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Keeping Airports Birds-Free w/ Birds

Birds have always been one of a plane's worst enemies, why? It's because even a bird as small as a starlet can break the windshield of a plane taking-off or landing. Birds can also be sucked into engines causing severe damage. What makes it even worse is that an airport is paradise for birds. The flat land and wide expanses of mowed down grass fields can reveal many otherwise unseen prey.

Many airports use different methods to try to prevent an accident like what happened in October of 1960 when a passenger turboprop (a Lockheed Electra) flew into a flock of starlings shortly after departing from Boston's Logan International Airport, shutting down 3 out of the 4 engines and the Electra, without adequate power, crashed into Boston Harbor. Only 10 of the 72 on board survived, the most fatalities from a bird accident to date.

Surprisingly, one of the most effective ways of prevent birds straying into the skies above an airport is through other birds. That's right, many airports use falconers who have trained birds-of-prey as a way to prevent a bird accident. One of them, Canada's busiest airport, Toronto's Pearson Internaitonal Airport, even has a bald eagle named Ivan to scare off Canadian geese.