Air War on Sea-Tac Birds

A jetliner's engine fire last week, caused by a duck, came as a reminder of the hazard wild birds pose for airports, but a biologist says ongoing efforts have reduced bird strikes here. When a green-wing teal flew into the engine of an approaching...

* The airport plants clover that is distasteful to geese and puts nets over nearby ponds to keep birds out.

Every day, Osmek or one of his assistants go around the airport and shoot off their noise-making guns to scare birds away.

"If it's in the air, it can be hit by a plane," Osmek said. "If it flies, it can certainly come into harm's way."

Types of birds hit most by aircraft in Washington state, 1990-2005:

Seagull, 95

Canada goose, 44

European starling, 41

Killdeer, 26

Barn swallow, 20

Source: Federal Aviation Administration

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