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


Date of this Version

December 2006


Published in J. Raptor Res. 40(1):76-80.


From 1990 through 2003, 52,493 wildlife collisions with aircraft were reported to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); 97% of these incidents involved birds. The approximate cost to the civil aviation industry in the U.S.A. due to collisions of birds with aircraft (hereafter referred to as bird strikes) was $163.51 million in direct monetary losses and associated costs for the 14 year period (Cleary et al. 2004). Strikes with raptors (Falconidae and Accipitridae; including vultures, Cathartidae)accounted for approximately 28% of reported aircraft down time resulting from known-species bird strikes (known species =182942 hr; total for all birds = 244510 hr) and represented a $12.9 million loss to U.S. civil aviation (Cleary et al. 2004). However, these figures are misleading relative to actual costs; of 7265 reports of wildlife strikes involving damage to the aircraft, only 1759 reports provided cost estimates (Cleary et al. 2004).