[Tweeters] Bloody Skies: The Fight to Reduce Deadly Bird-Plane Collisions

Dennis Paulson dennispaulson at comcast.net
Sun Nov 17 13:02:29 PST 2013


Thanks for the info; the article is very interesting!

From reading between the lines in lists of birds killed (mostly) and trapped by Wildlife Services (the USDA people who cull the birds), the culling extends to far more than Canada Geese. From these lists, I suspect that just about any bird that hangs around airports, down to passerine size, is being shot or trapped. Not that I want planes downed by birds, but there should be more of an effort to think clearly about this problem.

There should be strict controls on the lower size limits of what is culled, as I can't imagine individual swallows (>1200 killed in 2009) or Horned Larks (>1000) or meadowlarks (>2000) bringing down a plane. The swallows may come in dense flocks; the larks and meadowlarks probably not. I realize that small birds are hit by planes all the time, but at what size do they actually cause damage? You can obtain (through FOIA) a list of animals killed each year by Wildlife Services, but I don't know if you can unearth the numbers of them specifically killed at airports.

Bud Anderson, working with Steve Osmek, the airport wildlife biologist, is doing a great job of trapping raptors at SeaTac to mitigate the problem, but I don't know if the same is being done at airports all over the country. At the very least, that should become standard protocol.

Dennis Paulson

On Nov 17, 2013, at 12:02 PM, tweeters-request at mailman1.u.washington.edu wrote:

> Message: 11

> Date: Sat, 16 Nov 2013 16:16:22 -0800

> From: "Diane W" <diane_weinstein at msn.com>

> Subject: [Tweeters] Bloody Skies: The Fight to Reduce Deadly

> Bird-Plane Collisions

> To: "Tweeters" <tweeters at u.washington.edu>

> Message-ID: <BAY167-DS39567B6EEC0412D45CB23B8DE50 at phx.gbl>

> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"


> In the National Geographic Daily News is an interesting article on bird-plane strikes.


> Bloody Skies: The Fight to Reduce Deadly Bird-Plan Collisions

> Why doesnâ•˙t the FAA adopt avian radar tracking to help pilots avoid colliding with birds?


> See: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/10/131108-aircraft-bird-strikes-faa-radar-science/#close-modal


> You may need to register to read the article. I was able to bypass registering the first time, but was not able to do so a second time.


> Some key points and excerpts from the article:

> - According to Capt. Chesley B. ╲Sully╡ Sullenberger, the risk of airplanes striking birds is as great today as it was when he landed his crippled jet on the Hudson River.

> - None of the National Transportation Safety Board recommendations have been fully implemented. Instead an aggressive wildlife culling effort has and is continuing to be done.

> - Stepped up USDA killings havenâ•˙t materially reduced the number of Canada Geese strikes. The culling does nothing to prevent collisions with migrating birds.

> - Avian radar along with the knowledge of bird migration patterns can be used to reduce collisions with birds, but it is not being done at any significant level.

> - Politics and reliance on the USDA to kill wildlife is keeping avian radar from being used.

> - Seattle-Tacoma International Airport installed and has been using an Accipiter Radar system.

> - Capt. Sullenberger states ╲Thereâ•˙s always this constant tension between doing whatâ•˙s easiest, whatâ•˙s quickest, whatâ•˙s least costly, versus taking the time, making the effort, to doing it right.╡

> Diane Weinstein

> Issaquah

Dennis Paulson
1724 NE 98 St.
Seattle, WA 98115
dennispaulson at comcast.net

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