Bird Strike Committee Proceedings


Date of this Version

May 1999


Central and Southwestern Ontario is one of the largest migratory flyways for raptors in North America. The expanse of airfields and prey availability make airfields attractive to migrating raptors, which may result in an increase in over wintering birds. These birds do not readily scare with conventional wildlife control methods and have high public profile. Even though the strike risk is moderate, raptors routinely make the top ten list for strikes from all bird species (8%) at Canadian Airports. The potential for damage from a collision with raptor species is high due to their size and weight. It has been suggested that the live trapping and relocation of raptors has limited application and success. The banding of trapped and relocated raptors from Lester B. Pearson International Airport (Toronto, ON) and Windsor Airport (Windsor, ON) suggests that this approach to control is very effective. Of the 1502 Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) relocated from Pearson International Airport over the past 15 years, 4 % returned to the airfield and that less than 2% returned within the same migratory period (90 days from initial encounter). The data collected also indicates that the concept of resident birds being replaced by naïve birds is not accurate because the majority of birds caught at Pearson are trapped during migration and therefore are by definition not resident birds.