Wildlife Control Procedures Manual *TP11500E*

Wildlife Control Procedures Manual *TP11500E*
Procedures Manual
Transport Canada
Safety and Security
Aerodrome Safety Branch
TP 11500 E
Wildlife Control
Procedures Manual
Overview of Wildlife Management
Section A
Wildlife-strike Statistics
Section B
Habitat Modification — Passive Management Techniques
Section C
Implications of Land-use Activities in the Vicinity of Airports
Section D
Active Management Using Dispersal Techniques
Section E
Active Management Using Exclusion Methods
Section F
Active Management Through Removal
Section G
Integrated Control Methods — Birds Profiles
Section H
Integrated Control Methods — Mammal Profiles
Section I
Improving Awareness of Wildlife-management Issues
Section J
Evaluating Wildlife-management Programs
Section K
This is the third edition of the Transport Canada Wildlife Control Procedures
Manual. The first was completed by Harriet Nichols, Paul Macdonald and
Robert O’Brien of Transport Canada, Airports Group. Shahnaz Zaheer,
Tamara Skillen and Tracy Aradi—co-op students from the University of
Waterloo and the University of Manitoba—completed much of the work for
the 1994 second version.
Credit for the third edition of this manual belongs to Kristi Russell, a student at
the University of Waterloo, who dedicated considerable time and effort to the
project during several co-op work terms with Transport Canada. In addition,
Stewart Dudley and Brian Hanington from Stiff Sentences provided their usual
outstanding editorial service; Mary Laurenzio and Tania Senior from Parable
Communications deserve credit for the layout and formatting. Andrew Kennedy
and Katherine St. James, also with the University of Waterloo co-op program,
assisted Kristi in researching material for the new edition.
Special credit must go to Dr. Richard Dolbeer from the United States Department
of Agriculture, who generously assisted in the technical edit of the manual.
Finally, our thanks to the many air-industry and wildlife experts whose
contributions—large and small—were essential to the completion of the Wildlife
Control Procedures Manual. It is our hope that this updated book will serve as
a useful tool in the management of wildlife-related risk at airports throughout
the world.
Bruce MacKinnon
Wildlife Control Specialist
Transport Canada, Civil Aviation
Aerodrome Safety Branch
Ottawa, Canada
January 2002
As air travel becomes more popular, so grows the need for effective wildlife
management at airports. Over the years, aircraft noise has diminished while
the numbers of aircraft have increased dramatically. Not only are birds and
mammals less able to avoid aircraft movements—there are fewer places left for
these animals to find refuge.
The first recorded bird-strike fatality occurred in 1912, when an aircraft
collided with a gull over the coast of California and crashed into the ocean,
killing the pilot. Since then, the number of reported wildlife strikes has risen
steadily. In 2000, there were 772 reported strikes to Canadian aircraft.
Although none involved human fatalities, the strikes that adversely affected
flight or inflicted damage incurred huge costs.
The direct costs—primarily to airlines—associated with replacing and repairing
damaged aircraft parts pale in comparison to the indirect costs incurred through
aborted takeoffs, rescheduled flights, passenger and crew accommodations, and
missed connection arrangements. Perhaps most damaging are the affects to
airline reputation and reliability incurred when customers are inconvenienced
by wildlife-related incidents.
Through the implementation of effective wildlife-management plans—including
active and passive wildlife-management techniques—the costs, risks and damages
associated with wildlife strikes can be significantly reduced.
This document is an update of Transport Canada’s Wildlife Control Procedures
Manual (TP11500). Last revised in 1994, the previous manual included guidance
on wildlife-management procedures at Canadian airports, as well as information
concerning available products and techniques and wildlife-control legislation.
Since publication, considerable field research at many airports in Canada and
the United States has led to improved management procedures. Furthermore,
many new wildlife-management products have been introduced, while some
control methods outlined in the 1994 edition require modification to remain
effective. This revised manual includes a ranking of hazardous species found at
Canadian airports, as well as methods for control of those species not included
in the previous edition.
The Wildlife Control Procedures Manual compiles information from a variety
of Canadian and American publications to present up-to-date information on
the wildlife-hazard management issue.
The 1994 edition served as the National Airports Group (NAP) policy manual
on wildlife management, and included policy and strategic planning information
that is no longer relevant. Transport Canada has recently published a guide to
wildlife control titled Sharing the Skies (TP 13549), which includes strategic
information previously included in the manual. This new edition of The Wildlife
Control Procedures Manual serves as a tactical guide for wildlife-management
personnel at the airport and in the field, providing specific guidance on the
management of individual species.
Sections A and B are an overview of wildlife management from both national
and international perspectives. The overview is followed by sections on longterm solutions available through passive wildlife-management techniques,
including habitat modification and mitigating hazardous land-use activities
adjacent to airports. Active management techniques are discussed in the
following three sections, assessing various removal, exclusion and dispersal
methods. Sections H and I discuss control methods for problem birds and
mammals in the airport environment; suggested management techniques are
limited to those that have proven effective through research and application.
Section J concludes the manual with information on implementing and assessing
wildlife control programs.
The appendices contain, among other items, proposed amendments to the
Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) that specifically address—for the first
time—wildlife management and planning at Canadian airports. The proposed
regulation will ensure a more formal approach to wildlife management
by establishing the criteria for the management of wildlife hazards at all
designated airports.
Every airport is unique: their size, number of aircraft movements and type of
air-traffic control programs vary significantly. Wildlife management programs
are as varied as the airports they serve, and should result from thorough sitespecific inventories and assessments. Wildlife control is an art as well as a
science, and the information contained in this manual will provide a starting
point from which airport wildlife controllers can begin to manage existing
wildlife and habitat problems.
Section A
Overview of Wildlife Management
Established Practices and Principles for Airports
Contractors and insurance
Habitat modification
Adjacent land-use activities
Dispersal techniques
Exclusion methods
Removal methods
Overview of Wildlife Management - A.1
Transport Canada regards all airport wildlife as a potential safety hazard.
Departmental policy therefore encourages the siting, construction, maintenance,
and operation of airports and their facilities in a manner that minimizes
this hazard.
The role of Transport Canada headquarters is to develop and promulgate
regulations, standards and related applicable policies. This includes providing
functional direction to regional offices on regulatory safety oversight programs
and related guidance material. Regions are responsible to deliver the program
in accordance with functional direction. The department does not play a direct
role in the implementation of wildlife control programs at individual airports,
but does provide awareness material and expertise upon request or through the
normal cycle of distributing education and awareness material. Responsibility
for program design and implementation now rests with management teams at
each airport.
A successful wildlife-control management plan reduces hazards to aircraft and
minimizes maintenance problems by rendering airport property less attractive
to animals. The safety benefits are real for all concerned: airports, airlines, the
public—and wildlife.
Airport wildlife can be controlled by:
managing habitat so that airports do not attract wildlife,
excluding wildlife from airports through the use of fences or other means,
dispersing wildlife from the premises, and
removing wildlife, either dead or alive.
The best long-term control is achieved through habitat management; however,
it is impossible to completely control wildlife in this way. Birds are particularly
difficult to manage because they are mobile and they readily adapt to changing
environments. In most situations, active removal or dispersal of wildlife is
necessary, in conjunction with habitat management techniques.
Established Practices and Principles for Airports
Habitat management modifies and limits wildlife attractants on airport lands.
By altering the airport environment, habitat management simplifies the task of
A.2 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
excluding wildlife, and helps reduce the amount of time required to remove
problem species. The need to initiate active dispersal or hazing against birds or
mammals often arises when habitat management plans have not been fully or
successfully implemented.
Identification of site-specific problem species
The development of a habitat management plan begins with an ecological site
study that identifies specific problem areas. This study creates an inventory of
wildlife in the vicinity of airports and includes identification, population sizes,
locations, and movements of all species. The study describes the aerodrome
features and areas that attract wildlife; problem areas are directly related to
problem bird and mammal species on site.
An effective reporting program is a key contributor to a successful ecological
survey. The designated Wildlife Control Officer patrols the airport grounds
and maintains a daily log of wildlife activity. Log entries include sighting times,
locations, numbers and species observed, actions taken, and results obtained.
From this data, activities and projects associated with the management plan
can be ranked and executed accordingly.
Contractors and insurance
Some airports choose to hire private bird- and mammal-control firms rather
than maintain wildlife control officers on staff. The existence of a well-crafted
wildlife management plan is critical in contracting scenarios, as the contents of
the plan inform and define the actions and responsibilities of the contractors.
Agreements address many issues, including equipment supply, hours of operation,
and ancillary duties.
Insurance companies often impose certain conditions on contractors, not the
least of which may be the requirement to maintain adequate public-liability
policies—coverage that protects the airport operator in the event of damage or
injury resulting from the work of the contractor.
Private bird- and mammal-control firms should ensure their scope of work is
properly detailed within the contract, as insurance may not cover work that is
not specifically mentioned in the agreement.
Habitat modification
The most effective way to reduce wildlife hazards in the vicinity of airports is
to ensure birds and mammals are not drawn to the grounds. All aspects of
airport design should address and minimize the food, shelter, water and open
Overview of Wildlife Management - A.3
space that attract wildlife. Modifying
natural and man-made environments—
following assessments of problem
species and their attractants—can render
these areas unappealing and inaccessible
to wildlife. This is an effective long-term
solution that can minimize problem
species in specific areas.
Open drainage ditches that attract birds
Examples of airport habitat modifications include:
• modifying buildings and signs to
reduce nesting and perching areas,
• designing drainage ditches to minimize
standing water, and
• removing vegetation from banks of
water bodies.
Airport managers are also advised to consider site-specific grass-management
programs (which can deter many problem species) and should, when leasing airport
lands for agricultural purposes, prohibit the harvesting of certain crops and limit
practices—such as ploughing—to certain times of the day.
Adjacent land-use activities
Airports that were once miles from city limits must now face wildlife-control
issues raised by the close-proximity of incompatible land-use activities such as
landfill sites, garbage dumps, agricultural activities, and coastal commercial
fish-processing plants. Airport operators should communicate with regional and
municipal governments as active participants in land-use planning decisions.
Where incompatible land uses exist or are being considered, airport operators
should work to minimize the adverse effects. Creating education and awareness
programs and establishing co-operative working relationships with governments,
interest groups, and stakeholders, usually lead to compromises that accommodate
all parties.
Dispersal techniques
Scare tactics and auditory deterrents are perhaps the most common and widely
used method of wildlife control. These first-line techniques, used to repel
wildlife immediately from the airport, include shell crackers, pyrotechnics, and
A.4 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
gas cannons. Unfortunately, the low cost, ease of application, and immediate
realization of results from these methods has led to their over-use. Generally,
their effectiveness is short-lived; they are inexpensive in the short run but require
repeated applications for the control of persistent wildlife types. And while costs
escalate with the number of applications, so does the likelihood of habituation—
and the requirement for new measures and budget allocations when it becomes
clear that problem species have not been deterred or eliminated.
The use of scare tactics and dispersal methods should not be considered a primary
control method for persistent or resident wildlife species. These techniques can,
however, provide the first line of defence for true transients and migrant species
that cause periodic problems. In all other cases, dispersal techniques should be
employed as components of integrated wildlife-control programs.
Exclusion methods
Exclusion methods comprise man-made barriers such as fences and netting
that keep wildlife away from areas at airports where food, water and shelter
can normally be found. These barriers are commonly used to restrict mammal
movement and manage bodies of water. When successful, these measures
provide permanent solutions to wildlife problems in protected areas.
