Birds Of A Feather

Monday, April 27, 2009

Richard Dolbeer, former National Coordinator for the (USDA) Airport Wildlife Hazards Program and the man behind, discusses the newly-public FAA data on the dangers of bird strikes to commercial airplanes, and why JFK is considered one of the worst airports in the country when it comes to ornithological hazards.


Richard Dolbeer

Comments [11]

Nat from New Jersey

Following up on what Amy from Manhattan said, I was thinking the same exact thing. All the lights and visible warnings won't do any good if the birds aren't facing the airplane! I believe there is some audio-based crowd control technology that may be effective here...

Apr. 27 2009 02:54 PM
Melissa C. Beckman from Queens

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge was created in the 1950’s by Robert Moses. Since the refuge is on a natural bird migratory route, the birds would still be a presence, even if JBWR wasn’t. Though JFK originally was considerably smaller when it first opened in the 1940’s (as Idlewild Airport), the migratory route had been in existence far, far longer.

A Falconery Unit has been utilized by the Port Authority for the past 10 years. It is much more successful than shooting the birds. BTW, some of the birds are protected species.

Apr. 27 2009 12:18 PM
David A from Manhattan

Would broadcasting distressed or warning bird recordings, or sounds noxious to geese from high powered loud speakers divert the birds from the flight path? Also, birds are known to be attracted to radio transmitting towers. Could dedicated towers with frequencies optimized for bird attraction be place to divert them from the flight path?

Apr. 27 2009 12:01 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Putting together the last 2 things Mr. Dolbeer said, about how lights might be used to warn off birds & the fact that most of the noise from a plane goes behind it, I wonder if it would be more economical & use less power to direct noise from the front of planes rather than light? (I'm presuming commercial planes don't fly at anywhere close to the speed of sound, so the birds would have enough warning!)

Apr. 27 2009 11:59 AM
johnjohn from NYC

I have come to a conclusion - don't go to college, don't study anything and just listen to WNYC Brian Lehrer, Lopet etc.,
You will become a genius.

Amazing discussion about Birdstrikes - wow. Contrast that to the Ditto heads of Rush Limbaugh and all other radio talk shows

Apr. 27 2009 11:54 AM

I just came in & don't know the whole radio discussion but generally these "bird strike" discussions make me nuts. THE BIRDS WERE ON THESE MIGRATORY ROUTES FOR MILLIONS OF YEARS! Many of these birds are endangered. Are you aware that the migration can take them from Venezuela to Maine? THey face enormous natural dangers as well as man made dangers on their journey.

Humans are so often incredibly arrogant. WE SHARE the planet. LIfe would be very unpleasant in a world with no birdsong, only the horrific noise of jets and greedy humans in the sky. JFK should not be where it is. And we need to take a look at our true role in the natural world, which is much more that of an out of control over-populating destructive parasite than that of a caretaker.

Apr. 27 2009 11:52 AM
Mikey Bloomey from City Hall

If we have to start changing our way of life, haven't the birds won?!

Just go about your business and go shopping.

Apr. 27 2009 11:47 AM
Berge from Long Island

JFK is listed as a wildlife refuge. I am familar with bird strikes as I was a lead Technician there for 55 yrs. The PONANYNJ has to reimberse the airline for any damage.

Apr. 27 2009 11:41 AM
Cory from Planet Earth

Of course JFK has the most strikes. It's in the midst of a massive wetland/national seashore with millions of protected nesting birds. Smart place to put an airport. Ya think?

Apr. 27 2009 11:40 AM
John Lobell from Manhattan

Hey, maybe it has to do that a bird sanctuary was located next to JFK.

Apr. 27 2009 11:38 AM
Wonky Diva from Queens

What about hawks, falcons, & other birds of prey to keep the starlings and geese in check?

Apr. 27 2009 10:11 AM

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