Eastern Wildlife Damage Control Conferences


Date of this Version

September 1985


The Air Force's Bird-Aircraft Strike Hazard (BASH) Team has been dealing with bird hazards to aircraft for over ten years, primarily through awareness programs, direct assistance to military bases, and through R&D aimed at world-wide BASH reduction. As with any problem where a biological system (in this case, birds) is involved, diversification is important in developing solutions. The BASH Team has recommended a variety of methods for working with hazards from birds. One area of particular concern is the nuisance of pest birds in hangars. These structures are extremely alluring to birds, which seek the roof-supporting I-beams and bars for nesting sites and shelter. In addition to the nest materials and feathers which fall onto aircraft and equipment, bird droppings can easily create a messy maintenance nightmare for those who clean the hangar floors and aircraft.

For the most part, Air Force hangar bird problems have centered on the three pest bird species: Rock Doves (domestic pigeon), (Columba livia), European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), and House Sparrows (Passer domesticus). Experience has shown that observation of the types and numbers of birds present, as well as their habits, is a crucial first step to dealing with the situation. Additionally, documentation of cleanup costs, damaged parts, morale problems, etc., can be helpful in gaining support from commanders for programs to remove birds.

The purpose of this paper is to provide a better knowledge of structural bird problems and a survey of methods which have offered varied success on Air Force installations. One of these methods has proved to be very effective for worst-case aircraft hangar problems and will be discussed in detail.