Removal methods
Generally, removal methods—trapping, shooting, and poisoning—provide
short-term solutions to the presence of problem species. Removal methods will
eliminate the species temporarily, but if the attractant is not removed the
population will simply replenish itself. Trained personnel and, in most cases,
permits are required to carry out these measures. Please check with local
authorities for guidance and information on legislation in your jurisdiction.
Section B
Wildlife-strike Statistics
Number of strikes
Aircraft crashes and loss of life
Near crashes
Direct damage resulting from bird-strikes
Delayed-effect damage resulting from bird-strikes
Multiple-cause accidents resulting from bird-strikes
Trends in wildlife-strike incidents
Geographical distribution
Distribution by time of day
Distribution by time of year
Distribution by altitude
Distribution by flight phase
Distribution by aircraft speed
Species involved
Other considerations
Collisions between mammals and aircraft
Bird-aircraft interactions — International trends
Wildlife-strike Statistics - B.1
This section presents an overview of available wildlife-strike data as it pertains
to aircraft and the animals with which they collide. Comprehensive data and
analysis can be found in Sharing the Skies (TP 13549E), available from
Transport Canada.
Number of strikes
Available data shows that since 1912, 223 people have been killed worldwide
in at least 37 bird-strike-related civil-aircraft accidents. In military aviation, 165
fatalities have occurred in 353 serious accidents since 1950. Anecdotal evidence
suggests that these numbers represent only a fraction of the total bird-strikerelated occurrences. Countless strikes go unreported each year for a variety of
reasons, including:
• bird-strike reporting is not mandatory in most parts of the world;
• some countries, airlines and airports are reluctant to publish bird-strike
statistics due to liability concerns and negative public perception of flight
• loss of information occurs in many developing countries due to lack of funding,
expertise, and media coverage; and
• damage caused by bird-strikes is sometimes attributed to other causes.
Many member states of the International Civil Aviation Organization
(ICAO) report occurrences of bird-strikes annually; ICAO summarizes and
publishes this data for each year. Canada has a well-established bird and
mammal reporting procedure of its own, outlined in Section J. Transport
Canada also publishes an annual summary report that analyzes all Januaryto-December database information. This report can be viewed on-line at:
B.2 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Aircraft crashes and loss of life
The first bird-strike fatality was recorded in North America in 1912, when Cal
Rodgers—the first man to fly across the United States—lost his life after a gull
became jammed in the controls of his aircraft, causing the plane to crash.
Most crashes—civil and military—follow collisions with large birds such as
vultures and migratory waterfowl; however, flocks of small birds such as
starlings and cowbirds are often involved. In military aviation, severe engine
damage due to bird ingestion often results in the loss of low-flying single-engine
aircraft. Fortunately, pilots are usually able to eject and parachute to safety.
However, on September 22, 1995, a Boeing E-3B Sentry (AWACS) struck a
flock of geese on takeoff from Anchorage, Alaska. As the aircraft lifted off, a
senior controller saw geese rise and turn directly into the aircraft’s flight path.
Birds were ingested into the number-one and number-two engines. The aircraft
went down, exploded, and burned in a wooded area less than two kilometers
from the end of the runway. All 24 crew members were killed. An official U.S.
Air Force accident investigation concluded that the accident “was directly
caused by the ingestion of Canada Geese into engines number one and
number two.”
Birds are suspected to have caused a number of otherwise unexplained civil
and military aviation crashes. One involved a Vickers Viscount that went down
in the Irish Sea in 1968. While no proof of a strike was established—much of
the aircraft was not recovered for examination—Bewick’s Swans were known
to be migrating in the same area that day.
Crashes that may have involved bird-strikes are often never reported, either by
aviation authorities or by the media. In April 2000, 21 people died when an
Antanov AN-8 collided with birds on takeoff in Pepa, Congo. Few details
regarding this accident were ever made available. Due to a lack of funding and
expertise in the country, no investigation was ever completed, nor was the
crash covered intensively by the media.
Table 1.1 (see pages B.4 and B.5) outlines all recorded international bird-strike
incidents involving fatalities or the loss of an aircraft.
Wildlife-strike Statistics - B.3
Near crashes
Occasionally, bird-strike damage is so extensive it is difficult to comprehend
how a crash did not occur. For example, a KLM Boeing 747 struck a flock of
Canada Geese just prior to touchdown at Calgary International Airport on
October 26th, 1992. Multiple bird-strikes during this critical phase of flight—
in close proximity to the ground—have the potential to lead to disaster. The
aircraft landed without further incident and no one on board was injured;
however, the aircraft sustained major uncontained damage to the number-one
engine. The leading-edge slats were also severely damaged.
Another near-accident occurred in a collision between a flock of migrating
Snow Geese and a CP Air twin-engine B-737 on descent into Winnipeg
International Airport with 82 passengers on board. The aircraft took several
hits: one inflicted a heavy dent to the top of an engine air-intake cowling and
another strike dented the bottom of the cowling on the opposite side. Had the
aircraft been in a roll attitude at the moment of impact, geese could have
entered both engines. Disaster was also averted when the pilot reduced
airspeed after being issued a general warning that migrating waterfowl were in
the vicinity of the approach path.
In June 1993, a Canadian Airlines Boeing 737 aircraft with six crew and 110
passengers experienced a severe bird-strike during a scheduled flight to
Vancouver. No bird activity was noted during the initial roll, but immediately
after rotation the view from the windscreen was suddenly obscured by a flock
of gulls—more than 60 dead gulls were later found on the runway. Multiple
strikes occurred at approximately 30-feet AGL. The number-one engine lost
power, exhibiting compressor stalls and high vibration. The number-two
engine continued to develop full power, but vibration led the crew to suspect
that it too was damaged. Once established in a climb, the captain declared an
emergency and leveled off at 2,200-feet AGL before turning back. The power
lever on the left engine was reduced to idle—the engine was torching and
surging. Approximately 10 minutes after the bird-strike, the aircraft landed
and taxied to the terminal. The aircraft’s leading-edge slats were badly
damaged; both engines had to be replaced. The cost: more than $4 million.
B.4 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Table 1.1 World-wide Bird Strike Accidents Involving Destruction Of Aircraft Or
Fatality, 1912–1997
Bell 206
Vancouver, Canada
Transport Aircraft
Boston, USA
Lahore, Pakistan
Maryland, USA
Lake Erie, USA
Khar, Ambadu, India
Atlanta, USA
Norwich, United Kingdom
Watertown, USA
Kennedy N.Y., USA
Dunsfold, United Kingdom
Bari, Italy
Naples, Fla., USA
Gossellies, Belgium
Kalamazoo, USA
Lunken, Cincinnati, USA
Le Bourget, Paris, France
Wilmington, USA
Bahar Dar, Ethiopia
Lockheed L188Electra (Allison 501)
Douglas DC3 (P&W R1830)
Vickers Viscount (Dart)
Falcon 20 (CF700)
Douglas DC3 (P&W R1830)
Lear 24 (CJ610)
Falcon 20 (CF700)
NA265 Sabreliner (JT12A)
DC10 (CF6)
HS125 (Viper)
Lear 24 (CJ610)
Falcon 20 (CF700)
B-737 (JT8D)
Convair 580 (Allison 501)
Lear 23 (CJ610)
Lear 35 (TFE731)
Lear 25 (CJ610)
Boeing 737 (JT8D)
Airplanes of 5700 kg and below
– / – /55
– /03/63
– / – /81
Beech 35
Cessna 180
Mitsubishi MU2
Saab MFJ15
Aero Commander 690
Swearington Merlin
Cessna 402
Callair A9
Long Beach, Calif., USA
Madras, India
Aberdare Mtns, Kenya
Serengeti, Tanganyka
Bakersfield, Calif., USA
Nr Belfast, United Kingdom
British Columbia, Can.
Atlantic City, USA
Nr Awassa, Ethiopia
Meigs Field, Chicago, USA
Palo Alto, Calif., USA
Near Musiars, Kenya
Osprey Homebuild
Piper PA31 Navajo (5Y–SRV)
Cessna 401 (5Y–BGW)
Mir. 2000
S. Etendard
Cape Liptrap, Australia
Maasi-Mara, Kenya
Maasi-mara, Kenya
United States
United States
Wright Flyer
Wildlife-strike Statistics - B.5
Table 1.1 World-wide Bird Strike Accidents Involving Destruction Of Aircraft Or
Fatality, 1912–1997 continued...
Part Struck
Raven / 1.2 kg
4/4 killed
Transport Aircraft
Part Struck
Starlings / 80 gm
Vulture / up to 10 kg
Whistling Swan / 6 kg
Gulls / 280 gm to 1.7 kg
Cranes / up to 6 kg
Cowbirds / 44 gm
Gulls / 275 g to 420 g
Franklin’s Gull / 260 gm
Gulls / 485 g to 1.7 kg
Lapwing / 215 gm
Gulls / 280 gm to 1.7 kg
Ring-billed Gulls / 485 gm
Wood Pigeon / 465 gm
Sparrowhawk / 105 gm
Loon / 3.7 kg
Black-headed Gulls / 275 gm
Starlings / 80 gm
Speckled Pigeon / 320 gm
Airplanes of 5700 kg and below
Part Struck
Wing tip
Griffin Vulture / 5.4 kg
Common Loon / 3.7 kg
Bald Eagle / 5 kg
Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture / 7.5 kg
Black Kite
top-surface wing
White-headed Vulture / about 5.4 kg
Wing tip
Canada Geese
72/ 62 killed9 injured
3/1 killed
17/17 killed
7/7 killed/ 1-third- party injured
9/1 minor injury
6/3 injured
9/6 third party killed
11/11 injured
43/3 injured
2/1 killed1 injured
–/1 injured
104/35 killed21 injured
1/1 killed
1/1 killed
1/1 killed
1/1 killed
1/1 killed
1/1 killed
3/2 killed
3/3 killed
22 killed
4/4 killed
4/2 killed1 injured
1/1 killed
1/1 minor injury
9/9 killed
7/7 killed
24/24 killed
2/2 killed
B.6 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Direct damage resulting from bird-strikes
While strikes can occur against the underside of the fuselage, the flaps, landing
lights, and landing gear, the forward facing parts of the aircraft—including
engines, wings, windshields and noses—are the most commonly struck.
Windshield strikes can cause cracks, shattering, and penetration. In the worst
cases, pilots are exposed to flying glass and bird debris, as well as the powerful
airflow resulting from a compromised windshield.
The propellers on piston-engine aircraft
are strong and, although often struck, are
rarely damaged by birds. The rotating
blades also tend to protect engines, if only
by reducing bird size and, therefore, the
effect of impact. In fact, severe damage to
piston engines as a result of bird-strikes is
rarely reported.
Military aircraft damaged by Turkey Vulture
Exposed turbine engines, however, are
highly vulnerable to bird impact.
Compressor, rotor and stator blades
can bend or break—in the worst cases,
they are completely destroyed.
In January 2001, a Delta Airlines MD-11 ingested a Herring Gull into the numberone engine on takeoff from Portland International Airport in Oregon, U.S. This
caused an uncontained failure and the takeoff was aborted. The strike inflicted
approximately $1 million in damage, including a torn engine cowl and burned tires
and landing gear.
Delayed-effect damage resulting from bird-strikes
Some bird-strike damage is subtle enough to evade initial or cursory inspections.
