Bird Strike Committee Proceedings


Date of this Version



Abstract of paper presented at Bird Strike Committee USA/Canada Meeting, Lake Mary and Sanford, Florida, August 18–21, 2008.


General Mitchell International Airport (MKE) located in Milwaukee, WI, has many man-made perching sites used by hawks. Several of these sites need to be addressed to improve air operations safety because of the preference by redtailed hawks. The first perching sites addressed at MKE were six lamp posts at the base of the 128th Air Refueling Wing of the Wisconsin Air National Guard, which were used daily by red-tailed hawks. In order to mitigate the perching, umbrella skeletons (Daddi Long Legs™ or Bird Spider™) were recommended to be attached to the top of each lamp post. After installation of the skeletons, perching was reduced from daily to none. The effectiveness of the skeletons on the lamp posts led to a consultation with FAA technicians to request the skeletons be placed on top of several pieces of FAA equipment (i.e., glide slope towers). During these same meetings, the technicians stated plastic cable ties could be used on the antennae and obstruction lights on the glide slopes as a deterrent for red-tailed hawk perching. It has been commonly mentioned that these devices cannot be installed because of interference with sensitive equipment; therefore, an evaluation was conducted. Cable ties and an umbrella skeleton were attached to one of three glide slopes and a flight check was conducted to determine if these devices might interfere with equipment operation. Anti-perching equipment did not interfere with glide slope operation; therefore, an umbrella skeleton and cable ties are scheduled to be placed on one additional glide slope at MKE. There are ongoing adjustments for cable tie spacing and required number for effectiveness but these devices have reduced the perching area used be red-tailed hawks at MKE. Further research is necessary to determine longevity, effectiveness, and potential interference issues of these devices.