Bird Strike Committee Proceedings


Date of this Version

August 2001


It is well known that, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, there is a strong seasonal element in the annual pattern of bird strikes. This study undertakes a statistical analysis of an 11year data set collected at Dublin Airport, Ireland. It attempts to identify statistically significant trends in the seasonal trajectories of bird strikes, both in general and in respect of individual species and in comparison with seasonal trends in the abundance of birds generally and at Dublin Airport in particular. Hypotheses relating to the idea of “open” (i.e. intervals of through-put of naïve and young birds) and “closed” (i.e. intervals when throughput is declining or at a minimum) periods are tested. The results are discussed in the context of the probable ability of birds to learn to avoid aircraft. If birds possess a spatio-temporal memory then it is likely that this ability, or the lack of it, may explain some of the observed trends in the seasonal distribution of bird strikes.