Bird strikes are a concern at every Airport. Efforts to remove them in a safe and humane manner are proving effective at Long Beach Airport (LGB).
With the use of traps made by local Boy Scouts, Airport Operations and the South Bay Wildlife Rehab (SBWR) work diligently to collect, remove from the airfield, and safely release the birds at least 200 miles from Palos Verdes.
"These traps are ideal because they can hold live birds with no threat of harm and you can leave the birds in there safely for a significant time," said Christina Jones, Assistant Director at SBWR.
Despite such measures to control the bird population at the Airport, there may never be a complete end to the problem. Fall and winter are traditionally a popular time for migrant birds to land at LGB, but in the last week Jones has been to the Airport five times to collect birds.
An adult male Cooper's Hawk sits in a trap made by the Boys Scouts
Earlier this year a bird was caught in a corporate jet. The bird strike caused thousands of dollars in damages to the plane.
Damage to the jet engine
Jones takes her job as a volunteer seriously. Her private business taking care of indoor plants pays her bills and allows her to constantly tend to the birds, some needing an hourly feeding.
"I just feel like we do such awful things to Mother Earth and it's my way of giving back," said Jones. "Through my own business I can work, then feed the rescued birds, work, then feed." Jones reminisces that she was inspired as a little girl to lend a hand. "The song 'Feed the Birds" from the film Mary Poppins made me cry as a child," she said.
The SBWR collects 1400 birds a year and is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization. To find out more visit: www.SBWR.org.