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News, little truths and wisdom regarding Pest Bird & Animal Wildlife Control, Falconry, and Birds of Prey....


 

(CNN) — Ten years after what came to be known as the "Miracle on the Hudson," it's still amazing that everyone aboard US Airways Flight 1549 survived. 

Shortly after pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger took off from New York's LaGuardia Airport on January 15, 2009 with 154 passengers and crew, two eight-pound geese flew into each of the plane's twin engines. Suddenly both engines weren't working and Sullenberger faced a gut-wrenching decision. He had to choose between trying to reach an airport runway, or attempting a daring water landing. As we now know, Sullenberger aimed for the Hudson River -- which  investigators eventually saidwas the only choice he could have made that would have saved the plane. 

Flight 1549 reminds us that we're not the only creatures flying in the sky. It raised awareness about aircraft bird strikes and prompted National Transportation Safety Board investigators to warn airports "to take action to mitigate wildlife hazards before a dangerous event occurs."

From 1990 to 2016, the annual number of reported bird strikes in the US increased from 1,850 to 13,408, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. That's up more than 700%. Globally, from 2008-2015, the International Civil Aviation Organization said nearly 98,000 bird strikes were reported in 105 nations. The estimated cost of all aviation bird strikes, according to the European Space Agency, is more than $1 billion a year. 

When airplanes and birds collide, you often get "snarge." Scientists at the Smithsonian Institution came up with the term to describe tissue and gooey remains that are still attached to aircraft after a collision, said bird strike expert Mike Begier, who took part in the investigation of Flight 1549. 

The big lesson learned from Flight 1549, Begier said, was, "It can happen. It was no longer an abstraction. We almost had that catastrophic event with the Miracle on the Hudson, but obviously there was a highly skilled crew on that plane and that did not happen." Now, with heightened awareness and better airport management of wildlife, Begier said another bird strike as terrifying as Flight 1549 is perhaps a little less likely. 

Andm it's not just birds. Hundreds of strikes are reported involving bats -- and even reptiles. At New York's JFK airport, hundreds of diamondback terrapin turtles have been known to crawl from Jamaica Bay onto airport property -- sometimes even getting onto runways. 

Preventative strategies

The most effective way to force birds away from airports is to take away their habitat, wildlife is going to come in for three reasons: food, water or shelter. Remove those and you'll force birds to go elsewhere.

As a final option, some airports, such as New York's LaGuardia and JFK have resorted to rounding up geese and gassing them to death. Emerging technology may provide other tools. The FAA has spent more than 10 years trying to perfect special radar that detects birds. It has struggled to track birds because they're fairly small, but experts said the FAA has been improving it. 

Jet engine manufacturers have tried to design screens to protect engine intakes from birds, but so far, experts say nothing has worked well enough to be practical due to air-flow and excessive weight issues.

At the time of Flight 1549, bird-strike avoidance training was not included in US Airways' ground school curriculum or the simulator syllabus, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

Industry lobby organization Airlines for America said in a 2016 statement that pilots for its members "undergo extensive flight training" which includes "preventative strategies." 

Sullenberger's former employer US Airways has merged with American Airlines, which said in a statement this week that "bird strike preparation for our pilots is an important and standard component of training."

Achieving zero bird strikes at airports would be difficult, if not impossible, but the goal would be trying to get as close to zero as possible, said Begier. "We can set benchmarks -- and that's actually a discussion that's going on in the airport community right now."

Experts say focusing on effective wildlife management and pilot training will go a long way toward preventing future incidents like Flight 1549. The outcome of the next bird strike emergency may not be as miraculous. 

CNN's Aaron Cooper contributed to this report. 

A Canada goose is living its best life at a Winnipeg car wash, and nobody can catch it

As reported by NICK FARIS | www.montrealgazette.com

 

Hawkeye staff rounding up geeseThe chase is on in Winnipeg... for one lonely Canada Goose who has decided to take up residence at a quite comfy and logical place (at least, from the bird's perspective) - a car wash, offering water and heat, as well as plenty of company and treats from patrons and local visitors. Apparently, the bird does not mind vehicles but, is proving to be very skilled in evading people and capture.

