The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Source: Flickr / Howard N2GOT (Howard Brier)

There is an old parable about the Holocaust. With a little tweaking, it translates quite well to the situation we face at Jamaica Bay today:

First they came for the starlings,
and I didn’t speak out because I needed a flight.

Then they came for the geese,
and I didn’t speak out because I needed a flight.

Then they came for the cormorants,
and I didn’t speak out because I needed a flight.

Then they came to shut down the wildlife refuge,
and why not, since there was nothing left anyway.

Well, folks, the bird Holocaust is coming to Jamaica Bay.

In 1960, an Eastern Airlines flight out of Boston crashed because the engines had sucked up a bunch of starlings.  There was a huge public outcry to get rid of starlings. Lately, we have been hearing that the geese are a major threat to jet planes. Senator Gillibrand wants to round all of them up and kill them. Well, kill them just for being what they are – geese.

This week on Channel 7, there was a big story on how the gulls in Jamaica Bay are a danger to planes.

The story was based on an interview with Steve Garber, a “Wildlife Manager for JFK during the mid-1990s.” He says that having breeding colonies of gulls in the Bay is the dumbest spot in the world” and that the gulls should be “relocated.” But relocated where?

“Jamaica Bay is supposed to be a wildlife sanctuary, not a death camp for birds and mammals.”

He added that when planes fly, “They suck in everything, so when they go through a flock like this every bird nearby will get sucked right in.” The story stated that, “The bird colony on these islands is thriving, proof of the Port Authority’s and the Federal Government’s complete failure to eliminate a threat that they know has existed for at least 40 years.”

By the way, the “islands” that they are referring to are the marsh islands, the very places that residents of the waterfront communities around the Bay – as well as the local and federal government – have been trying to protect, preserve and reconstruct, because they provide bird habitats! Duh!

Isn’t Jamaica Bay supposed to be a wildlife refuge? After they get rid of the gulls, what species will be the next culprit? After all, those jet engines “suck in everything.” The cormorants maybe? They are awfully big birds and there seem to be a lot of them around. And talking about big birds, how about getting rid of the majestic egrets and herons that draw thousands of birdwatchers to the Bay?

Well, they’re halfway there. This public (though not very) notice landed in my inbox yesterday:

USDA APHIS Notice:
OPPORTUNITY FOR PUBLIC REVIEW FINAL SUPPLEMENT TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT BIRD HAZARD REDUCTION PROGRAM: JOHN F. KENNEDY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. “Proposed off-airport hazard management activities include Mute Swan, Double-crested Cormorant, blackbird, crow, Rock Pigeon and European Starling management within a 5-mile radius of JFK. Actions to address risks from resident Canada Geese have been proposed for a seven-mile radius around JFK. “Written comments can be sent to: State Director, USDA APHIS Wildlife Services, 1930 Route 9, Castleton, NY 12033-9653, Phone: (518) 477-4837, Fax: (518) 477-4899. The review period closes on June 13, 2012.

So they plan to go after every pigeon, starling, swan, cornorant and who-knows-what-else in a five-mile radius. What’s next? Sparrows? Mourning doves? Jamaica Bay is on one of the greatest migratory flyways in the world!

What a 5-mile radius of JFK looks like (Source: Google Maps // Click to enlarge)

I went to Google Earth and drew a circle marking the five-mile radius with Jamaica Bay in the center. New parks at Pennsylvania Avenue and Fountain Avenue near the Gateway shopping center? In the killing zone. Almost all of Jamaica Bay, including the newly restored marsh islands? In the killing zone. Marsh areas east of Rockaway near Atlantic Beach? In the killing zone.

Again folks, Jamaica Bay is supposed to be a wildlife sanctuary, not a death camp for birds and mammals. And what happens when these great minds figure out that birds can actually fly from one area to another?

Environmentalists know the golden rule of ecosystems: if one species is removed, another species will take over. So if the gulls and the geese are gone, there will be more resources available for whatever species moves in to occupy their niche. And that species may be even more problematic.

National Parks Service – the federal authority that manages Jamaica Bay – is getting away with murder here! They are setting the stage for further industrial expansion into the Bay by permitting the construction of the gas pipeline metering station in the hanger at Floyd Bennett Field. There hasn’t been a peep out of them about the calls for killing the geese.

They are doing nothing to protect Gateway and the Bay. Plus, there hasn’t been a peep out of Congressman Bob Turner, who, by the way, supports hydrofracking near our watershed, and also voted to permit construction of the gas pipeline underneath the Bay.

Right now, as we speak, a USDA truck is driving around and around the new parks created (at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars) on top of the old Pennsylvania Avenue and Fountain Avenue landfills, near the Gateway shopping centers. The USDA has been doing this every day, from before dawn until after dusk, for several years now. Their sole purpose is to monitor the bird populations that are attracted to the new parks and determine whether or not they will be a threat to JFK Airport.

Mind you, one of the primary reasons that these parks were so carefully planned was to provide bird habitat!

The writing is on the wall here, folks, and we are asleep at the wheel. Getting rid of large numbers of birds will accomplish two things:

  1. It will make the Bay “safer” for jets, and
  2. Once all of those damn birds are gone and the Bay is now “safe” the real objective behind all of this can move forward: expansion of the airport by filling in parts of Jamaica Bay.

But there is a silver lining in this cloud: As all of those flights soar over the Bay, the people onboard will have a beautiful view of all of those nice, green, newly constructed marsh islands that will have created habitat for… absolutely nothing.

Ida Sanoff is a native Brooklynite and chair of the Natural Resources Protective Association, a citywide non-profit dedicated to preserving marine and shoreline habitats and open space. NRPA was founded in Staten Island in 1977 by the late Lou Figurelli.

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  • Scott

    Just one person’s opinion.  Ida Sanoff should be put on a plane which will then fly through a flock of birds and land in Jamaica bay waters.  I want to see how much shit his pants will contain – that is, if he will live to see that.  sometimes – hard decisions have to be made, even if they contradict previous moves (to build parks)

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      Apparently the hard decision to make is one that recognizes that we have damaged our ecosystem seriously, and nature sanctuaries exist as a means of undoing the damage to some degree. The mathematical probability of a bird being a factor in a plane crash is small. Statistically there a number of other long term engineering problems which are more likely to lead to a dangerous situation aboard a plane. But it is much easily to engage to the eradication of species if the government wishes to show that they are doing something to protect the public.

      • http://www.bigapplesewer.com/ Master Plumber

        I don’t think you correct in what you say about bird incidents.  Monday, ABC7 did a story on this and here is a quote from their segment.  “According to FAA data, bird strikes at JFK have shot up the last 3 years from 167 in 2009 to 256 in 2011 – a 53-percent increase”.  I wouldn’t want to be on any of those 256 flights.  

        http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/investigators&id=8661759

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

           So 256 planes crashed? I guess it’s time to stop flying.

          • http://www.bigapplesewer.com/ Master Plumber

            Now thats not what I said did I?  But by all means,  we should keep endangering a minimum of 256 flights a year with an average of 200 people on them.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            So it is much better that we work towards the eradication of whole species. Because airports often are near areas that have a high concentration of avian species. Obviously their placement in areas of concentrated population would be create far more difficult flying conditions.

