Tag Archives: loss of habitat

more on bird strikes

Everyone’s jumping on the bird strike bandwagon — “it’s a problem waiting to happen,” “risk of catstrophic collisions with planes is rising” — but this is a man-made problem. Look at the siting of airports on the edges of marshy swampy lands that provide wonderful habitat for birds. Look at the explosion of the Canada geese population because people insist on creating lovely expansive lawns and golf courses that geese love. Couple that with the downtick in hunting and, yeah,  you’ve got a problem.

Here’s a neat chart:


Large birds (over 4 pounds) involved in the most collisions with aircraft since 1990:

Bird Collisions with aircraft
Canada goose 1,152
Turkey vulture 354
Great blue heron 220
Bald eagle 111
Sandhill crane 77
Snow goose 75
Double-crested cormorant 60

Sources: U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Federal Aviation Administration


I predict this will be a boon for falconers who want to fly birds at airports. It’s also a great opportunity for dog handlers and species like border collies who herd and chase by instinct. At least 20 airports already use dogs to control the wildlife.


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