Staff at the Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre near Winnipeg have been unsuccessful in apprehending the squatter thus far. Quote: "Swearing by the method of trial and error, the wildlife centre has tried to capture the goose by sidling straight up to the bird, by cornering it and by sneaking up from behind. Wielding a fishing net and bed sheets proved unsuccessful, as did a volleyball net procured from a nearby elementary school. The volunteers have gotten within five feet of the bird on foot and within three feet when they used the car as an initial decoy, but the remaining distance looms large." 

Ultimately, the plan is to catch the goose, examine and treat any injuries, and offer a safe home until spring. 

Unfortunately, chances of catching the pest bird by hand are slim at best. Geese are usually wary of humans and as prey have a strong 'fight or flight' instinct.

At Hawkeye, we employ a number of methods (and often in conjunction)  to chase, capture, and relocate geese.

 

Although not a pleasant topic, there is a lot to learn about the dangers of raccoon feces that could be pertinent to your health and safety as a home owner.

When living in an urban development such as the Greater Toronto Area, the presence of raccoons on your property is difficult to avoid. At least 95% of raccoons carry a parasite called Bylisacaris procyonis, otherwise known as Raccoon Roundworm. These parasites produce eggs inside of the raccoons intestines, which end up in their feces. Although not harmful to raccoons, these roundworm eggs can be very harmful to humans. Most would not intentionally ingest these excrements, but once they dry and turn to a powder-like substance, the eggs can become airborne and ingested through your nose or mouth unintentionally. These eggs can even lay dormant in the environment for up to a couple years. But once ingested, they hatch into larvae and begin to infect their host and travel throughout their body causing very serious side effects such as nausea, liver enlargement, blindness, loss of muscle control, and even induce comas.

Luckily, raccoons are very tidy animals in the sense that they usually chose one spot to defecate, and will continually return to this same site. This location is referred to as a latrine. If you’re one of the unlucky individuals who has a latrine site on their property, it is important to deal with this situation immediately for the safety of yourself and your family. At Hawkeye we have trained professionals that can provide permanent removal of nuisance animals as well as completely sanitize, disinfect, and deodorize your latrine site. Our services will eliminate your chances of ingesting these eggs and deter the raccoons from returning the this same location.

Please visit the contact us section of our website so we can help you with your nuisance wildlife as soon as possible. Also, if you'd like to learn more about our cleaning process for large jobs, please see our section on “Steam Cleaning".

geese formationCanada Geese are one of the many migratory birds found in Canada who migrate to a more southern climate during the winter months. Most geese winter in southern U.S. and Mexico, but due to the noticeable changes in our climate, many geese are still wintering in the southern most regions of central and western Canada, where winters are not lasting nearly as long as they have in the past. Many geese are still migrating, but are just not travelling as far south as previously recorded.

Almost everyone in Canada has seen geese flying in a V shape formation, but many people are still unsure of the direct benefit of this formation to the geese. Geese fly in a V formation for one main reason, energy conservation.  

Migrating can be a long and tiresome journey, and being an egotistical goose in this situation, can lead to mortality through starvation or over exertion of energy. Thankfully through evolution, geese and other migratory birds have developed behavioural traits that allow them to work as a team versus as an individual, providing a mutually beneficial outcome for the entire flock.

Each goose shares the responsibility of leading the flock. This position is the most difficult to hold due to the fact that the leading goose is subject to the largest amount of wind resistance, and consequently the largest energy expenditure. Each goose behind the lead flies slightly higher than the goose in front of them. This reduces the amount of wind resistance each successive goose is experiencing, in turn reducing the energy output required to migrate. All members of the flock are willing to take turns in this position, only to spend an equal amount of time flying in a low energy cost situation. Migratory birds are truly the epitome of teamwork, and would experience a large population decrease every year during migration if it wasn’t for this wonderful evolutionary adaptation.

 

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