Referred to as delayed-effect damage, it usually occurs to turbine-powered
engines. One such incident involved a DC-8 that struck a bird during takeoff from
Rome. The engine remained in use after a visual check revealed no apparent
damage. However 50 service hours later the engine failed while cruising over
Lethbridge, Alberta. An inspection showed that a blade had failed and the
Wildlife-strike Statistics - B.7
compressor was damaged. Although there was no proof, engine failure likely
resulted from the bird ingestion.
Caution should be continually exercised, as demonstrated in the case of a DC-8
bound for Tokyo from Vancouver. The aircraft struck a large flock of sparrowsized shorebirds as it lifted off the runway. The captain reported the strike to
the tower, and ground staff found several hundred dead birds on the runway.
This information was relayed to the captain, who then spoke to his company’s
chief engineer. Although the cockpit instruments did not indicate trouble, the
captain decided to return for inspection. Two hours later—after dumping 20
tons of fuel—the aircraft returned to the airport. A post-flight inspection
revealed damage to eight fan blades in one engine, seven in another engine, and
minor damage to the other two. The two seriously damaged engines had to be
replaced. Upon examining the damaged blades, engineers speculated that
fracture and disastrous engine damage was inevitable—likely within two or three
hours of cruise-power operation, or about half way across the Pacific Ocean.
Multiple-cause accidents resulting from bird-strikes
An accident that is caused by the combined or successive effects of several factors
is called a multiple-cause accident, illustrated in the following scenario.
On takeoff, a B-747 collided with a flock of gulls. The crew heard noises that
suggested a bird-strike. At the same time, they felt vibration—verified by
instruments—in the number-four engine, which was subsequently shut down.
The vibration ceased. The aircraft returned to the airport, where the runway
was wet and slippery. At touchdown, the crew applied brakes and attempted
engine reverse on number-one, -two, and -three engines. The latter engine
malfunctioned and could not be reversed. With two engines reversed on one
side, the aircraft began to yaw, skidded off the end of the runway, and stopped
when the nose landing gear collapsed after striking a slab of concrete. All
occupants were evacuated via the emergency chutes; a few passengers received
minor injuries.
Damage to the aircraft was substantial. Visual examination showed no birdstrike evidence on engines one, two or four, but the number-three engine had
been struck by at least one gull, damaging the engine fan blades. Testing of the
aircraft systems showed that a component of the thrust-reversing mechanism
on the number-three engine was locked, and that the vibration monitor on the
number-four engine malfunctioned because of a broken wire.
B.8 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Several factors contributed to this accident, including the wet runway, the birdstrike and the faulty instrumentation. If the crew had shut down the number-three
engine instead of number four—which had not been struck and operated
normally—the landing could have been completed without further complications.
While not necessarily demonstrated in the above incident, it is important to
note that multiple-cause accidents often include some misjudgment or error on
the part of the flight crew. Serious strikes have the potential not only to damage
aircraft, but also to startle and distract pilots, and—in certain circumstances—
impair their judgment.
Trends in wildlife-strike incidents
Geographical distribution
Collisions between birds and aircraft occur whenever birds and aircraft occupy
the same airspace; however, strike frequency varies greatly with location. For
example, higher strike rates can be expected along migratory flyways and over
bodies of water.
Rather than simply counting the number of incidents, strike rates should be
calculated (as the number of strikes per 10,000 movements) to accurately
evaluate the strike risks in a particular region. It is generally accepted that a
rate exceeding three strikes per 10,000 movements indicates the need to
improve or re-evaluate the existing bird-management program.
Distribution by time of day
Most bird species are active during the day; however, many diurnal species
limit their daylight functions to dusk and dawn. While nocturnal birds such as
owls and nighthawks are, by definition, primarily active at night and rarely
hunt during the daylight hours, many diurnal species—including geese and
ducks—also feed and fly at night. Night migrations of many species, such as
geese and swans, are common.
While bird-strikes can therefore occur at any hour of the day and night,
Transport Canada data to 2000 indicates that most strikes occur in the early
morning and decrease slowly throughout the day. Very few strikes are reported
between midnight and 0500h—not only are most birds inactive during this
time, but also there are fewer aircraft movements. However, an examination of
strike-rates indicates that the difference between rates for day and night are
surprisingly small.
Wildlife-strike Statistics - B.9
Distribution by time of year
Monthly strike rates reveal three peak periods:
• spring migration in March,
• fall migration in October, and
• July—likely due to the presence of naïve young birds and their dispersal
from breeding areas.
Distribution by altitude
According to available data concerning the altitudes at which civil and military
aviation bird-strikes have occurred, low-altitude strikes are the most common.
Preliminary data analysis, however, shows that high-altitude strikes (above
500-feet AGL) involving large birds are occurring more frequently. These
strikes often cause substantial aircraft damage and adverse flight effects, as aircraft
are traveling at higher speeds and pilots are less aware of the presence of birds.
Only a small percentage of strikes occur at heights above 3,000-feet AGL.
Transport Canada data shows that within the airport environment 90 percent
of bird-strikes in which altitude is recorded occur below 500-feet AGL. The
highest reported bird-strike took place at 37,000 feet on November 29, 1973;
a commercial jet airliner collided with a Ruppeli’s Griffon Vulture over Abijan,
Ivory Coast. It is also common for strikes to occur at 0 feet AGL, immediately
prior to takeoff and just after landing.
Distribution by flight phase
Most birds fly at altitudes below 500-feet AGL, where flight-phase strike
statistics indicate the majority of collisions are likely to occur.
In civil aviation, about 38 percent of strikes happen during takeoff; approximately
41 percent occur while aircraft are landing. These numbers support research and
development efforts aimed at reducing bird hazards in the immediate vicinity of
airfields. However, off-airport strikes during climb-cruise-descent may be more
hazardous not only because they are more likely to involve large soaring birds and
migrating flocks of waterfowl, but also because aircraft are traveling at higher
speeds. Strikes that occur en-route also pose serious hazards, since flight crews
cannot benefit from the control and warning systems often afforded in close
proximity to airports. Strikes that occur outside airport airspace—above 500-feet
AGL on takeoff and 250-feet AGL on approach—are deemed to be beyond airport
operators’ direct spheres of influence. In response, researchers are currently
developing radar systems capable of detecting such bird movements.
B.10 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Distribution by aircraft speed
In civil aviation, most bird-strikes occur at relatively low altitudes and involve
aircraft flying below cruise speed. In the United Kingdom, for example, more
than 80 percent of all strikes occur at speeds between 80 and 160 knots.
Statistics such as these explain why most aircraft certification standards are
limited to testing the impact of a single, 4-lb. bird at design cruise speed.
Species involved
The way birds behave in the face of approaching aircraft varies with the species.
Birds of prey are reported to have attacked gliders and aircraft, whereas waterfowl
tend to avoid airplanes. Birds such as woodpeckers—which spend their lives
among trees—are unlikely to be involved in strikes unless they are migrating. In
Canada, birds as big as a Sandhill Crane and as small as a Ruby-crowned Kinglet
have been struck by aircraft, but what is perhaps most perplexing is that the list of
species involved in strikes continues to grow.
High-risk species are those that are most frequently involved in strikes, as well as
those that cause the greatest damage. Larger birds tend to inflict more damage
due to higher impact forces. Since they are more likely to be felt—and provide
evidence in the form of easily identifiable remains (feathers, claws, or bills)—
strikes to large birds are most often reported. Gulls, waterfowl, raptors, and
vultures are some of the most hazardous species at airports.
Loafing gulls on an airfield
Gulls are a frequent problem at many
North American and European airports;
when species are identified. At least one
third of reported strikes involve gulls.
Exceptional at adapting to the human
environment, these birds commonly use
airports as loafing and pre-roosting sites.
Gulls are good gliders, but cannot
accelerate quickly to avoid approaching
aircraft. Furthermore—and as often
occurs with European Starlings and
Dunlins—gulls often try to out-fly
aircraft rather than move to the side.
Many gull species are big enough to
cause substantial aircraft damage, so it is
not surprising they are considered the
number-one hazardous bird at airports
in many countries, including Canada.
Wildlife-strike Statistics - B.11
Research shows that Ring-billed Gull populations in the lower Great Lakes
region increased at the rate of approximately 12 percent per year during the
1970’s and 1980’s.
Large, slow-flying birds such as hawks—often engaged in hunting activities
over airfields—pose a high risk to aircraft. Eagles have been involved in fatal
bird-strike accidents, perhaps as a result of the aggressive behaviour this
species can display toward aircraft.
Although vultures are not known to attack aircraft, the slow speed of these
birds contributes to their involvement in many serious strikes, particularly in
the Far East. Hooded Vultures and Black Kites are a nuisance at Dakar
International Airport, Senegal, and at Yuncum Bathurst Airport, Gambia. The
Turkey Vulture is becoming an increasing problem at North American airports
due to its large size and soaring behaviour. Turkey Vulture populations are on
the increase, and the birds are now found in southern Canada, where they are
likely to pose problems at airports in the near future.
Despite their wariness of humans and aircraft, waterfowl—swans, geese, and
ducks—cause extensive damage. Among the largest flying birds in the world,
waterfowl deliver high-impact force in collisions. Strikes involving waterfowl
are most common in the former USSR and Canada, where population numbers
are high. Canada Geese are an increasing problem in many Canadian cities, as
these birds adapt quickly and become resident in urban environments. The
North American population of non-migratory Canada Geese has grown to
more than two million birds. The total North American population of Canada
Geese is now over five million birds, increasing the risk of bird-strikes at
many airports.
Other considerations
Investigations at a few airports have verified that some species are a problem
only in specific areas and only at certain times of the year.
The Snowy Owl is one example. Small numbers of this Arctic breeder move
southward in some winters, hunting along runways and taxiways at airfields
in southern Canada. Inexperienced and unafraid in the presence of aircraft,
these large birds can pose a high risk. They have been involved in a few costly
strikes at Lester B. Pearson International Airport.
The USAF has a special problem at Whiteman AFB, Missouri. The booming
ground (the area in which birds perform social displays during the mating
B.12 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
season) of the Greater Prairie Chicken—an endangered species—is located on
the base’s main runway. The USAF has taken measures such as altering flight
schedules to cope with the problem without killing the birds.
These examples demonstrate that the nature of bird-strike hazards varies with
location; each problem should be investigated on its own merits to determine
the unique characteristics.
Knowledge of the age of birds can help in determining effective control
methods. While such data are scarce, what is known seems to indicate that
young birds are more prone to contact with aircraft. For instance, at Kingisepp
Airport, in the former USSR, six of seven gulls struck between early July and
early August were identified as immature birds; Lester B. Pearson International
Airport reported similar data in the 1970s.
It is sometimes difficult to know exactly where a bird-strike occurred. In one
instance, a Sabena aircraft flew from Belgium to Montreal, where its crew
reported a bird-strike. Later the same week, Sabena reported another strike at
Montreal. The airline was concerned; engine damage was extensive and costly.
Bird remains obtained from the engines of both aircraft were identified as those
of lapwings, a species not native to Canada but common in Belgium.
Apparently, the birds were struck on takeoff and lodged against the engines’
inlet guide vanes. In Montreal, following the altered airflow during engine
slowdown and reverse thrust, the carcasses were dislodged and drawn through
the engines, severely damaging them. The hypothesis is not without precedent.