        • PattyA

          What ABC failed to provide were any statistics on the increased number of planes in the skies which have more than quadrupled over the past decade.  More planes, more bird strikes.   What ABC also failed to mention is that virtually none of these strikes result in human casualty.  People have actually died due to falling tree branches.  Would you suggest we cut down all the trees?

          • Scott

            a tree falls – maybe 1-2 people die.  a plane falls, average it at 180 people instantly.

          • PattyA

            But, people HAVE died every year from falling trees and branches.  How many people have died on a commercial airliner as result of Canada geese? ZERO.  Where is your sympathy for the people, incuding a toddler, who have died from falling tree branches?  Apparently, they don’t count to you?  What if it were YOUR child?

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            And how many people died in plane crashes last year in the United States?

            In 2010, the answer was ZERO!

            http://travel.usatoday.com/flights/2011-01-21-RWaircrashes20_ST_N.htm

            OTOH in 2010 36,000 people died as a consequence of the activity of an automobile.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year

          • Scott

             RIGHT, only 2010 was not last year.

            MANY people died in plane crashes last year, and every year before that.  Industry does not  look at airplane crashes, only US airlines plane crashes.  Two very distinct scenarios.  Private planes of all types as well as regional “unbranded” carriers have crashed numerous times, but none of that is discussed.

            ZERO airplane fatalities?  Hardly.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

             You keep grasping at straws here. First you offer an argument that hundreds of people will die in a plane crash. When incidents of that type fail to establish itself through evidence we start talking about small aircraft. Fatalities do occur in that usage, but this situation is framed within the context of perceived risk to large aircraft.

            You are probably aware that it would take a lot more digging to establish the cumulative causation data for small aircraft. As it is irrelevant to the focal point of this discussion I’m not going to go through the trouble of putting that together.

          • OnyxE

             You forgot…nine people were killed at the airshow in Nevada when an old plane crashed into spectators.  No geese involved though….I also love how so many people don’t mind taking risks until the word Canada goose comes up..then off with their heads…

          • OnyxE

             Scott…..you are beyond being an idiot.  What is there about the word ‘Canada goose’ that makes you so demented?   NOT ONE CIVILIAN HAS EVER DIED AS A RESULT OF A COMMERCIAL PLANE HITTING A GOOSE ….and you have your panties in such a knot over this??   Do you even fly?   How do you dare when 50% of fatal accidents are caused by pilot error and about 30% mechanical failure….it is the human quotient that is the problem…not the winged birds. 

          • http://www.bigapplesewer.com/ Master Plumber

            I didn’t write the article.  Just posted the link to it.  But I will say this,  I bet if you were on the plane that landed in the Hudson River or on one that made an emergency landing after striking a bird,  you might be marching to a beat of a different drum.  
            Not once in anything I posted did I say I agreed with killing any of these birds,  but I think something needs to be done to prevent what could be a major catastrophe.  

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            So if I was in an minor automobile accident than I should be working towards the eradication of cars?

            Again, an emergency landing was made. Only birds were harmed in its incident.

          • BrooklynBus

            Eradication of cars? NYC and State DOT are already working toward that goal. Just heard on the radio that the Whitestone has one lane closed toward the Bronx and two lanes closed toward Queens or maintenance. You say take the Throggs Neck instead? That would be too easy. So they also closed one lane in each direction on that bridge too. Take mass transit instead? The MTA won’t help you there either.

          • http://www.bigapplesewer.com/ Master Plumber

            Again,  your putting a spin on everything you can think of to try to prove some sort of point.  Let’s all just move into a huge bubble and stop living life!

          • Scott

             see, once again you are spewing air.

            you paint this “emergency landing” as a minor accident, but you have no clue.

            i bet, you would/did drive again after a minor automobile accident, but if you were on that Hudson river landing plane – you would NEVER fly again.  I could be wrong, but that would then make you insane!

            Further,  4 people from that doomed flight died within 7-12 days of the accident – you have/had no clue because industry does not want to talk about that.  2 from hear attacks, the other 2 from internal injuries sustained. 

          • OnyxE

            Something is being done to prevent a major catastrophe, airports spend millions in effective sane wildlife control…but the intelligent ones aren’t mass exterminating birds.  If you are trying to ensure no plane will ever go down again due to a bird strike I do think you are crazy.  That means killing all the birds …and 99.99% of crashes will still occur.  Why should the entire world be without birds to keep a hundred people from dying?   That is the scenario.  

      • Scott

        Really?  what is it you speak of?  Please show where we can find those statistics.  You just have no clue.  having spent many years working with JFK safety and operations management, i can tell you that you have your blinders on – much like many animal rights activists.  i am all for nature and preservation, and yes, many mistakes have been made with many of these projects, but situation is grave, and if you are going to choose bird life over human life – well…. i have nothing else to say. 

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

           I keep forgetting that we have the right to destroy this planet.

          • OnyxE

             Amen and some people are determined to exercise that right.  What a pathetic ‘superior species’.

        • PattyA

          Scott, if you are so concerned about airline safety, what are you doing to address the main causes of most plane crashes?   — You know, pilot errors, mechanical problems, weather, lightening and terror attacks?  “Bird strikes” represent less than one percent of planes going down or having to emergency land.

          • Scott

            Who told you this BS?
            i do a lot every day, because i work in this very industry.  You are just being a cheerleader here for an issue you know nothing about.
            do you really think they report every single emergency landing through the media?  do you know that an unsuccessful emergency landing due to a bird strike would be listed as “pilot error”?  You clearly don’t so, please, spare me, stop this cheerleading contest

          • PattyA

            Bird strikes are reported as bird strikes. Period.  Even dead birds found on a runway (for whatever reason) are reported as strikes. And clearly you don’t know what you are talking about.   I notice you have nothing to say about the 1549 plane that almost had to emergency land two days prior to landing in the Hudson and that had NOTHING to do with birds.  As for throwing out the nosense about small private planes that sometimes crash.  Should we stop ALL air travel because some people decide to hit the air in little rinky dink, one engine planes?  What does THAT have to do with birds?

          • OnyxE

            Can you explain why bird strikes were thought so unimportant until Flight 1549 hit them, that only 4% of bird strikes were being reported in the USA while Canada was reporting 86%.

            http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/standards/aerodromeairnav-standards-wildlifecontrol-summaries-3808.htm

            Can you also explain why a dead bird found on the runway is counted as a ‘bird strike’…or did you know this?   How many ‘bird strikes’ are dead birds found on a runway?

        • PattyA

          Hey, Scott, those people were quite terrified the day the Flight 1549 plane experienced “engine stall” and almost had to emergency land.   But, apparently their fright was not enough to keep that defective plane on the ground two days later, when it landed in the Hudson after hitting two migratory birds.  Get a grip.

        • OnyxE

           Ha ha ha…you worked with JFK’s safety and operations management??   Unbelievable.  All I can say after that is ‘no wonder’. 

    • PattyA

      And we should plant you under a tree in Central Park during the next rain or snow storm.

    • Andrew

      The thing is that killing the birds won’t work. They’ve killed 36,000 birds in the past five years and the number of bird strikes have gone up, not down. When a bird is killed, the territory doesn’t remain empty. More birds come to take over the now empty territory. So unless you’re prepared to kill all the birds everywhere (which is incredibly stupid because of the ecosystem benefits birds provide) it will not make the planes any safer. It’s political maneuvering to make it seem like they’re saving lives, when in fact it does nothing but kill crucial wildlife.

