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Audubon Society Takes On Bird Strikes

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In the May-June issue of Audubon magazine, Todd Petty describes how the Audubon Society is taking an innovative approach, collaborating with the Dayton International Airport to see if they can reduce birdstrikes. Currently, many airports mow large areas of turf. These large open spaces can be very attractive to birds, including birds like geese and sea gulls that are large enough to cause severe damage if they collide with an airplane. The Dayton airport will be transforming up to 1,100 acres of land surrounding the airport to tallgrass prairie. The idea is that larger birds avoid areas with tall vegetation that makes it more difficult for them to see predators. If the experiment works, airports around the country could replant native grasses. The tallgrass prairie will also require less equipment, pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers to maintain while creating habitat for smaller birds like sparrows and meadowlarks who hide in areas with taller vegetation and pose far less danger to airplanes. Check out “Safer Skies,” and the great articles in the rest of the May-June issue of Audubon magazine.

 Petty, Todd. "Safer Skies." Audubon. May-June 2014: 14.