In a similar experience, a duck carcass remained lodged against the inlet guide
vanes of a Canadian aircraft during a flight of several hours.
Collisions between mammals and aircraft
While less frequent than bird-strikes—and occurring at fewer locations—
collisions involving large mammals such as Elk, deer and Moose can be
understandably serious. Mammal activity and sightings in the vicinity of
airports are often responsible for missed approaches and aborted takeoffs.
Deer are the most commonly struck mammals at North American airports. In
Canada, a total of 18 deer strikes have been reported to Transport Canada.
Damage is almost always substantial. In January 2001, a Lear 60 attempting
to land at Troy, Alabama, struck two deer and skidded off the runway. Quick
action on the ground saved the lives of the two pilots; however, the aircraft
was destroyed.
Wildlife-strike Statistics - B.13
Coyote strikes also occur in North
America. At an airport in California, a
Coyote was struck by the nose-wheel of
an L-1011. Numerous Coyote incidents
have been recently reported in Canada
as well, including an unlikely occurrence
at Calgary in which an Air Canada
aircraft hit two Coyotes at once.
Bat strikes were first reported in 1969.
Mexican Freetail Bats did a great deal
of damage to T-38 and T-37 aircraft at
Randolph AFB, near San Antonio,
Texas. These bats migrate in spring
from Mexico into the South Western United States, where they inhabit large
caves. Their numbers swell to an estimated 40 million by August. Each night,
huge swarms of bats leave their roosts in search of airborne insects.
Mammals seen on airport runways
Bird-aircraft interactions — International trends
The following organizations maintain major databases containing North
American bird-strike information:
• Transport Canada,
• the Federal Aviation Administration (United States), and
• the International Civil Aviation Organization (International).
Key information from each is summarized below.
The Bird-strike Information System (IBIS) of the International Civil Aviation
Organization (ICAO) provides analysis of bird-strike reports received from
different countries. Findings based on 1998 IBIS statistics reveal the following:
• 64 percent of reported strikes occurred during daylight hours, 22 percent
occurred at night, and the remainder occurred at dawn or dusk;
• 72 percent of reported strikes involved turbofan aircraft (over 27,000 kg);
• 34 percent of reported strikes occurred during approach, 20 percent during
takeoff-run, and 17 percent during climb out;
• 48 percent of reported strikes occurred below 100 feet; and
B.14 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
• in 81 percent of reported strike incidents the pilots were not warned of
bird activity.
A total of 16,488 reported bird-strikes took place between 1989 and 1992.
Table 1.2 illustrates the different bird groups involved in these strikes.
The following tables contain information compiled from the world bird-strike
statistics of ICAO. These figures indicate that 98 percent of bird-strikes
occurred during takeoff, climb, final approach, landing, and taxiing—
reinforcing the critical role of effective airport-based wildlife control programs
in preventing bird-strikes.
Bird Type
# of Strikes
Bird Type
# of Strikes
16 488
Note: As all of these parameters are not reported for every bird strike, the
totals may not add up to 16 488.
Aircraft Classification
# of Strikes
Turbo fan over 27 000
12 417
Turbo prop under 27 000
Flight Phase
# of Strikes
Piston under 5700
Other, unknown, glider
Take-off Run
Turbo fan under 27 000
Turbo jet under 27 000
En route
Turbo jet over 27 000
Turbo prop over 27 000
Landing Roll
Piston over 5700
Wildlife-strike Statistics - B.15
Height Above
# of Strikes
GroundLevel (AGL) (ft)
0 – 100
Indicated Air Speed
# of Strikes
Knots (IAS - KT)
0 – 80
81 – 100
101– 200
201 – 500
101 – 150
151 – 200
501 – 1000
1001 – 2500
201 – 250
Over 2501
Over 250
Aircraft Damage
# of Strikes
Light Condition
15 315
Effect On Flight
# of Strikes
12 078
Aborted take-off
Precautionary landing
Engine(s) shutdown
Forced landing
Penetration of windshield
Penetration of airframe
Vision obscured
# of Strikes
10 682
B.16 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Parts Struck
# of Strikes
Parts Damaged
# of Strikes
1 engine
1 engine
2 engines
2 engines
3 engines
3 engines
4 engines
4 engines
Landing gear
Landing gear
Pitot/static head
Pitot/static head
Tail rotor
Other part
Tail rotor
Other part
Transport Canada compiles an annual Bird-Strike to Canadian Aircraft
Summary Report that analyzes Canadian airport and aircraft information
received throughout the year. In 1999, Canadian aircraft received 741 reported
bird-strikes. While most had no direct effect on flights, precautionary landings
followed 47 incidents, engine ingestions took place in five, and 18 incidents
resulted in aborted takeoffs.
In 42.6 percent of cases, carcasses could not be identified; however, when birds
were recognizable:
35 percent were gulls,
12 percent were Snow Buntings,
12 percent were sparrows and swallows,
9 percent were waterfowl, and
4 percent were hawks.
Wildlife-strike Statistics - B.17
As previous figures indicated, most occurrences took place at or near airports:
37 percent during the takeoff run,
26 percent during landing roll,
24 percent during approach, and
8 percent during climb-out.
Most strikes took place between July and October. Dash-8 aircraft received the
highest number of reported strikes (103 incidents).
In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) publishes
annual civil-aviation bird-strike reports in conjunction with the U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA). The most recent report covers the 10-year
period from 1990 to 1999, in which 28,150 bird-strikes and 681 mammal
strikes were reported. Reports were compiled from all states and from foreign
countries when U.S. aircraft were involved.
51 percent of bird-strikes occurred between July and October.
65 percent occurred during the day.
53 percent occurred when aircraft were on approach or during landing roll.
39 percent occurred during takeoff and climb.
Approximately 55 percent occurred below 100-feet AGL within the airport
The species most often struck include:
gulls, 29 percent;
doves, 12 percent;
waterfowl, 12 percent; and
raptors, 11 percent.
The most commonly struck mammals were White-tailed Deer (49 percent) and
Coyotes (10 percent).
B.18 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
The analysis of wildlife-strike data has, in recent years, provided a wealth of
valuable information that reveals a great deal about the nature of bird and
mammal hazards. The data has become a critical aspect in wildlife-control
program design, allowing airport authorities to mount targeted and effective
campaigns against the unique dangers found at individual airports around the
world. The data are also used by engine and airframe manufacturers in the
design of aircraft components. An interesting finding in the 10-year report
involved bird ingestions into turbofan engines. The number of ingestions
per 1 million movements was 5 times greater for underwing-mounted engines
(e.g. Boeing 737) compared to fuselage-mounted engines (e.g. MD-80).
Section C
Habitat Modification — Passive
Management Techniques
The ecological survey (wildlife hazard assessment)
Taking action at airports
Transient and resident wildlife species
Wildlife attractants at airports
Attractive Habitat — Suggested methods of control
Runways, aprons, and taxiways
Landscaped areas
Water-body management
Airport buildings and structures
Miscellaneous bird attractions
Edible waste and edible-waste storage
Garbage dumps
Perching and nesting sites
Habitat Modification — Passive Management Techniques - C.1
Successful wildlife management inevitably results when airports alter the
features that make these locations attractive to high-risk species. Referred to as
habitat modification, this procedure involves fundamental and sometimes
drastic alterations to both the natural and man-made aspects of airport
environments. Sources of food, water and shelter (places to nest, feed, loaf, or
roost in safety) are removed or modified, and the number of resident animals
and species are reduced; as a result, strikes occur less frequently.
While more costly than many other techniques, habitat modification offers the
greatest possibility for a lasting solution. Although initial costs may be high,
long-term wildlife-management costs are significantly reduced, as the need for
ongoing scaring and killing activities is minimized.
The key to effective habitat modification is to remove existing attractions
without introducing new enticements that may appeal to other species. Many
species are rarely involved in strikes—a robin nesting beside a hangar is of little
concern, yet action should be taken to prevent a flock of gulls from loafing on
a runway. Every species on the airport presents a risk; however, larger flocking
species are particularly hazardous and should therefore be dealt with first (see
Section H). Therefore, habitat modification should be aimed primarily against
those species that pose the greatest risk to aircraft safety.
The ecological survey (wildlife hazard assessment)
An ecological study that focuses on the conditions that attract hazardous
wildlife to the airport should be completed before any major habitat changes
are implemented. The ecological investigation of airports and their immediate
vicinities should indicate:
How many birds and other wildlife hazardous to aviation are in the area,
Which species are involved,
How the birds are distributed, both spatially and temporally,
Why they are there, and
How they move in relation to airports and aircraft flight paths.
Observations should be made during all hours of the day, and during all
seasons to take into account daily and seasonal fluctuations.
C.2 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Studies should include data on geography, hydrology, soil, climate, vegetation,
and building designs. Birds and other fauna in the area should be considered,
as well as human activities such as agricultural and waste-disposal operations.
The research will provide the factual information needed to understand why
hazardous species are present at airports and, as a result, will also suggest what
habitat modifications might be in order.
Unfortunately, biologists have conducted few year-round studies of airports,
although cursory ecological surveys have been made at many of the world’s
airfields. Occasionally, a quick survey is all that is needed to locate the primary
source of bird problems. Sometimes the major attractions for birds are so
obvious—such as open garbage dumps near the ends of runways—that no
biological expertise is required.
More elaborate airport ecological studies are concerned with the physical and
temporal distribution of the species, as well as the factors that affect this
distribution. For example, some studies have investigated both the availability
of food and the food preferences of hazardous birds frequenting airports. At
Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport, biologists studied the
relationship between raptors and their prey. An examination of the LaughingGull problem at Atlantic City, New Jersey, determined that certain plants
attracted Japanese Beetles, which in turn drew the gulls from a nesting area 15
miles away. The gulls came in numbers large enough that the airport
sometimes had to be temporarily closed, even when—at one point—the
President’s aircraft was on site.
Taking action at airports
While animals can move freely between airports and adjacent areas,
operational wildlife-management activities are generally limited to the zones
where the majority of strikes occur—specifically, both the grounds inside
perimeter fences and airspaces below 500-feet AGL on takeoff and below 200feet AGL on approach. It is in these areas that wildlife-control personnel have
the greatest ability to introduce effective measures.
Transient and resident wildlife species
Birds and mammals can be grouped generally according to their activities and
the time they spend at airport sites. Such species categorizations, including
transient and resident, may be used to establish programs and procedures for
the control of many animals.
Habitat Modification — Passive Management Techniques - C.3
Transient species are those that periodically inhabit airport sites, including
migratory species that pass through airfields on a seasonal basis, and other
species that visit daily while traveling between feeding and roosting sites.
Transient species are attracted primarily by food sources and resting areas.
Resident species are those that are native to airports for all or most of the year.
Such species forage at airports while relying on these locations for permanent
shelter, as well as loafing, breeding and nesting sites.
As a rule, habitat modification techniques are the most effective control
method for transient and resident wildlife types. While transients respond well
to scare tactics and dispersal methods (not getting the opportunity to habituate
to these methods), resident and daily-transient species require extensive, longterm habitat modification programs.
Transient and resident categories include mammals as well as birds. Caribou
also fall into the migratory category, moving in large herds and often entering
airport areas in northern Canada. In the west, Elk have been known to move
down from the mountains on a seasonal basis, often infringing on airport lands
in search of better feeding areas.
Wildlife attractants at airports
As mentioned earlier, most birds and mammals are attracted to airports by
sources of food and water, and by the availability of shelter, where they can
safely rest, nest, and roost.