  • nolastname

    They do not stick to the 5 mile radius. How close is Prospect Park to an airport? What they are doing to Jamaica Bay is outright illegal murder. It is a never ending cycle….Like us when there is a vacancy new tenants move in. Pathetic to try and change the cycle.
    Now they want to do some sort of garbage plant (transfer,storage) near LaGuardia.
    Soon after they will have to kill the birds that are attracted there.
    There are groups willing to place themselves between the geese and the captors. 
    Can’t someone invent a rotating razor that will loosen dead birds as they are sucked into the engines? Kinda’ like when you cut the garlic off the bottom of the press.
    There has to be some adjustments as an option (don’t get on me, I’m no engineer).

    • PattyA

      There are military radar technologies available now that can prevent planes from hitting birds.  But, there is not the will and investment to make the technologies available for commercial flights.  Its easier and cheaper to round up and kill birds (especially Canada geese) and launch shooting wars on the others.

      • nolastname

        What a shame. They have the ability but not the compassion.

        • PattyA

          Well, it is all about “perception.”  Kill lots of birds and tell the public it is “safe.”  The problem is, we could kill every bird in NYC and that would NOT prevent a plane from colliding with any one of millions of MIGRATORY birds who fly through this air space. The point is, there IS technology to avoid bird collisions. However, since 99.99% planes DON’T ditch in rivers or create holes in the ground after hitting birds, the will and investment just is not there.  Its “easy” to kill birds — especially Canada geese who are flightless for six weeks of year. 

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            That is a fact. This is merely a feel good solution that makes it appear that something is being done. Even worse, it is a solution to a problem that merely creates an inconvenience.

          • nolastname

            “Deception” http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/r/robertsout165809.html

      • Scott

         what do you know about radar technology, other than what you read or misread about it.  this radar technology will kill all birds in slow, painful death, and will kill quite a few humans nearby the installation, if they are exposed to it on daily basis.   some call it the “silent killer” because that is what it is. 

        some tiny from of this type of technology is available over the counter, in a form of dog bark silencer, or an “anti mouse/rate” technology in a small peg, inserted into ground, that, supposedly emits silent noise, thus, paralyzing their sense of hearing for an extended period of time or permanently. 

        have you ever seen such installation anywhere?  have you been within a mile or 2 radius of one?  Want to guess what you will see on the ground?

        WAKE UP!

        • PattyA

          You know, Scott, we dispanded the Shuttle Space program and that has put a lot of rocket scientists out of work.   Why not hire these experts to figure out a way to avoid birds when flying?   I bet they could.  Such could be a “win win” for everyone.  — Thousands of brilliant individuals now out of work, the flying public AND the birds.

          • Scott

            yup, the birds are out of work.  STOP YELLING , get off prozac and get a life.   As local broker said:  you pick an angle you are comfortable with, but you dont hold the same stance on other issues.   convenience at its best.

            i’m done responding to you one-sided comments and fabricated “statements”, along with your wicked bathtub spins.

          • PattyA

            Poor Scott.  He obviously cannot read.

            I said, rocket scientists were out of work.   Not birds.

        • OnyxE

           Wow, Scott your ignorance is awesome!!

          DeTect’s MERLIN Aircraft Birdstrike Avoidance Radar system is the first
          production model and most advanced, proven and widely used bird radar
          technology available for bird-aircraft strike hazard (BASH) management
          and for real-time detection, tracking and alerting of hazardous bird
          activity at commercial airports, military airfields, and military
          training and bombing ranges.

          http://www.detect-inc.com/merlin.html

  • MB

    “This is the dumbest spot in the world to have this breeding colony,” said Steve Garber, Wildlife Manager for JFK during the mid-1990s-

    Really?  Maybe it’s the dumbest spot in the world for an airport.              

    • guest

       Well I guess its settled, keep the breeding colony and move the airport.

      • MB

        They constructed an airport on wetlands- along the Atlantic Flyway. http://www.birdnature.com/flyways.html  

        • guest

          So should the airport move?

          • MB

            Why bother protecting an area when down the line it will just be destroyed because folks now deem the inhabitants to be in the way?

            They knew they were building on wetlands-Wetlands that folks have been trying incredibly hard to protect and without these wetlands, the birds are not only doomed, but so are we-

            What did they expect? 

          • guest

            Then don’t bother protecting wetlands. Again now that we are in this position are your saying the airport needs to move, or maybe scale back? Sometimes areas get destroyed when man expands. Thats life deal with it. Every city we have built, destroyed the natural habit that was beneath it. You could make the arguemetn the airport doesnt need to expand fine. But to protect birds lives at the possible cost of human life is weird. If airports want to kill birds to stop them from flying into engines then they should. Even as a precaution. Next time there wont be a Sully flying the plain and who knows what could happen.

            And I don’t see how we’re doomed if the birds get killed, even if they kill every bird in those wetlands we’re not doomed. You sound ridiculous when you speak that way. That why most people cant relate to animal activists. How are we doomed?

          • Malekincat

            You’re not reading what people are saying, you’re just knee-jerk responding with the typical retort: “you care more about birds than people!”. That argument’s getting a little tired at this point. What we’re saying is that it won’t “stop the birds from flying into engines” to kill them… That’s the point. And it’s “plane” by the way…

          • guest

            Actually malekincat it will stop birds from flying into planes because they’ll be dead.

  • Truthiness

    Mr. Berke and/or Ida Sanoff (one name is at the top of this column and another at the bottom),

    I am am bird-lover and long-time birder. I am also the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. I am appalled by your comparison of the slaughter of six million humans to the control of birds at an airport. How dare you trivialize the deaths of my mother’s entire family and six million others by comparing them to this situation? Shame on you.

    • BrooklynBus

      My mother lost a brother and his family in the Holocaust and I don’t feel making such a comparison is trivializing the Holocaust. If you were a bird, and this would happen to your species, that is exactly how you would view the situation. There has to be other ways to solve this problem as others have mentioned. Killing the birds is the easiest. Someone has to speak up for the birds since they can’t and I’m glad someone finally has.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

        In essence its the same as genocide. The parameters may be small at this time, but they will increase in light of a lack of public outcry. As nolastname has pointed out the killing of these birds has been done outside of the 5 mile perimeter already.

        Additionally, the meaning of the original is lost on those who believe it is merely about the Holocaust. Rather, it is a reminder that if we are silent in face of wrong the consequences will eventually extend to us. That we are all connected, what happens to one of us affects all of us. Thus it is so when we decide to upset the balance of nature.

        In essence, what you do to others you also do to me.

    • OnyxE

      Some of us see a connection between people who lack compassion for voicless, defense, and helpless animals and people who lack the same qualities when it comes to humans. It is too bad everyone doesn’t understand this.  The road to inhumanity starts small…..the goose, gander, and their babies suffer just as much as humans in the gas chambers.

      Leo Tolstoy “This is dreadful! Not the
      suffering and death of the animals, but that a man suppresses in himself,
      unnecessarily, the highest spiritual capacity — that of sympathy and pity
      towards living creatures like himself — and by violating his own feelings becomes cruel. And how deeply seated in
      the human heart is the injunction not to take life!”

