There was relief on board Continental Flight 99 following a fly-in with a flock of geese.
Port Authority officials said the pilots decided to return to Newark Liberty International Airport shortly after take off Wednesday when they reported a bird strike.
The 301 passengers and crew were headed to Hong Kong when it took off at 6:30 pm Wednesday but landed back in New Jersey safely without injuries.
Ground crew spotted blood on the plane's nose and left-wing engine, officials said. But the airline said Thursday that the Boeing 777 did not appear to be damaged.
Ron Marisco, a Port Authority spokesman, said there were warnings of migrating birds in the area.
Quite a few local flights have had similar experiences -- none more memorable than the Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger's US Airways flight that was forced to ditch in the Hudson River after hitting a flock of geese and losing power in both engines after taking off from LaGuardia in January 2009. All 150 passengers survived.