From the Times Ledger:
There were 153 bird strikes at John F. Kennedy International, LaGuardia and Newark airports in the first seven months of 2009, compared to 139 strikes during the same time in 2008, according to data released last Thursday by the federal government. More bird strikes occurred at JFK than anywhere else in the country, with 30 strikes incurring serious damage to planes since 1990, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
Much public attention was focused on bird strikes following what became known as the Miracle on the Hudson Jan. 15, 2009, when Sullenberger safely landed the 155 passengers on US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson after hitting a flock of Canada geese upon takeoff from LaGuardia Airport.
City officials ramped up efforts to reduce the bird population around JFK and LaGuardia and a Port Authority spokeswoman said that over the past year the agency had hired a staff wildlife biologists to help them determine how to best combat the bird problem.
“We’re also having an independent assessment done of our wildlife hazard management plan,” the spokeswoman said.
Thousands of geese have been removed from area airports in the past year, including 1,250 geese at LaGuardia and 1,235 from other areas, the spokeswoman said.
The Port Authority has ramped up efforts to “discourage people, especially taxi drivers, from feeding the wildlife or leaving garbage around,” the spokeswoman said.
FAA officials said they have added new programs to better control bird populations around airports, including making the national wildlife strike database available to the public in April 2009. The FAA began collecting data in the 1990s for use by the federal government, academics and researchers, but only portions of it had been available to the public prior to last spring.
FAA officials said they are now developing a program to conduct wildlife hazard assessments at about 2,000 airports around the country, which they expect to launch later this year.
Photo from 10000 Birds