  • http://www.mitchelcohen.com Mitchel Cohen

    Great post from Ida Sanoff. It’s about time someone called the politicians on their phony excuses for why airline accidents occur.

    Sorry to see Sen. Gillibrand going off the deep end here, and manufacturing a scapegoose for the failures of government to properly regulate the airlines industry.
     

    Last year, the FAA data shows that ZERO percent of airline fatalities were due to planes hitting birds (and starlings, not geese, were the birds most likely to be hit).. Honk if you heard any of that in the Senator’s presentation!

     

    Why is Sen. Gillibrand misrepresenting the facts and hoodwinking the public? She’s not up for re-election this year and involved in a tough electoral battle, is she? 

    I invite Sen. Gillibrand to withdraw her proposal, and meet with Goosewatch and other organizations and individuals in putting forth a new plan to protect air passengers as well as birds, that deals with the TRUE causes of plane accidents.

    Poorly designed and repaired planes, overstressed air-traffic control workers (ever since Pres. Reagan broke the PATCO union), poor governmental supervision of the repairs process (layoffs of government air supervisors and regulators), and occasionally pilot error — those are the causes of plane crashes, not birds.

    People really need to get Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” out of their minds. (By the way, Cuomo take note: I saw a Polish advertisement for that film, and it read “Pataki!” (“The Birds”). Who woulda thunk it?)

     

    Mitchel Cohen

    Brooklyn Greens/Green Party

    • Fedupwiththissh_t

      256 serious incidents in a single year is not enough?  there needs to be loss of human life for you to get off your pot?

      • Whwsailboat

        Does anyone know why 256 planes didn’t crash after a bird strike? Would the 257th strike bring down a plane?

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

          Maybe the 10,000th will.

          But all this doesn’t matter. These incidents cost airlines money. So it far better for the government to spend our money to destroy vids, than for the airlines to spend theirs developing safer mechanisms that will avoid these situations.

          Because humans own the air too. We own everything, and when we have decimated this planet we’ll just find another to ravage.

        • Debbie

          i hope you are on that flight, for your sake, and find out the hard way.  what a dumb_ss comment from you.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            And when will this ocur?

        • OnyxE

           Ha ha…good comment…maybe  256 pilots saw the birds and nosed up a bit to avoid sucking them into their engines?  Could also have been the kind of plane and engines…some suck birds in.   Such as Flight 1549 which was an Airbus A320. 

      • http://www.mitchelcohen.com Mitchel Cohen

        The number of fatalities are a good way to measure which causes of plane crashes we should pay the most attention to, no?

        For instance, 29% of all fatal crashes are due to pilot error, 16% are weather-related errors, and 5% are pilot errors due to mechanical problems. That means that fully 50 percent of all airplane crashes involving fatalities are in one way or another related to pilot error. These can be greatly reduced in any number of ways, but it would cost the airlines money.

        Similarly, 22% of all airline crashes involving fatalities (which is really the most important, tho not exclusive focus) are due to mechanical failure without pilot error. Wow, almost 1/4 of all accidents in which people died are caused by mechanical failure! Surely you’d want to focus on hiring and training competent personnel to catch these before the plane takes off, no? But instead, the numbers of workers trained to do this has dropped significantly in the last 20 years.

        The other areas of major concern are weather, sabotage, and other kinds of human error. Birds don’t even make that list at all.

        My point is that there are any number of other reasons for airplane accidents, and those constitute the OVERWHELMING majority of airplane crashes, and 100 percent of those involving fatalities, NOT BIRDS. Why aren’t the politicians looking to lower those risky causes?

        My answer: Because that would require hiring more personnel to investigate and repair planes, air-traffic controllers, and engineers to improve design (including signals to warn away birds). Geese are the easy target for Gillibrand to score a cheap vote or two, but gassing geese (yes, that’s what the USDA has been doing in NYC Parks to geese during the moulting season, with the complicity of the Bloomberg administration) offers no real improvement in airplane safety.

        Mitchel Cohen
        Brooklyn Greens/Green Party

        • Scott

          and you get those stats from where exactly?  a “truly independent” research group supported by your party and vise-versa? 

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            Find me the statistics that prove your thesis that lives are lost in significant numbers due to interactions with birds. We’ll wait, you’ll be taking a very long time seeking that out, and finding nothing to justify your position.

          • http://www.mitchelcohen.com Mitchel Cohen

            Are you really so foolish as to challenge the quite accurate statistics I
            posted? Do some research, let’s hear what statistics you come up with, so we can
            then gauge your credibility.

            My statistics come from objective
            monitoring sources that have nothing to do with the Green Party, far as I
            know.

            And now that we’ve thrashed the stupidity of politicians claiming that killing geese will save lives in airplanes, let’s get to the other powerful points that Ida Sanoff raised, about these same politicians’ support for “further industrial expansion into the Bay by permitting the construction of the gas pipeline metering station in the hanger at Floyd Bennett Field,” as well as gas storage facilities, which is what this geese sillyness is really about.

            Mitchel Cohen
            Brooklyn Greens/Green Party

          • OnyxE

             HERE ARE THE STATS ……SINCE YOU ARE EITHER TOO LAZY OR MENTALLY CHALLENGED TO DO IT YOURSELF: 

            http://planecrashinfo.com/cause.htm

            You might also want to read up on recent fatal crashes….sorry, no geese were involved.
            http://www.airsafe.com/events/last_15.htm

      • PattyA

        You know how many people died in bathtubs this year (incuding a famous celebrity)?   You wanna get rid of bathtubs?

        • Scott

          hey hypocrite,  how many birds/fish/etc were killed so that you can stuff your mouth?  We can live without meats and poultry – why do we kill?   where are you going with these silly comments?

          Or are you going to tell me that there is a cult of vegetarians here, including you and Lisanne who are truly worried about birds?

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            Your arguments are getting way off base. This is what happens when facts get in the way of an agenda.

            There is a difference between killing for sustenance (we maintain the species by proper stock management) and killing with the goal of eradicating a “perceived” threat. We are concerned here with the long term effects of continued killing on our local ecosystem.

          • PattyA

            Wow, you are really grasping at feathers here, Scott. People who hit the skies in rinky dink planes and now diet.  But, you are right that we kill billions of chickens and turkey evey year for taste buds.   In fact we kill animals in labortories, slaughterhouses, shelters, rural areas and just about everywhere else. The TWO places some of thought animals were reasonably “safe” from human tryranny were our PUBLIC PARKS and one Wildlife REFUGE.   But, even in these places, the hand of barbarity reigns and the animals are offered up as “sacrifice” for the sake of perceived convenience and “safety.”  With a track record like this towards the other animals we share this planet with, one wonders if we are actually worth saving?

  • Local Broker

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_Airways_Flight_1549
    Not JFK but as far as im concerned thats close enough for me. Just a few weeks ago a Jetblue flight had to make an emergency landing because birds hit it. If the conversation was about building a completely new airport i would say no way but the fact is that its there and not going anywhere, ever. I was just on a trip and returned this past weekend, landing in JFK i was looking out the window and there were about 20 birds flying about 100 feet away from us in the opposite direction and 100 feet is pretty close when your going roughly 200 mph. I dont want to kill anything for no reason but if they need to kill some birds to possibly save 1 plane from going down, its worth it.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      And I suppose that the use of DDT and other seriously destructive chemicals was also justified by the needs to control environmental nuisances.

