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.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

70,000 Birds Killed To Clear New York City Flight Paths

But bird strikes are still on the rise.

01/15/2017 01:10 am ET | Updated 3 days ago

Mary Papenfuss Trends reporter, The Huffington Post

Nearly 70,000 birds have been killed in a bid to make flight paths safer for New York City-area planes since 2009 — but it doesn’t appear to have reduced bird strikes.

The slaughter was triggered by the accident eight years ago that forced hero pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger to land in the Hudson River after his plane engines sucked up several geese.

According to statistics compiled by The Associated Press, after the killings, bird strikes by planes taking off or landing at New York’s LaGuardia and New Jersey’s Newark airports actually increased. The airports tallied 158 strikes per year in the five years before the Hudson River accident and an average of 299 per year in the six years after it — even though tens of thousands of gulls, starlings, geese and other birds were killed after the emergency river landing.

At Kennedy Airport, which routinely killed birds before Sullenberger’s crash because it’s on a major migration route, the number of reported strikes has also increased — though the number of birds killed has dropped slightly.

The killings — and statistics — are disheartening to bird lovers. “There has to be a long-term solution that doesn’t rely so extensively on killing birds and also keeps us safe in the sky,” said Jeffrey Kramer, of GooseWatch NYC.

Despite the numbers, airport officials are convinced the killing programs have made flights safer because there hasn’t been a similar Sullenberger crash.


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