Wildlife are attracted by the presence of:
garbage (edible waste),
fruit-producing trees and bushes,
seed-producing vegetation,
green weeds,
aquatic vegetation,
agricultural grains,
large numbers of rodents or small birds, and
large numbers of insects and earthworms.
C.4 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Eliminating bird-food sources at airports is a difficult task. For example, a
long-grass program might be implemented to deter gulls. Long grass, however,
will attract rodents, and under some circumstances may lead to an increase in
raptor populations.
When it is unclear which food sources are the major attractants, it is also
difficult to determine how to eliminate them. Additionally, most airports do
not have the money and equipment required to purchase and apply chemical
repellents, or to conduct large-scale removal of vegetation. All these obstacles
point to the need for thorough ecological surveys at each site—surveys that will
provide wildlife-management personnel with the critical knowledge they
require to develop effective measures.
Waterfowl and shorebirds are particularly attracted to surface and standing
water. As a general rule, all physical
features that hold standing water
should be modified or eliminated. Pits
or depressions that regularly collect
water should be drained and backfilled; clogged waterways should be
cleared. Using wire to cover bodies of
water—such as lagoons—inhibits birds
from landing. The banks surrounding
these areas should be graded to a 4-to1 slope to discourage birds from resting
in the water—birds are less likely to
frequent areas when unable to spot
predators above the banks.
Open water near a runway
The regular clearing of drainage ditches minimizes bird and mammal
attractants. When clogged with vegetation and eroded soil, ditches retain
water. Not only are birds attracted by the presence of water for drinking and
bathing, they also benefit from the insect and aquatic life that flourish in these
locations. Ditches should be graded so that water runs off as rapidly as
possible. Grass and other vegetation should be cut on the sloping banks. The
ideal solution, when practical, is to replace ditches with buried drainpipes.
Special attention should be paid to wetland areas such as swamps, bogs, fens,
and marshes, which are not always easy to drain and fill. In some cases,
Habitat Modification — Passive Management Techniques - C.5
Federal or Provincial regulations protect wetlands. Existing Federal and
Provincial guidelines should be consulted before any wetland modification
takes place.
Shelter habitat includes safe areas where wildlife loaf, perch, roost, and nest.
Depending on the species, birds will find natural or man-made shelter in the
following areas:
dense brush;
dead trees;
brush piles;
water bodies;
drainage ditches;
sewage lagoons;
open short-grass fields;
building roof ledges, crevices, and holes;
overhead wires;
towers; and
vents and ducts.
Birds often seek the shelter of airport buildings and long-grass areas. These
animals also find safety in open airport spaces that afford clear views of the
surroundings, allowing birds to see approaching predators. Nesting also occurs
at airport buildings and in long grass, as well as in shrubbery and forested
areas nearby. In most cases, wildlife shelters—once identified—can be effectively
managed with little cost and effort.
Attractive Habitat — Suggested methods of control
No two airports are ecologically or operationally the same, nor do they share
identical wildlife problems. Consequently, it is difficult to prescribe a solution
for a particular problem without first conducting a thorough investigation.
The following guidelines, however, provide a general overview of control
methods as they apply to certain airport terrains.
Runways, aprons, and taxiways
Problem areas should always be prioritized in accordance with the hazards
they pose to aircraft safety. Not surprisingly, runways take highest priority,
C.6 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
including approach/departure paths and adjacent areas. When wildlife are kept
clear of these areas, the hazards to incoming and departing aircraft are
greatly reduced.
The hard surfaces of aprons, taxiways, and runways attract certain species:
• Gulls and shorebirds like to loaf on tarmac, as asphalt and concrete are often
warmer then surrounding areas, especially in colder weather. During periods
of heavy rain, these birds often feed on the worms that crawl onto runways.
(At Heathrow Airport in England, several gull strikes occurred on a single
day after extensive rains brought worms to the surface.)
• Crows have been reported to drop rats on runways to kill them.
• Grit from broken pavement and concrete is used by some birds to break
down food in their gizzard.
Suggested control
Worm outbreaks are predictable, so airport authorities should conduct
thorough clean-up operations with sweepers as soon as worms begin to invade
runways. For pro-active, permanent solutions, consider these approaches:
• Apply vermicide (worm-killing chemical) to the grass strips beside runways.
• Apply worm repellent along runway edges.
Note: See Section E, Dispersal Methods, on the use of chemicals for killing
earthworms along runways and taxiways.
When spraying for insects along the grassy strips beside runways, ensure a
relatively broad area is treated, otherwise insects will quickly return. Because
of the publicity regarding the undesirable side effects of many pesticides, use of
these materials should be continually monitored to determine the effects on
target and non-target species.
One reported success was at a U.S. Air Force base where starlings had caused
extensive damage to a C-130 during lift-off. The 250 dead starlings found on
the runway were part of a large group that was feeding on Crane Fly larvae in
areas nearby. Subsequently, these areas were sprayed with a mixture of
insecticide (diazinon) and moth crystals (para-dichlorobenzene); the latter
chemical was added as a starling repellent. The results were favourable and the
starlings avoided the area. It is likely that they were driven away by the
depletion of their food source, because subsequent studies have shown that
starlings are not repelled by para-dichlorobenzene.
Habitat Modification — Passive Management Techniques - C.7
Another attraction that draws birds to
airport tarmacs is the presence of
posts, lights, and markers. Many birds,
especially birds of prey, like to perch
rather than stand on the ground. Any
unnecessary posts or structures on the
airfield should be removed. Perching
can be prevented by installing sharp
spikes commonly known as porcupine
wire with trade names such as Nixalite.
Owl perched on a sign at airport
If strips of porcupine wire are attached
with hook and loop fasteners, they can
be easily removed for maintenance
purposes. Individual posts can be made
less attractive by embedding a single large nail in the top of the post. Other
techniques include the application of commercial products that leave a sticky
residue which makes perching uncomfortable. Applying these materials should
be continually repeated, however, as exposure to sun, rain and dust reduces
their effectiveness. Furthermore, these products can interfere with routine
maintenance activities on lighting fixtures etc.
Apart from these specific measures, airport authorities should work diligently
to ensure runways and taxiways are kept clean. Inspections should be routine,
and all materials that might attract birds—such as carrion, spilled crops, and
refuse—should be removed immediately.
While grass may be aesthetically appealing, easy to maintain, and functional in
absorbing water and snow melt, it is probably the dominant bird-attracting
feature at airports. Both long and short grass can pose problems, as they each
attract different species. In response, site-specific grass-management programs
should be implemented, acknowledging airports’ particular hazardous species.
Along runways, strips of short-cut turf—generally less that 10 cm high—
should be firm enough to support aircraft that leave the runway, and to withstand braking. These grassy sections should also ensure visibility of signs and
lights. Many airports also maintain short grass throughout infield areas.
Long-grass programs have been implemented around the world and have
proven effective against some species, specifically gulls and starlings. (Long
grass refers to grass that is greater than 15 cm in height).
C.8 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Long grass also harbours ground-nesting
birds (partridges, pheasants, ducks, owls,
harriers), numerous small mammals
(mice, voles, hares, rabbits), and large
numbers of insects.
Birds loafing on grassland
Birds such as gulls and plovers, however,
do not generally frequent long grass
because it obstructs their view, interferes
with their movement, and impedes their
ability to achieve the wing-beat needed
for takeoff. Long grass is also dense,
making it difficult for birds to find
such food as worms and insects.
When employing long-grass programs,
potential insect infestations should be
closely monitored.
Suggested control
In Canada, there is no single recommended grass height that is effective at all
airports. Transport Canada recommends that each airport should complete a
site-specific study, then experiment to determine an appropriate, optimal grass
height. The decision to maintain short or long grass depends primarily on
which bird species pose the highest hazards.
Grass-height research has been done in North America and Europe. The U.S.
Air Force now requires airfield grass to be maintained at a height of 17 to 35
cm. The USDA has recommended that JFK International Airport maintain
grass between 15 and 25 cm. In recent years, Vancouver International Airport
has undertaken an experimental program using Reed Canary Grass maintained
in some areas at a height of over 75 cm. A recent study by the United States
Department of Agriculture has contradicted previous research in stating that
Canada Geese are not deterred by long grass—a finding that reinforces the
need for studies and experimentation prior to the implementation of grass
programs at airports.
Drainage is one factor to be considered before adopting new grass lengths at
airports. As grass restricts the drying action of air currents, long grass could
worsen existing drainage problems. Drainage problems should therefore be
solved before experimenting with new grass lengths.
Habitat Modification — Passive Management Techniques - C.9
Vehicle access to grassy areas should be restricted so as to minimize damage
and alteration to grass height.
Ensure grass areas are free of broad-leaf weeds, which attract some mammal
species such as Groundhogs. These weeds also provide food sources for a
variety of wildlife species—such as Snow Buntings—if allowed to go to seed.
Weeds can be selectively controlled with a variety of herbicides, which should
be applied in the spring.
The implementation of long-grass programs often raises the risk of insect
infestations. Airport operators and wildlife-management personnel are
therefore advised to establish working relationships with local agriculturists or
pesticide contractors, as these experts are familiar with resident insects, and in
some cases can either predict infestations before they occur, or suggest
remedies during an outbreak.
Many forms of agriculture—including fruit, vegetable, and grain farming, as
well as many livestock activities—create food sources that attract wildlife. For
this reason, agricultural practices in the vicinity of airports should be strictly
monitored and—when possible—controlled.
Suggested control
Airport operators should carefully consider the potential risks associated with
the leasing of airport lands before lease contracts are signed. Cereal grain,
market vegetable, and other bird-attracting crops grown on such lands should
be kept as far away from the runways as possible. Ploughing and harvesting
activities, which attract flocks of birds to runway areas, should be relegated to
hours of darkness or periods when the problem species are away from
airports—during nesting season for gulls, for instance, and early spring and
late autumn for migratory species.
Transport Canada guidelines state that areas leased for agricultural purposes
should be at least 1200 feet from runways. Under the guidelines, the following
crops are acceptable (listed in order of preference):
soy beans,
fall rye,
C.10 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
fall wheat,
spring wheat,
barley, and
other cereal grains except corn and oats.
Deciding what crops, if any, to allow at an airport requires important
consideration. Farmers and airport operators should work closely throughout
the planting and harvesting process. Remember, reducing the number of birds
is in the farmer’s interest as well as that of the public, as crop damage and
aircraft damage are both minimized.
Crop selections and harvesting practices within the airport boundary should be
similar to and conducted at the same time as those on lands adjacent to
airports. This ensures that birds that are dispersed from the airport feel
comfortable at a distance, and are therefore less likely to return. If, however,
airport lands are ploughed when adjacent lands are not, then birds will favour
the airport, thereby heightening the risk of strikes.
Found on undeveloped airport grounds, brush, or wasteland, commonly
features tall weeds, grasses, and shrubs—all of which attract birds and other
wildlife such as Coyotes.
Suggested control
Brush and bushy vegetation should be eliminated from airports; at the very
least, it should be cleared to within 150 metres of runway ends and runway
centre lines. Cutting, clearing and herbicide treatments can be employed for
this purpose.
These parcels of tree-covered land provide a multitude of nesting, resting,
roosting, and feeding opportunities for birds. Tree species that produce soft
fruits, berries, or high numbers of seeds are especially attractive to all types of
wildlife. Trees also provide cover for medium-sized and large mammals.