      Silent Spring was published 50 years ago, in October 1962. It was a different world then, its publication led to public outrage. The worst of these substances were placed under the strictest controls, or their manufacture ceased altogether.

      Your right to fly is not superior to that of the right of species to continue. Jamaica Bay is a wildlife refuge because of the damage we have done previously, and the need to restore the balance. Disrupting that process is not justified through consideration of the inconvenience to airlines. Let them work on technology that will alleviate the risk created by close flying birds.

      • Local Broker

        Hey if we can figure out a way to get rid of the airport and not kill anything im all for it.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

          The answer lies in developing technology that will protect planes and birds. Of course it can be done. But it requires some effort and expense. And it also will have a negative effect on the airport’s plans to steal some of the presently protected wetlands.

    • PattyA

      It is not “some birds,” LB.  According to the ABC report a few nights ago, we have in fact killed 36,000 birds in just the past five years!   And yet, you are complaining that there are still birds in the air.   OK.  So, let’s say we kill EVERY bird in NYC so you don’t have to be spooked the next time you fly.  But, then what do you propose to do about the millions of birds that pass through the Atlantic flyway of which NYC is a part.   Kill them too?   How do you propose we achieve this avain genecide?  We are talking millions, not “some” birds.

      • Local Broker

        read my comment above. Maybe we should arm all the birds with mini uzis so they can have a fighting chance.

    • OnyxE

      Well Flight 1549 hit migratory birds from Labrador, Canada.  You have hundreds of thousands or millions flying to and through NYC every year…this is on the Atlantic Flyway. 

      So how can you are anyone else possible say that killing some low flying resident birds in Jamaica Bay will save any plane?  Really?…with maybe millions of birds flying through/to NYC it will be a goose from Jamaica Bay that the plane hits?   Use your brain…killing will not do anything to improve air safety – it’s smoke and mirrors and just dumb and inhumane.  They killed thousands of gulls a few years ago and found the gull strike went down but strikes from other birds went up.  You cannot free up space in Jamaica Bay and not think it will be filled by some kind of bird.

    • OnyxE

       don’t forget…NYC may kill all its birds but your planes land and take off from other airports that don’t kill birds.  And don’t even think Canadian airports would ever buy into this BS…Canada’s safety record is probably better than the USA’s and we don’t exterminate birds.

  • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

    Hmmm, the same people who proclaim “every life counts” on other issues seem to think differently in this situation. Instead it’s “let’s play the probabilities” in this case.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

       Maybe we should ban cars because brakes sometimes fail. And people can die when that happen. In fact, I bet there have been more fatalities from failed brakes than from birds impacting planes.

      • Scott

        you should really stop making uneducated, unsubstantiated comments.  You can’t possibly be well-versed in every subject.  unless you worked at an airport and dealt with emergency situations, you have no right to comment on what is better and what is not. 
        and stop with the BS about airlines not developing technology – they are, but it isn’t as easy as you imagine to put a “meat grinder” on an active turbine engine, spinning at mind-boggling RPM….that and the impossible task of creating a dilution mechanism for what would be a bunch of chopped bird meat.
        fact is, at least 3 european companies have been attempting to develop a system, and have tested it on numerous occasions, only to find faults with it. Unless you are involved in the industry and know both sides – you have no real right to speak on the issue.

        • http://www.mitchelcohen.com Mitchel Cohen

          So let me understand you, Scott. You think that the Senator (and City officials) are sincerely addressing the problem of airplane accidents by killing birds (which count for a small percentage of accidents, and NONE that caused deaths this past year) while at the same time they either support or say nothing about building a waste transfer station right outside LaGuardia Airport, which will be attracting birds by the thousands to LaGuardia?

          Forgive me for being cynical, but I don’t believe a word they say, nor the reasons for why they are raising this issue at this time.

          Mitchel Cohen
          Brooklyn Greens/Green Party

        • PattyA

          You know what BAM is, Scott?   If not, look it up.   The technologies are out there for the military to use.   They can be used on commercial airliners as well with the will and the investment.  You know how many people have died on a commercial airliner due to Canada geese?  NONE.  You know how many Canada geese have been killed over last three years to make people feel “safe?”  More than 3,000. Killing geese to make people feel “safe” is like strip searching 5-year-old child or elderly grandmother getting on a plane.  Only at least they don’t die. They are merely humiliated.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

           Uneducated guesses? Show me the stats on fatalities caused by interaction with birds.

          I’m waiting……..

          I assume you must be in the employ of one of the PR agencies hired by the airline industry to push this agenda. You’re making winning converts.

          • Scott

             this is what’s wrong with America,  people with blinders on think that human life has to be lost for us to do something.

            this is why 9/11 happened.  We knew of the possibilities, but we did not take it seriously, and did not take any preventative measures.  It probably would have happened anyway, but not to such degree.

            WHY do we need to lose human life to prove to you that something needs to be done?  Notice, that not once did i say it would be THE solution, merely part of it, but measures have to be taken, and they are, sometimes, not what you bird activists want.

          • PattyA

            How many human lives did we lose in Iraq over past decade, Scott?

            Why did we enter into that fiasco?

            Oh, those “Weapons of Mass Destruction” we were told about. 

            WMD that turned out not to be there.

            I guess the geese are WMD’s too.

          • OnyxE

            Scott, you’re hilarious.  Stop with the ‘losing human life’ BS.  Not one civilian has EVER died as a result of a plane/goose strike so obviously since millions of people are dying every year you have endless other causes to make your stupid remarks on.   In fact 600 died last year in planes crashes…most related to pilot error.

            Another nine died when an old plane crashed into spectators at a Nevada airshow.  cut the crap about going after innocent geese because people are dying. 

    • PattyA

      Don’t get up in the morning, Bruce, because you might slip in the tub and break your neck.  Don’t leave your house because might you slip in a manhole while texting on your cell phone. Don’t cross a street because you might get mowed down by a taxi.  Don’t go to a park because a tree branch might fall and kill you. Get the point?  There are a million “mights” just getting out of the bed in the morning.  That you choose to focus on the extraordinarily tiny “might” of going down in a plane after a bird strike suggests you are not looking at all the “mights” of everyday life.

    • OnyxE

      Well if life is so important to you maybe you want to ban planes rather than just kill the goose.   Over 50% of fatal crashes are caused by pilot error, and 30% mechanical failure.   BTW…did people know when they starting flying there were birds up there too?  Yes and they decided to fly anyhow. 

      http://planecrashinfo.com/cause.htm

      You are going to die someday and so is everybody else. No civilian has ever died from a plane/goose strike. You really should spend your time worrying about how to prevent yourself from getting hit by lightning and ditto for taxpayers money.   

      BYW….how does killing low flying resident Canada geese in Jamaica Bay stop all the hundreds of thousands of migrants flying to and through NYC?  Its ludicrous; it is senseless.

    • david

      you are playing the same game when you advocate killing geese. you may think you are making things safer for people when you kill the animals you perceive to be in your way, when all you are doing is clearing the way for a boom in a population of another animal, and increase unnatural flight patters…   they have been killing geese in NYC for several years and yet the numbers of collisions continue to rise… this doesn’t tell you anything? we are playing with fire when we kill geese, not when we don’t.

