am shocked that a bird (especially at such an altitude) could cause such severe damage to the nose cone (even at such speeds).
Is this characteristic of a bird strike and how severe would this incident have been had the collision been with the windshield?