Bird Strike Committee Proceedings


Date of this Version

August 2000


When falconry is employed at airfields, not all birds can be induced to leave. Most do, but some do not go far, then return soon after the patrolling falconer drives away. There is evidence that falcon silhouettes cause fear responses in passerines, some corvids and waterfowl. Dr. Conrad Lorenz towed a silhouette of a goose over young fowl with little response. When the same silhouette was towed in a reverse direction, these same chicks exhibited fear response. Falcon decals are placed on windowpanes to prevent wild birds from colliding into them. Dr. Jeffrey R. Jenkins D.V.M. indicated that since the decals were installed that bird collisions with his office windows had ceased. Hunters use huge plastic goose decoys to attract wild geese. These decoys are so large that they also are blinds for two hunters. The large size of the decoys have on most occasions been found to attract more geese than the standard "spread" of life size goose decoys. The converse could be true also. A large falcon silhouette/kite could be flown towed behind the falconers vehicle in between live falcon flights. Because of the large size and increased visibility of the bird scaring kite, it need not be towed at such a height that it would become a navigational hazard to aircraft. Twenty five feet may be high enough. There is currently a bird scaring kite/helium balloon on the market employed in agriculture. There may be a way to employ these kites at airfields.