  • Howard from Midwood

    I love going to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife center. 
    It is a hidden jewel in our city.

    I also want to thank the person that posted the picture.
    Happen to know the photographer very well.     ; )

  • Animo916

     Does anybody take into account that the percentage of bird strikes and other malfunctions in planes comes from the fact that there are more planes in the sky now, than ever before?

    • PattyA

      No, Animo, media never mentions this fact.  It would detract from the hype and hysteria of the so-called “report.”

      • BrooklynBus

        You just can’t believe anything the media tells you. They are not objective. They insist on showing a 5 year old picture of Trevon Martin to give the impression he was just a kind little kid. On the Internet there is a picture of the 6 foot 2 menace he was when the incident happened. They wouldn’t show that picture because they want to create a certain impression. I’m not saying who was right or wrong. We won’t know that until all the facts come out. The point is you can’t rely on the media for an objective report on anything. They have their own agenda to push.

        • levp

          ZOMG, flying black people!

          (Nice tie-in)

    • OnyxE

      That’s an intelligent comment….but there is something else ….until Flight 1549 hit birds only 4% of strikes were being reported in the USA.  I’m a Canadian and look at Transport Canada’s website…and Canada and the USA work closely on the bird strikes issue because of our migratory birds.  Canada was reporting 86% of strikes while the USA was only reporting 4%.   I think this shows a little slackness on the part of the USA??    And no airport in Canada mass exterminates birds around airports – it’s crazy and ineffective, particulary when there are bird sanctuaries around like in both NYC and Vancouver, BC.   What is happening in the USA was it took Flight 1549 to give them a wakeup call and their response is just dumb.
      http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/standards/aerodromeairnav-standards-wildlifecontrol-summaries-3808.htm

  • David, GooseWatch

    Since 2009 New York City has been killing Canada geese in our parks, and it hasn’t made a single person safer.  Even if every free living animal living in NYC had been killed it wouldn’t have prevented the Miracle on the Hudson incident.

    From another recent Op Ed: http://www.timesunion.com/opinion/article/Letter-Radar-can-help-detect-geese-3561121.php

    A simple, cost-effective and — most importantly — humane solution exists to this issue: Radar. Many
    airports that were stupidly built in traditional wetlands and other
    habitat areas, such as Seattle-Tacoma, have been using radar detection
    systems and other nonlethal methods to keep passengers safe. These are
    proven, well-known tactics, used successfully for years. Why does
    Senator Gillibrand not consider these options?I understand her
    proposed legislation is prompted by recent collisions between planes and
    geese. There was no loss of human life but definitely loss of birds’
    lives. However, killing geese and other birds pre-emptively does not
    make airline travel safer. Air travel safety and protection of wildlife
    are compatible, not mutually exclusive.

    The roundups of New York City’s Canada
    geese are financed by taxpayers and conducted by a federal agency in public parks. We believe that the public has a right to
    transparency of governmental operations, and at a minimum, to view video
    documentation of the treatment of Canada geese during the roundups in order
    judge for themselves whether they support these extreme measures. An
    observer should be allowed to attend the roundup and removal operations.

    David Karopkin, GooseWatch NYCwww.goosewatchnyc.com

    • nolastname

      Hi Dave, you tell it like it is. Keep doing what you do. (((((hug)))).

  • Malekincat

    Maybe we should ban all cars because thousands of people get killed in car crashes every year…?  Even if it doesn’t bother you that all these birds will be slaughtered due to the perceived risk to planes, consider the fact that this approach cannot work. Here is the situation: Decades ago, some fool decided to locate an airport right next to a migratory flyway and one of its major stopover points, used by migratory birds for thousands upon thousands of years. You really think that killing a whole bunch of them – albeit in “holocaust”-like proportions – is going to stop others from replacing them (as the article points out)? It has been the finding every time they do these massacres that more birds just replace the ones they “took out.” This is a short-term, non-solution, the one the USDA usually goes for because it’s easier and faster for them than actually thinking through the issue, oh and they usually make some money out of the deal too.

  • BrooklynBus

    Ned, I think you should do a poll on this.

  • Local Broker

    I find it funny that most of the people commenting here about saving the birds are using stats on how people can die from the most random things from cars to slipping in a bathtub and a tree branch falling. At the same time these are the same people that hate guns but are using the same stats as pro 2A people use to make their points and use some logic. Point is i actually agree with a lot of what is being said in regards to not killing the birds but the problem is these people only use convenient arguments when its helpful to them and would never use the same logic if it goes against their personal beliefs and not the reality of the situation.

    • Malekincat

      What we’re trying to say is that risks exist in other areas of our everyday lives that are far higher and yet we live with them, accept them, and don’t take the most “extreme” measures to radically reduce all conceivable risk. Your chance of getting killed in a car is far greater than getting killed in a plane, never mind a plane that goes down due to a bird strike, but you haven’t eradicated cars from your life, right? Yet these birds are demonized by the tabloids in a totally disproportionate way that’s even more ridiculous when you consider the irrational, ineffective nature of the proposed “solutions” – i.e. eradication of a maximum of said birds, only to be replaced by more soon after.

      • Local Broker

        I didn’t say you guys are wrong but its interesting that you only use certain arguments when its good for you but wont listen to the same exact facts and stats when its against your personal beliefs. As for the media they say one thing you say another so does the airport and in between there somewhere are the facts. Whoever is more convincing or possibly has the most power wins.

        • PattyA

          The fact is Broker, people do die from guns everyday.  But, no one is dying due to Canada geese.

          • Local Broker

            No, people are killed by other people with guns, cars, baseball bats or whatever. Point is you use all these stats about how people die to make an argument against killing birds but would never listen to the same exact stats when it comes to guns. I am just using guns as an example to show that you only want to listen to the parts that you believe in and not the actual reality of whats going on. I wont be responding anymore, its pointless.

        • OnyxE

           Do you actually have any arguments on this topic or are you just trolling and wasting space?    

          Here are the stats so do you want to waste your money killing birds and looking like idiots or looking at the real flying hazards?  

          http://planecrashinfo.com/cause.htm

    • PattyA

      The point was, Broker that more people die everyday from little things of everyday life than what will EVER die from a Canada goose.

    • OnyxE

      OK…here’s a fact…not one person has ever died in a commercial crash because of a Canada goose.  600 people died in plane crashes last year…not one because of a wildlife hit or specifically a Canada goose strike.

      Intelligent airports, such as YVR in Vancouver, BC have intelligent wildlife management, a better safety record than NYC, and DOES NOT KILL BIRDS except in a sudden crisis situation right on the runway and they certainly don’t round them up miles from the airport. 

      Israel, a tiny country with a tiny airpspace and a lot more migrating birds than NYC DOES NOT KILL birds.

      Unlike you I don’t find comments about the causes of death irrelevant…they help bring some perspective to this….killing thousands of birds for what??? Yes, you have a better chance of slipping in your bathtub and breaking your neck then dying from a goose strikes…

      Not one civilian has ever died as a result of a goose strike and some people have totally lost sight of the FACTS and NEED a proper perspective.

  • Linda Ann Gray

    Adjust the construction of the plane.  Don’t put refuse near airport.  LEAVE THE GEESE ALONE.  Duh!

