U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



2017. Pp. 13-19.


Proceedings of the 17th Wildlife Damage Management Conference. (D. J. Morin, M. J. Cherry, Eds).

This document is a U.S. government work and is not subject to copyright in the United States.


Wildlife-aircraft collisions (wildlife strikes) pose a serious risk to aircraft and cost civil aviation in the United States an estimated $957 million annually. Blackbirds and doves in particular have caused some of the most devastating aircraft accidents related to wildlife strikes in the United States and Europe. Birds perching on security fences and other structures are a problem at airports and other locations where birds are not desired. Reduction of available perching sites should make airports less attractive to these species and thus reduce the risk of damaging wildlife strikes. We conducted a series of experiments to determine if 3 species of birds hazardous to aviation [i.e., mourning doves (Zenaida macroura), common grackles (Quiscalus quiscula), and brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus atar)] were deterred from perching sites at the top of a 3-stranded security fence by the application of Razor–ribbon™ Helical razor-wire. We determined bird use (for perching) of 3-stranded barbed wire security fences, with and without the addition of razor-wire using 6 birds each in 2 3.6- x 8.5- x 2.4-m flight cages. Treatment perches consisted of the top portion of a 3-stranded barbed wire security fence (2.5-m in length) with 2.5-m of razor-wire attached. Control perches consisted of an identical portion of security fence without the razor-wire. During the experimental period, mourning doves were observed on razor-wire protected fences twice as often, brown-headed cowbirds were observed similar amounts of time, and common grackles were observed 4 times as often as they were on unprotected fences. We found no evidence that razor-wire provided any deterrence to birds that perch on security fences.

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