SAN JOSE -- The holidays are hard on birds, at least those with plump, tasty bodies. But bird-kind can be hard on us too, and not just in Hitchcock films.
For the jet-set, birds pose a deadly threat: Flying into an engine during takeoff or landing, they can send a plane into a fatal plunge. Airlines paint eyes on the engines because apparently birds find a 150,000-pound jetliner scarier if it's looking at them. But they don't always fall for that.
So in a move to make flying a little less fretful for people, San Jose leaders this week will allow airport staffers more ammo in their battle against the birds. For real. The proposed ordinance modification will let airport staffers and contracted biologists shoot at birds to clear them from the airfield.
OK, they plan to fire blanks mostly, just to scare them off. But they'll have permission to load birdshot if their feathered foes don't get the flock out.
"At some point," said Mineta San Jose International Airport spokeswoman Rosemary Barnes, "all those other measures aren't enough."
Actually, airport staffers have already done this. But current city law only lets cops and military types fire guns at the airport, so they want the City Council to approve the change.
"It kind of clears it up administratively so we're in compliance with the municipal code," said Airport Manager Curt Eikerman.
As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.