  • http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/ Ned Berke

    In hindsight, I should have waited until next week to publish this op-ed, since I’m due for a flight out (and in) to JFK this week. 

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

       Unfortunately it’s just not possible to fly under an alias anymore.

    • Local Broker

      Good thing you did because i just got back and didnt have to read it before i left.

    • OnyxE

      Well if an article on Canada geese scares someone about to fly they have no business flying because pilot error causes 50% of crashes. 
      http://planecrashinfo.com/cause.htm

      The only commercial plane EVER to experience a serious goose/plane strike was Flight 1549,  so really….try to use common sense and keep a perspective.  And some people are wondering why the pilots didn’t see the large flock of geese including other pilots. 

      I’d also be more concerned about what kind of plane you’re flying on….an Airbus like Flight 1549 has engines that suck birds in and Transport Canada has data on their sight showing Airbuses reported a very high rate of bird strikes. So there is a lot more food for intelligent thought than a goose. 
      http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/standards/aerodromeairnav-standards-wildlifecontrol-summaries-3808.htm

      Of course in the USA only 4% of strikes were being reported up to about 2009….

  • PattyA

    It should be noted that the “Miracle in the Hudson” plane had experienced “engine stall” on the previous flight and almost had to emergency land. This was reported on CNN and one other news agency, but was ignored by almost all other media.  In other words, the plane already had mechanical “issues” before ever taking off that January day in 2009. Moreover, the two geese the plane collided with were from Labrador, Canada.   In other words, we could have killed EVERY resident goose in New York and it still would NOT have prevented that incident!

    • Scott

      must be the truth because it was reported by CNN.  did you see FAA data on it?  do you know the people who spoke to the dead(geese) to confirm they were from Labrador? 

      there is just no such thing as experiencing an engine stall in-flight, and ALMOST having to emergency land.  Create a separate poem for each.

      • PattyA

        The Smithsonian Institute tested the feathers in the engine and determined them to be (two) migratory geese from Labrador, Canada.  Take your argument to them.  Here is the link to the CNN report. Be sure to read entire piece: http://articles.cnn.com/2009-01-19/us/hudson.plane.folo_1_flight-crew-plane-airways-flight?_s=PM%3AUS

      • OnyxE

         Well obviously flapping mouths like you can’t be bothered to do any research….so I did it for you.

        “Scientists at the Smithsonian Institution examined the feather remains
        from the Jan. 15 US Airways Flight 1549 bird strike to determine not
        only the species, but also that the Canada geese involved were from a
        migratory, rather than resident, population. This knowledge is essential
        for wildlife professionals to develop policies and techniques that will
        reduce the risk of future collisions.

        Analysis revealed that the isotope values of the geese involved in
        the crash of Flight 1549 were most similar to migratory Canada geese
        from the Labrador region and significantly different from resident
        feathers collected in New York City.
        “It is important to not only know what species of birds are involved
        in collisions, but to also understand the role that migration plays in
        the larger picture,” said Carla Dove, program director at Feather
        Identification Laboratory. “The more information we are able to gather
        in cases like this, the more we will be able to reduce the risks of bird
        strikes in the future.”

        Although reporting bird strikes is not currently required by the
        Federal Aviation Administration, it is critical for researchers,
        according to Marra.”
        http://newsdesk.si.edu/releases/scientists-determine-geese-involved-hudson-river-plane-crash-were-migratory

      • OnyxE

        You should also be interested to know Flight 1549 was an Airbus A320…in 2004 the FAA issued warning the A320 was prone to double engine stall after a fatal A320 crash in Europe.  

        “Warning issued to airlines flying Airbuses
        The Dominion Post

        An emergency safety directive has been issued to airlines using
        twin-engine Airbus A320s after both engines on one stalled over the
        Mediterranean, just 18 days after an Air New Zealand A320 crashed
        killing all seven on board.” 
        http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/tech_ops/read.main/246674/

        In about ten years, over 600 people have been killed in A320 crashes…and guess what?  Not one was due to wildlife or more specifically a Canada goose. 

        http://www.airsafe.com/events/models/a320.htm

  • PattyA

    We can launch an all out war on all avian life in NYC as has already been done with Canada geese. But, even if successful in killing every bird that flies in NYC, it will NOT prevent the possibility of an airliner colliding with any one of millions of MIGRATORY birds that pass over this air space every year.

    Question:  Is it desireable or even doable to wipe every bird off the planet?

    OR, should we invest in modern radar technoligies to avoid bird strikes in the first place? 

  • Pat Singer

    I don’t think the word “Holocaust” should be used in dealing with this subject.
    Killing of millions of people because they were Jewish cannot  be compared this way.

  • PattyA

    Definition of Holocaust: “Great destruction resulting in extensive loss of life.”  The word by itself does not specify the type of life, species, nationality or religion. I don’t believe the writer’s intentions were to offend anyone.  S/he could have just as easily used, “massacres.”  The point is, the plan is great destruction of life and therefore fits the technical definition of the word.

  • OnyxE

    I can’t read any article on NYC’s INSANE war on Canada geese without looking at how my own city, Vancouver, BC manages our year round permanent resident Canada geese…and we do NOT kill them. 

    YVR is also located in ‘the worst possible place’..Sea Island..surrounded by water on three sides,  with at least two large bird refuges nearby, Reifel Bird Sanctuary and Conservation Island (which is out of the flight path of planes and created as a place for the birds chased from the airport to go).   We are also on the Pacific Flyway so hundreds of thousands of migrants pass through.

    YVR does NOT mass exterminate any birds and their wildlife services does NOT leave the airport environment to do their work.   It is just insane, ineffective, and stupid to kill birds to ‘protect planes’.   I read NYC killed thousands of gulls some years ago and found the plane/gull strikes decreased…but strikes by other birds increased. 

    It is also interesting that while there is suddenly a war on Canada geese…before Flight 1549 hit the migrants from Labrador, only 4% of bird strikes were even being reported in the USA.   And suddenly the geese are all terrorist threats to planes and have to die.   Pretty pathetic and shows how much homework has been done. Not a lot.

    “Let’s be honest,” says Dave Ball, who supervises the Vancouver airport’s
    million-dollar wildlife management program. “This is the worst place
    they could have built an airport.”

    “Collisions between birds and commercial planes are serious business, and
    the Vancouver airport’s wildlife management program is arguably the
    most rigorous in North America. “I don’t think there’s any airport that
    has quite as many resources dedicated to the job as Vancouver,” says
    Gary Searing, a wildlife biologist who has worked with the airport since
    1989.

    http://www.vanmag.com/News_and_Features/It_s_a_Bird_Hits_a_Plane

  • Pingback: Op-Ed: The Bird Holocaust Is Coming To Jamaica Bay! – Sheepshead Bites

  • OnyxE

    People often like to refer to Flight 1549 when they talk about the dangers of goose strikes.  However it is important to know that Flight 1549′s engines met 1996 standards but did not meet the current standards introduced in 2007 which required that the engines be able to withstand a strike twice the weight of the engines Flight 1549 were designed to withstand.  They did not meet current standards…so why are planes with engines that don’t even meet current standards flying??   Sounds safe to me, NOT.