Large trees located at the edges of open areas provide excellent vantage points
from which raptors can survey for food. In addition, trees can create an edge
effect—an intermediate area often rich in bird life because it borders two
different habitats, such as grassland and wooded areas.
Habitat Modification — Passive Management Techniques - C.11
Suggested control
Trees should be located as far as possible from runways, certainly not within
150 metres of runway ends or runway centre-lines.
If tree cutting is not feasible, all undergrowth should be removed. Trees can
also be thinned at their tops to make them less attractive as roosting sites. Trees
should be frequently inspected for colonies of nesting birds, like crows, and for
roosts of such species as starlings. While airport crow colonies rarely go
unnoticed, starlings are relatively inconspicuous, leaving their roosts at
dawn and returning at dusk. This was demonstrated at Lahr Air Force Base,
Germany, where starlings roosted by the thousands in a large stand of dense,
tall shrubbery that was separated from the runway only by a narrow strip of
grass. Clearing this shrubbery solved the roosting problem and reduced the
hazard it created.
Landscaped areas
Many airports—civil and military—
landscape the areas surrounding buildings, roads and hangars for aesthetic
purposes. Decorative trees and shrubs,
however, often produce seeds and
berries that attract birds, while also
providing shelter, roosting, and nesting
sites. Dense stands of evergreen trees
are particularly attractive roosting sites
for starlings and crows.
Habitat modification by tree removal
Suggested control
Trees and hedgerows should be cut back a minimum of 150 metres from runway or taxiway centre lines. Some varieties of trees and shrubs are acceptable;
however, appropriate horticultural stocks should be selected on the basis of
expert advice obtained from government or university scientists. Table C.4 lists
trees and shrubs that provide food for birds at airports.
Water-body management
Birds in search of food, drink, shelter and bathing opportunities are attracted
to all airport water features: shorelines, marshes, lakes, ponds, pits, creeks,
canals, ditches, gullies, wet meadows, and pools—even puddles. In addition,
water bodies—even temporary ones—often support large insect populations.
C.12 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
C.4 Ornamental Trees and Shrubs Attractive to Birds
Alleghany serviceberry
Yellow birch
Gray birch
River birch
Paper birch
Western white birch
Flowering dogwood
Japanese dogwood
Cornelian cherry
Pacific dogwood
Cockspur thorn
Toba hawthorn
Englich hawthorn
Paul's scarlet hawthorn
Cutleaf peashrub
Weeping caragana
Tidy caragana
Silverleaf dogwood
Siberian dogwood
Yellowdoe dogwood
Red osier dogwood
Yellow twig dogwood
Peking cotoneaster
Early cotoneaster
Rockspray cotoneaster
Hedge cotoneaster
Russian Olive
American beech
Purple beech
Weeping birch
Betchel crabapple
Pissard plum
Amur choke cherry
May Day tree
Autumn Flowering Higan cherry
Shubert choke cherry
White cedar
Oregon grape
Virginia creeper
Western sand cherry
Flowering almond
Alpine currant
Austrian brier rose
Shining rose
Redleaf rose
Burnett rose
Korean spice viburnum
Wayfaring tree
European highbush cranberry
Amelanchier canadensis
Amelanchier laevis
Betula lutea
Betula populifolia
Betula nigra
Betula papyrifera
Betula commutata
Cornus florida
Cornus kousa
Cornus mas
Cornus nuttali
Crataegus crus-galli
Crataegus x mordenensis "Toba"
Crataegus oxyacantha
Crataegus sp.
Caragana arborescens
Caragana arborescens
Caragana microphylla
Cornus alba
Cornus alba
Cornus alba
Cornus stolonifera
Cornus stolonifera
Cotoneaster acutifolia
Cotoneaster adpressa praecox
Cotoneaster horizontalis
Cotoneaster lucida
Eleagnus angustifolia
Fagus grandifolia
Fagus sylvatica
Fagus sylvatica
Malus ioensis
Prunus cerasifers
Prunus maackii
Prunus padus commutata
Prunus subhirtella
Prunus virginiana
Thuja occidentalis
Hamamelis virginiana
Mahonia aquifolium
Partenocissus quinquenfolia
Partenocissus tomentosa
Partenocissus triloba
Ribes alpinum
Rosa foetida
Rosa nitida
Rosa rubrifolia
Rosa spinosissima
Viburnum carlesii
Viburnum lantana
Habitat Modification — Passive Management Techniques - C.13
Water bodies also attract aquatic
mammals such as Muskrat and Beaver.
Not only can both of these species
inflict severe damage through lodge
and dam construction, but they are
also attractants, luring carnivorous
animals to airports.
While there may be some controversy
regarding desirable grass lengths, there
is general agreement that standing
water is a major bird attractant. All
manuals and instruction pamphlets
recommend that standing water on
airfields should be drained or backfilled, and that access to open water
should be eliminated whenever possible.
Birds at a water site
Suggested control
Eliminating water bodies is the best solution, although measures such as
replacing drainage ditches with buried culverts can be costly. If water-body
elimination is not suitable, the following guidelines should be followed:
All water bodies should be cleared of emergent and submerged aquatic
vegetation by cutting, dredging, or through the use of herbicides. The banks
should also be cleared of cover vegetation such as cattails and brush.
The banks of water bodies (particularly ponds, streams) should be graded to a
4-to-1 slope, which will discourage burrowing by Muskrats and damming by
Beavers. Steep banks also discourage birds from using water, as they then find
it more difficult to spot predators. Steep banks also create a clearly defined
edge to which grass can be easily mowed, thereby reducing boundary habitats.
Low areas, where temporary pools form after rainstorms and spring melt,
should be filled or fitted with improved drainage systems.
In areas where gulls and waterfowl cause major problems, physical barriers
should be erected to prevent access to water. Barriers are available in the form
of nylon mesh or wires that are strung across the surface to prevent birds from
settling on the water. Wires should be strung across the surface of ponds at a
height of roughly 18 cm and at intervals of 36 cm. To protect birds from flying
C.14 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
into these barely visible barriers, streamers should be attached to the wires.
Fences should also be installed around the perimeter of the water so that birds
cannot walk beneath the wires.
One alternative to wire and netting is Bird Balls™, which have been used
successfully in the western United States since 1993. Bird Balls™ can be spread
out over small water bodies to trick birds into thinking that there is no water
in the area. The balls are superior to netting and wire because they adjust to
fluctuating water levels and snow loads, readily shift to accommodate in-water
obstacles, are unaffected by the strongest winds, are very easy to install and
require little maintenance. Bird Balls are, however, relatively expensive.
If water bodies cannot be covered or drained, dredging will increase the water
depth and, as a result, decrease the surface area.
Coastal airports featuring tidal waters report that bird activity tends to increase
as the water rises, as birds are forced to move further up the shore. In response,
airport wildlife-management activities should be increased as tides rise.
Airport buildings and structures
Sparrows, starlings, pigeons, gulls, and crows have adapted to human
development, and make full use of the many opportunities that human activity
provides. The built-up areas of airports offer these so-called city birds a variety
of nesting and resting sites, as well as sources of food.
Large buildings, such as hangars, provide many places for birds to nest and
rest. Gulls and pigeons like to sit on roofs and ledges. Sparrows, starlings,
swallows, and pigeons have been found nesting in and on hangars. During
aircraft overhauls, bird droppings, feathers, and nesting materials can affect
exposed electronic equipment.
Airport structures such as unused sheds, deserted farmhouses and outbuildings, old windbreaks and rotten fence posts also lure wildlife with the
promise of nesting, resting, roosting, and feeding opportunities. These unused
structures should be removed from airport lands.
Birds pose not only collision hazards in the vicinity of buildings, they also are
a serious nuisance because they soil these locations. Bird droppings create a
slippery mess, and can corrode the skin of aircraft. Droppings also deface the
roofs and facades of airport buildings. These droppings are often sources of
bird-borne disease, which are known as zoonoses. For instance, approximately
Habitat Modification — Passive Management Techniques - C.15
90 percent of gulls carry salmonella. Bird zoonoses are transmitted to humans
through direct contact with bird droppings and nasal discharge, or by
breathing the powder of dried droppings. Dried bird feces on helicopter pads
that are used for medical evacuations at facilities such as hospitals and
harbours can create a significant human health issue.
Appendix 2 outlines three of the most common bird zoonoses that can infect
humans. As it is difficult to know if birds are infected, the greatest security is found
in a clean environment; therefore, all bird droppings are removed promptly.
Suggested control
Screening the many holes and openings in hangars is a first step in denying
birds access to these buildings. In active hangars, however, doors are opened
frequently; even when they are kept closed there is usually some space above
or below the doors through which birds can move. Flexible netting around
hanger doors has proven most successful in these situations. Netting installed
across the base of rafters has proven successful in excluding birds from the
rafter system.
Unfortunately, major architectural changes are expensive and rarely feasible.
Minor changes, however, can also be effective in reducing the bird presence.
• Block or cover all holes, such as access vents, using screen or similar
material. Blocking or covering drains can also prevent rodents becoming a
problem inside a building.
• Block and seal all crevices and holes on the outer surface of the building with
screen, concrete, or brickwork.
• Slope building ledges to an angle of 45 degrees or greater using boards,
plastic sheeting or concrete; this eliminates attractive roosting and nesting sites.
Vertical plastic blinds installed in doors that are frequently left open will repel
many birds from entering hangars or other buildings.
• Install netting, sheet metal, or other suitable barrier materials under
overhanging eaves and ledges to prevent access by swallows.
• Fine parallel wires can be attached to antennae, towers, and overhead wires
to discourage birds from perching and roosting. Spiked material such as
porcupine wire can also be installed, although this is generally an
expensive alternative.
• Use a caulking gun to apply soft, sticky material to perches; birds will avoid
roosts treated in this way. The downside to this technique is that re-applications
C.16 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
should be made regularly and, in locations featuring a number of perches, the
task of continually treating the roosting spots can be daunting.
Miscellaneous bird attractions
Besides the attractions associated with various habitats, airports offer many
man-made enticements, including edible waste and edible-waste storage sites,
garbage dumps, and perching sites.
Edible waste and edible-waste storage
Edible waste is created at airport
restaurants, flight kitchens, and at
points where in-flight meals are
prepared. Proper storage is critical to
ensure the material is inaccessible to
birds until it is removed to off-airport
disposal sites. Airport property leases
should contain clauses that address
waste disposal and reduce bird
attractions. Feeding of birds in taxi-cab
stands should be prohibited.
Open edible food waste storage
Gulls, crows, and pigeons regularly patrol terminal loading areas where food and
garbage is often dropped during aircraft servicing. Frequent and unannounced
inspections by airport staff can help ensure that more care is taken in the disposal
of edible material.
Garbage dumps
Often an eyesore and a health hazard, garbage dumps are also a major source
of food for high-hazard birds. Waste disposal sites located at airports literally
breed danger; removing such facilities from airport lands should be the first act
in any program to reduce bird problems. If off-airport garbage disposal is
impossible, edible refuse should be mixed with earth and buried immediately
after being dumped. Disposal operations also attract fewer birds when
conducted at night. Several airports—including Vancouver International—
have eliminated their dumps and significantly reduced bird populations.
