Thursday, 26 August 2010

The other Air Force Falcons.

Birds and Aircraft don't mix. Just ask Sullenberger about how well his plane dealt with the multiple bird-strikes. This is even more the case in high performance military jets, which are even more expensive to fix. So, what's an Air Force base to do? In the latest issue of "The Wildlife Professional" there was an article (p. 52) with a great number of approaches laid out a bunch of approaches, from Habitat modification to Non-lethal dispersal, and capture and translocation. Well, an Air Force base has an idea I think stands out because it's neat - they're fighting falcons with falcons.

More likely, they're using them to harass prey. Falconry has been around for thousands of years now, and I've always been fond of it. Although there's occasional bird smuggling (primarily to the Middle East), on the whole falconers are a force for good, in terms of outreach and education about bird of prey conservation. Many of them volunteer at wildlife rehab centres. So the idea of using falconry to limit other human-wildlife conflict is appealing to me.

Side note - anyone else notice the B-2s flying around Fairbanks about a week ago? I can definitely see how those could be mistaken for alien spaceships! If you didn't know what you were looking at, you could easily say "That's not from this planet."

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