    “To receive
    certification, the Airbus A320’s two turbofan en­gines were required to have a
    2½ pound bird volleyed into the engine core followed by four 1½ pound birds
    volleyed to­ward other areas of the fan disk. To pass the tests, the engines
    were required to remain operational at 75% power for more than five minutes
    after the bird ingestion.

    In 1996, the engines that would later be used on
    U.S. Airways Flight 1549 were certificated for bird ingestion according to
    these standards.

    In 2007, the FAA adopted new regulations regarding bird
    strikes, and the new rules increased the size of the birds used in the core
    tests to 5½ pounds. However, engines certificated prior to 2007 were not
    obliged to meet the new requirements.”

    … National Aeronautics
    and Space AdministrationSYSTEM FAILURE CASE
    STUDIES

    http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CEgQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fnsc.nasa.gov%2FSFCS%2FSystemFailureCaseStudyFile%2FDownload%2F182%2F&ei=sSq5T4H5D4emiQLSrqz3Bg&usg=AFQjCNH4Ms-CRLg5tUpM_0APakvJDSnuvA&sig2=6RuoCVV8NJQ9H-_bgmPXCA

     

  • OnyxE

    Are certain aircraft more likely to get hit than others?

    Bird strikes are FIVE TIMES MORE LIKELY TO OCCUR on planes with engines mounted
    under the wings, such as the Boeing 737 or the Airbus A320, than on planes with
    engines mounted on the fuselage, like the Boeing MD-80 (The original
    sentence identified the MD-80 as a McDonnell Douglas plane. It also was not
    clearly stated that the MD-80 is a long-range passenger airplane) and some smaller jets.  It is probably because the airflow over the MD-80 CAUSES BIRDS TO GET BLOWN AWAY FROM THE ENGINES.  

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=what-is-a-bird-strike&page=2

  • Birdlove

    The chance of being killed in a bird related plane crash is  0.00000068%  Or put another way, you could take a flight a day for 200,000 years and still have a 50/50 chance of a bird strike. (So, don’t worry, Ned)  I posted about the dastardly plan by USDA/Aphis a year ago on this website, I think on a morning mug picture of the swans, and was surprised that no one responded at all. I am happy that you are paying attention now. It is ridiculous for anyone to think that killing one species will not be replaced by another so the plan includes killing ALL Mute Swans, Double-crested commorants, Crows, Rock Doves, and Starlings within a 5 mile radius and a 7 mile radius for Geese. USDA/Aphis Wildlife Sevices (a misnomer if there ever was one) kills millions of birds and other animals every year. Has anyone noticed that we used to have alot of those red-winged Blackbirds around here and now they are gone? Brown-Headed Cowbirds also were plentiful here in the spring and summer and now only occaisional. Crows? Not as many of them anymore. These are just 3 examples of migratory birds that have been done in while South and West by APHIS at the behest of the very powerful farm lobby. I’m not talking about family farms here, I am talking about the corporate concerns that don’t care about anything but the bottom line. USDA/Aphis is a runaway government agency that kills wildlife and must continue to do so to justify it’s immense budget.   The original PDF by APHIS can be read here  PDF USDA.Aphis.JFK.bird.extermination.plan.pdf    I really hope that people get off their butts, get on the phone to reps and put an end to this nonsense.  And to the commenter who said something like Who cares if we kill all the birds? (Scott?) Guess what buddy, birds are an absolute necessary part of the Earth’s ecosystem and necessary to the health of any estuary, no birds, no fish. no fish, dead ocean, dead us.

  • OnyxE

    Gillibrand is mentioning the two recent bird strikes in NY to support her plan for killing the geese in Jamaica Bay.  

    But the Delta Flight 1063 that ingested a flock of birds into its right engine (and was able to make a fairly leisurely routine unexpected landing) DID NOT HIT Canada geese….a passenger videotaped the flock before they were ingested and those were not Canada geese.  

    As well as the fact these were not Canada geese and should not be used by her to support her killing plan….one HAS to ask…if someone was able to videotape the flock why didn’t the PILOT SEE THEM!!???   And why isn’t anyone asking these questions??   I have read many aviation reports that say pilots can see birds…if they are looking for them!!!

    http://www.airsafenews.com/2012/05/bird-strikes-and-faa-rules-on-passenger.html

  • OnyxE

    People should read this so they have an idea of the misleading propaganda the goose killing groups are capable of:  

    “Memorandum of Agreement Between the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Army, the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to Address Aircraft-Wildlife Strikes”

    ….scroll down to ‘BACKGROUND’ where they state  “Aircraft-wildlife strikes are the second leading causes of aviation-related fatalities.”

    http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/CurrentBirdIssues/Hazards/birdstrikes.pdf

    Now check stats on fatal plane crashes  – pilot error causes 50% of fatal plane crashes.  Goose strikes don’t appear to be on the list of causes of fatal crashes. 

    http://planecrashinfo.com/cause.htm

    The same Memorandum of Agreement states “Globally, these strikes have killed over 400 people and destroyed more than 420 aircraft”…..well they are going back through aviation history and this includes every kind of flying craft, it includes the entire world, and we have no idea of what the wildlife management was used at the time, what kind of engines these craft had; all we know is wildlife was involved. Standards for planes and wildlife management at airports have changed drastically even in the last 30 years so using a stat from all history does not tell us much. The
    first plane bird strike recorded was actually Orville Wright who was showing off his flying prowness and chased a flock of birds and killed one.  

    828 people were killed in plane crashes in 2010 alone – all totally unrelated to wildlife strikes of any kind – yet despite 2010 stats the aviation industry thinks aviation safety is improving.    Yet Gillibrand, Bloomberg, the USDA et al  would have people believe ‘planes will be safer’ if they kill Canada geese in Jamaica Bay.   That’s an obvious crock.  

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/04/air-crashes-2010-kill-828

  • Naomi Semeniuk

    We live in a kill culture & when animals & humans can’t co exist together, it’s the animals who’re sacrificed with a violent end.  This wildlife refuge should be relocated & no wild bird should be slaughtered. If we have such high technology why haven’t the builders of these jets addressed the issue of innocent birds being sucked into the engines & why haven’t they come up with a preventative  high tech device or a sensor of some kind that will  go  off if any oncoming birds are heading towards the engines so the device will automatically divert the birds away from the engines & save the birds & the passengers?  One holocaust of one species after the other is man’s egregious failure to respect himself& the failure to resolve problems without  bloodletting. Naomi Semeniuk       

  • Pine01

    It has begun in parks in Queens. So sad. It is terrible to witness, to hear the birds desperately trying to protect their young. Helpless because they can’t fly. They throw themselves around in the trucks, honking (screaming) terrified and in the agony of a gas chamber. A terrible way to go. Thousands of other birds will be poisoned. And don’t think that the poison will not find it’s way into YOUR environment. This is a shortsighted non solution. Far more plane incidents happen due to pilot fatigue and human error. Why aren’t airlines pressed to address those issues as well as come up with technology to prevent birds from being sucked into engines? Oh yeah, that’s right, because it is so much more important for us to get a cheap flight. Your tax dollars at work.

    • nolastname

      Can you give a location?

    • nolastname

      PEASE CALL THIS NUMBER RIGHT NOW. Someone who works with Goosewatch is in Queens NOW>1-917-4359194——
      PLEASE CALL NOW The name I david.