In the current Canadian guidelines contained in TP 1247, Guidelines for Land
Use in the Vicinity of Airports, garbage dumps are to be located no less than
eight kilometres from airport reference points. Zoning regulations at 55
Habitat Modification — Passive Management Techniques - C.17
Canadian airports contain legislation that regulates the siting of garbage
dumps, food waste landfill sites, and other high hazard bird attractants.
Further research is underway to investigate whether this distance is appropriate.
If dump-site plans are proposed for locations within that range, wildlifemanagement officers should participate in the planning process to ensure
aviation safety is given the highest priority. At the very least, bird-control
measures must be taken at all waste disposal sites in the vicinity of airports.
Perching and nesting sites
Perching sites are important for birds, offering vantage points that overlook
the immediate surroundings. Perches are places from which birds sing, call and
display. They also act as observation points, hunting lookouts and as places to
rest, digest, preen, roost, and gather socially. As potential perches for birds,
lone trees, hedgerows, fences, gates, posts, shrubs, stumps, junk, weed patches,
and boulders should be removed from airport lands. Power lines are popular
perches, and should be relocated underground. Although a labour-intensive
solution, porcupine wire should be fitted to runway, approach, taxiway, and
apron lights to discourage their use as perches.
Birds are quick to find whatever nesting opportunities are available. At
airports, they nest under bridges, in culverts, old shacks and work huts, and on
radar towers. For example, at Leningrad Airport in the former USSR, a Great
Spotted Woodpecker pecked a hole through the foam plastic cover of a radar
antenna to create a nest.
Aircraft parked on aprons or fields are also popular nesting locations. Birds
usually enter aircraft through small access holes just large enough to accommodate
them. Removing such nests is therefore difficult, as access panels or whole subassemblies may need to be opened or removed.
One report described 29 nests—made by eight different bird species—that had
been found in various aircraft. While the likelihood of nesting in aircraft
increases dramatically with the time they are out of service, nests can appear
over a weekend—even in a single day. In the former USSR, it was reported that
starlings began bringing nesting material into an opening in an AN–10 as soon
as the aircraft had come to a stop after landing. Within one hour at Montreal
airport, starlings placed so much nesting material in the inlet of a Vanguard
engine that shutdown and component replacements were required.
Two North Star (DC–4) aircraft that were parked for a long time on the infield
at Toronto airport were “liberally sprinkled” with starling nests. The birds
C.18 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
created an additional hazard by flying back and forth across runways and
taxiways to reach the aircraft. It was recommended that these aircraft be
moved farther away from operational runways, and that parked aircraft—out
of service even for a short period—be checked for nests at least twice a week
between April and June.
Section D
Implications of Land-use Activities
in the Vicinity of Airports
Planning in the vicinity of airports
By-law development
Extremely hazardous land-use practices
Food-waste landfill sites
Case histories
Coastal commercial fish plants
Moderately hazardous land-use practices
Crop production
Wastewater treatment and wastewater discharge plants
Recreational activities
Managed and supplemented natural habitats
Other activities
Implications of Land-use Activities in the Vicinity of Airports - D.1
Airports naturally attract many species because of both the wide-open and
short-grass areas that provide basic protection from predators and humans. As
discussed in Section C, airports also provide access to food and water sources.
Wildlife-management programs at many airports effectively diminish the
power of these attractants by modifying and managing habitats, as well as by
using techniques to disperse birds.
However, even when airport bird-control activities are effective, they can be
neutralized by the presence of attractive land-use activities that are outside
the airport boundary and, therefore, beyond airport operators’ spheres of
influence. In these cases, hazardous bird species will persist in their use of
airports as convenient stopovers and resting places before and after feeding at
nearby locations. Particularly severe problems arise when birds make regular
flights across airport properties—when they fly between roosts and feeding
areas, for instance. The greatest problem at many airports is the presence of
one or more waste disposal sites within the vicinity of the airport. These
facilities provide food for a large number of birds, which may then use
adjacent airports as loafing and resting sites.
Where wildlife hazards are concerned, regulations that minimize attractants in
surrounding areas should mirror procedures employed on airport lands. This
regulatory harmony can be found through compatible land-use planning,
a process that has resulted from the need to establish a co-operative
environmental relationship between airports and the communities they serve.
While relatively simple, this concept has delivered, in practice, impressive
results through the development of airport/community-system plans, as well as
legislation for compatible land uses, easements, and zoning. Implementation,
however, requires careful study, coordinated planning, cooperation, and
compromise by experts and stakeholders in all related fields.
Planning in the vicinity of airports
The goal of airport zoning regulations is to prohibit hazardous land uses
outside airport properties. These land uses include:
• garbage dumps,
• food-waste landfill sites,
• sewage outlets,
D.2 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
fish plants,
fish piers,
pig farms, and
bird-attractant agriculture.
According to a Transport Canada guideline contained in Land Use in the
Vicinity of Airports (TP1247), no bird-attractant land use should be allowed
within an eight-kilometre radius of airport reference points. The operative
word, however, is guideline: this minimum distance is not enforced under
current Transport Canada regulations except at the 55 Canadian airports
which have a waste disposal clause contained within their zoning regulations.
Where hazardous land uses are already established and prohibitions are not an
option, remedial actions may be taken:
• to ensure that municipal officials responsible for planning and zoning
enforcement are aware of existing guidelines;
• to inform owners and managers about the hazards their operations create;
• to develop management programs to minimize the attractiveness of the
In Saskatoon, city officials decided to locate a storm-water retention pond at
the threshold of the airport’s main runway. The pond drew many geese, ducks,
and gulls to the area and, as a result, became a tourist attraction—bird feed
was sold, and a waterfowl-nesting platform was placed in the pond. The
Saskatoon Airport Authority recognized this problem and met with city
officials and stakeholders who, until the meeting, were unaware of both the
guidelines applying to and the hazards associated with the pond. Once
informed, all parties began working together to minimize risks.
By-law development
The development of planning policies and planning statements is the first step
toward ensuring compatible airport-vicinity land-use activities. On the basis of
these documents, municipalities may then enact zoning by-laws, which are
implemented to regulate land uses, and to set restrictions on various aspects of
development. Through these by-laws—which are occasionally amended to
Implications of Land-use Activities in the Vicinity of Airports - D.3
reflect changing needs and objectives—an ecological, social, and economic
balance is maintained within municipalities.
In many cases, airports now face urban-development pressures that were nonexistent when the facilities were first built. Thus, it has become increasingly
important for operators to be aware of and involved in decisions that pertain
to land-use activities near airports. It is also important to form partnerships
and communicate with all stakeholders in the area.
Extremely hazardous land-use practices
Food-waste landfill sites
When landfill sites are proposed, Transport Canada often participates in local
planning processes to identify any airport and aviation-related concerns. An
aviation analysis is often conducted to assess the bird hazards that may result
when the landfills are established. If studies reveal that additional bird hazards
are probable, then landfill operators or proponents can be responsible for
establishing programs that will control or minimize bird activity. It is preferable
that these programs reflect those in place at adjoining airports, and make use of
the same dispersion techniques (see Section E, Active Management Using
Dispersal Techniques).
The use of over-wiring or netting to
cover the working face of landfills—
the area where waste is currently
dumped—could prevent or greatly
reduce gull use. It has been demonstrated at many sites that portable
installation units allow the netting
or wiring to be easily shifted as the
dumping location changes. Landfills
should also be covered daily with soil
to reduce bird-food sources, or prior to
any period when the landfill will not be
attended such as weekends.
Landfill site near airport
Case histories
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Located about three miles from the shore of Lake Superior, Lakehead Airport
(now Thunder Bay Airport) had only a minor autumn-migration bird-hazard
D.4 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
problem prior to 1960. In that year, however, the city of Fort William closed
the municipal garbage incineration plant and opened a sanitary landfill area
adjacent to the airport. Immediately, Herring Gulls began to frequent the
airfield. The gulls could not be driven off despite intensive efforts during a twoand-a-half year period; as many as 2,000 gulls were often located on airport
lands. A presentation to the Fort William council by the Bird Hazard
Committee (the predecessor to Bird Strike Committee Canada) resulted in the
decision to discontinue the landfill and return to the incineration of municipal
garbage. As soon as the dump was closed, gull numbers at the airport
decreased significantly, and the bird-hazard returned to an acceptable level.
However, the operation of a new landfill near the airport has contributed to
recent bird hazard issues, including severe damage to an Air Canada DC-9 in
1997 which resulted in the loss of one engine and a forced return to the airport.
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
In 2000, a compost facility was proposed in Winslow South near
Charlottetown, PEI. As the facility was to be located three kilometres from the
Charlottetown airport reference point, a bird-hazard study was undertaken
prior to construction. The study concluded that the compost facility would
have to incorporate numerous bird-mitigation measures—measures that
permitted both the airport operator and Transport Canada to monitor
operations and gull activity at the site. Additionally, a Bird Management
Plan—addressing issues such as material storage, monitoring, and clean-up of
food waste—would have to be implemented before the facility’s Certificate of
Approval was issued. The study also recommended that the operators should
post a $20,000 bond to address future bird-control issues. It is as yet too early
to comment on the effects of either the presence of the compost facility or the
measures proposed by Transport Canada.
Winnipeg, Manitoba
In 1996, BFI Waste Systems built a landfill site north of Winnipeg International
Airport (YWG). While the site is beyond the eight-kilometre bird-hazard
protection zone, it is nonetheless located under the approach path of the
airport’s runway 18. As a result, Transport Canada, BFI Waste Systems, the
Winnipeg Airport Authority, and other stakeholders worked at length to
develop a bird-control program for the newly constructed facility. The parties
agreed on measures to cover waste, harass birds, drain standing water, and
replant disturbed soils. BFI now reports that while birds continue to fly over
the site en-route to other feeding areas, management measures appear to have
discouraged the birds from stopping at the site. The Winnipeg experience
demonstrates the need for effective bird-hazard programs at all landfill sites
Implications of Land-use Activities in the Vicinity of Airports - D.5
even remotely close to airports. All parties in the community, however, should
recognize that the ideal solution remains to locate such sites as far from
airports as possible.
San Francisco, California
The mix of gulls, garbage, and airports is particularly dangerous in the San
Francisco Bay area. Gulls are not only attracted by garbage available on the
face of the airport-area dump, they also forage immediately beneath the
surface. Some estimates put the airport gull population as high as 15,000.
Several different dumping methods were tried, including digging large trenches
into which the refuse was tipped and immediately covered. This was partially
effective, although the gulls continued to swarm the trenches during the short
intervals the garbage was exposed. The birds also began feeding from the daily
stream of arriving garbage trucks.
The airport ornithologist noted that the gulls arrived at the dump shortly
before dawn and left just after sundown. At night, the birds went to resting
areas, some in shallow water near the coastline, others in water located on the
airport itself—water that airport authorities drained immediately.
Meanwhile, household refuse was collected by day and stacked in a covered
area that was inaccessible to birds. While this covered area was some distance
from the airport, it was still easily accessible to the points of collection. After
nightfall, the refuse was transported to the dump, deposited in open trenches
and then covered with earth. When the gulls arrived the next morning, their
food source was no longer available.
Not only was the gull population dramatically reduced—from approximately
15,000 to several hundred within one week—the risks to aviation safety also
decreased significantly.
Coastal commercial fish plants
Coastal commercial fish plants are extremely attractive to several bird species,
particularly gulls. These birds pose a high hazard to aircraft because of their
large size, their behavioural characteristics (flocking and soaring), and their
preference for airport environments. Gulls are also willing to undertake farranging daily flights for food. Commercial fish plants are therefore strongly
discouraged on lands adjacent to airports. As in the case of landfills, fish plants
that must be located near airports should be mandated to adopt strict control
programs that minimize and control all wildlife attractants.
D.6 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Moderately hazardous land-use practices
Transport Canada recommends that certain practices not be permitted within
3.2 kilometres of airport reference points. (To better define some airport areas,
more than one reference point may be established.) These practices are
moderately hazardous to airport activities because they attract bird species that:
• are small and not particularly far-ranging in their food-searching activities;
• are of concern during limited time periods, such as migration and during
inclement weather.
Wastewater treatment and wastewater discharge plants
Any activity that creates bodies of water in the vicinity of airports also
creates indirect hazards to aircraft safety. These facilities should be located
as far as possible from airport lands, and should practice appropriate
wildlife-control measures.
Crop production
Topographies and near-rural locations often make airport areas popular for
agriculture. Some operators also promote the use of their lands for crop
production, thereby increasing airport revenues. (See Attractive Habitats in
Section C). In any case, when land is used for crop production it is important
that airport operators be involved, ensuring crop choices that minimize the
attraction of hazardous species. All proposed uses and crop selections should
also be reviewed by wildlife biologists. Grains and cereals are major bird
attractants and should be avoided when possible. The following table lists
some of the crops commonly grown around airports, and presents alternatives.
When wildlife problems occur, immediate action should be taken, perhaps to
modify ploughing and harvesting practices, or change crop types. In extreme
cases, termination of agricultural practices may be necessary.
Implications of Land-use Activities in the Vicinity of Airports - D.7
Moderately hazardous land-use practices
Not Recommended
Wheat (particularly Durum)
Suggested Alternatives
(except potatoes)
Beef Cattle
Recreational activities
• Drive-in theatres
• Golf courses
• Marinas
• Picnic areas
• Outdoor restaurants
• Beaches
• Racetracks
Managed and supplemented natural habitats
• Migratory waterfowl refuges
• Designated game and mammal refuges
• Wildlife feeding stations
• Bird-nesting colonies
• Roosting sites
D.8 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Other activities
The list below presents basic wildlife attractants, their common locations, and
suggested remedial actions.
Typical Activities
Suggested Remedial
Food waste
• Restaurants (indoor and
• Picnic areas
• Improve maintenance and
• Cover garbage
Freshly tilled/
ploughed soil
• Cropping activities
• Sod farming
• Plough and till at night
High insect/
mouse activity
• Grass and hay
• Baling hay (before and
• Cut or bale at night
• Remove bales as soon as
Livestock manure piles
• Sewage lagoons
• Stormwater retention
Game farms
• Exclude birds through the
use of fine wires
• Locate as far as
possible from airports
Effective airport-area land management is fundamental to safe aircraft operations.
Wildlife attractants should be eliminated or at the very least minimized. Amid the
spiraling growth of many North American cities, airports are increasingly forced
to actively participate in urban planning and development. Not only should
operators remain abreast of the changes happening around them, but also they
should establish effective communication and co-operation with all stakeholders
in the communities the airports serve.
Section E
Active Management Using
Dispersal Techniques
Bird dispersal techniques
Habituation — A multifaceted approach
Vehicle use in wildlife management
Auditory deterrents
Pyrotechnics (highly recommended)
Gas Cannons and Exploders (limited recommendation)
Report Shells (no available recommendation)
Phoenix Wailer Systems MKII (limited recommendation)
Bird Gard AVA (limited recommendation)
Bird Gard ABC (limited recommendation)
Av-Alarm (limited recommendation)
Distress Calls (highly recommended)
Alarm Calls (highly recommended)
Predator Calls (limited recommendation)
Chemical Repellents
Chemical products for birds
Tactile Repellents
Behavioural Repellents (limited recommendation)
Benomyl (limited recommendation)
Tersan (limited recommendation)
Methyl Anthranilate — ReJeX-iT® (no available recommendation)
Chemical repellents for Mammals
Taste repellents
Section E
Visual Repellents — Birds
Scarecrows, Flags, and Streamers (limited short-term recommendation) E.36
Predator Models (limited short-term recommendation)
Hawk Kites and Balloons (limited short-term recommendation)
Gull Models (limited short-term recommendation)
Falconry (no available recommendation)
Border Collies (no available recommendation)
Radio-controlled Model Aircraft (limited recommendation)
Active Management Using Dispersal Techniques - E.1
Bird dispersal techniques
Dispersal techniques discourage birds by scaring them with visual devices such
as scarecrows, or with auditory devices such as cannons and pyrotechnics. It is
critical to experiment with a combination of methods, whether together or in
rotation. This experimentation should be informed—and monitored—through
the periodic analyses of daily wildlife reports, which will reveal:
• the effectiveness of applied control techniques for various bird species;
• the effectiveness of different dispersal techniques at different times of the day
and under different weather conditions; and
• the amount of time birds remain dispersed.
Birds are naturally wary of unfamiliar sounds and objects in their environment.
Unfamiliar noises, for example, may put them at alert, or cause them to take
flight. Loud and abrupt noises, such as those produced by gas cannons, are
initially most effective for many species of birds. Gradually, however, birds do
become comfortable—or habituated—to all dispersal techniques. Birds that are
flushed upon first hearing an unfamiliar loud noise may merely become alert
the second or third time they are exposed to the sound. If birds repeatedly hear
the same noise and do not associate the sound with actual danger, they will
eventually stop responding. Under these circumstances, the most effective way
to prevent habituation is to reinforce the threat by occasionally killing a few
birds. Wildlife-control officers are advised to monitor bird responses to scaring
techniques; the resulting information will assist in modifying and improving
dispersal methods.
The use of trained raptorial birds has proven effective for dispersing some
species of birds under certain circumstances at some airports. The costs and
complexity of this technique, however, make it unfeasible for many sites.
Even in cases where devices and techniques do work, they may not be effective
on all problem species, or in all geographic areas. Perhaps most importantly,
devices and techniques are only as effective as the wildlife-management teams
that use them. Only skilled and persistent wildlife-management teams have the
knowledge to ensure success.
Finally, if birds cannot be excluded from critical takeoff and landing paths,
pilots should be warned about peak daily and seasonal bird-activity periods.
E.2 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Habituation — A multifaceted approach
Habituation is the process whereby animals become accustomed to sights and
sounds that might initially be frightening. Habituation occurs eventually with
all scaring techniques when they are not reinforced with demonstrations of
actual danger. The only exception is single-species distress cries; if used properly,
they rarely result in habituation.
Environmental factors can affect the responsiveness of birds and therefore the
rate of habituation. For example, feeding birds are less responsive to loud
noises than resting birds—particularly if they are hungry. Small birds on open
ground—far from protective cover—are more responsive than birds near cover.
Gulls, on the other hand, prefer to be able to see approaching predators; they
may be more responsive when their view is blocked by vegetation. Some birds
respond faster to loud noises in the morning than they do later in the day. Some
birds respond in daylight and not at dusk.
Habituation occurs when birds learn that sounds or objects present no real
danger. Most birds tend to avoid novel stimuli, unsure whether or not the
threat is real. Certain curious species will investigate promptly. A flock of
starlings may avoid a model of a hawk for only a few hours before realizing its
As habituation occurs through repeated exposure to the same scaring technique,
it is necessary to continually change the appearance or location of the device,
the combination in which devices are used, or the direction from which the
sound originates. Even with all these dynamic adjustments to a dispersal
program, birds may still become habituated. This is particularly true of gulls,
which often must be re-educated to respond through the shooting of one
individual. This demonstrates the true danger of the noises to the remainder of
the flock. Should shooting become necessary, target individuals at the top of
airborne flocks so that they fall past lower-flying birds. This approach has
proven more effective than targeting members of resting flocks, or the last birds
in flying flocks.
It is worth repeating that, as noted above, a mix of dispersal techniques should
continually be altered—randomly—so that target species are kept off balance.
For additional information on this subject, refer to the Aerodrome Safety Circular on
an Evaluation of the Efficacy of Products and Techniques for Airport Bird Control
which is available online at: http://www.tc.gc.ca/CivilAviation/aerodrome/menu.htm .
Active Management Using Dispersal Techniques - E.3
A copy of the report can be obtained by calling: 1-800-305-2059 or E-mail:
Vehicle use in wildlife management
The field vehicle is an essential part of any
wildlife management program, providing
transportation for officers as well as the
necessary equipment for dispersing or
removing wildlife. The vehicle should
meet these general specifications:
Four-wheel drive
Off-road access at airports demands this
feature, not just for mobility, but also
for stability—four-wheel drive vehicles
are less likely to chew up airfields and
expose soil, which can attract birds.
A well equipped field vehicle
FOD (Foreign Object Debris)-resistant tires
This is a critical feature, as these vehicles often travel among runways,
taxiways and various off-road locations. The sharp debris found at landfill and
waste-disposal sites also poses significant tire hazards. Wide tire ‘footprints’
improve flotation above mud and soft ground; wide tread patterns not only
pick up less mud and fewer stones, they also shake off these adherents when
they do become lodged between the treads.
Safety and communications equipment
Amber rotating beacons are standard on all airfield vehicles. VHF radios
are essential as well, tuned to ground-movement frequencies so all related
personnel can remain in contact regarding bird movements. Adjustable
spotlights are excellent for night observation of birds and large mammals.
Cassette or digital playback components—including exterior-mounted
loudspeakers—permit the broadcast of pre-recorded distress calls.
Cartridge containers
For safety reasons, separate containers should be maintained for each calibre
of used and unused ammunition cartridges.
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Auditory deterrents
An effective—but temporary—scaring technique involves the use of a variety
of noises including sirens, car horns, human voices, amplified recordings, and
pyrotechnics (firearms, cannons).
Natural bird-dispersing sounds include the alarm and distress calls of problem
species, as well as the calls of their predators. A wide range of these calls is now
commercially available.
Some manufacturers advocate the use of abstract sounds that are above and
below the range of human hearing. As research has shown that birds hear the
same sound frequencies as humans, products generating such abstract sounds
are ineffective.
Birds are less likely to habituate to natural sounds that have meaning to them,
such as the calls of flockmates in distress, or calls of predators. Habituation
can also be reduced by frequently moving the sound sources, ensuring sounds
are used sporadically, and through the occasional killing of birds to confirm
that the sound does indicate danger.
Wildlife-control personnel should keep in mind that many scaring devices have
been evaluated only in terms of their effectiveness in agricultural use. At
airports, wildlife management is a year-round endeavour, but the protection of
crops is seasonal, and therefore habituation is not necessarily a concern.
Pyrotechnics (highly recommended)
Pyrotechnics are highly recommended for bird dispersal at airports. This
technique can be extremely effective when used as part of a well-balanced and
dynamic wildlife-management plan.
Pyrotechnics include various ammunitions that are fired from shotguns, starter and
flare pistols, and purpose-built pyrotechnic launchers. They include shell crackers,
flares, firecrackers, rockets, and mortars. The loud and abrupt noise emitted by
some pyrotechnics is similar to that of shotguns, making them particularly effective
against game birds that are familiar with the effects of weapons.
Active Management Using Dispersal Techniques - E.5
Some pyrotechnics also involve flashes of light, providing a visual as well as an
auditory deterrent. Some devices travel 25 to 300 metres before exploding in a
flash of bright light. Others travel as far as 100 metres while emitting a
continuous screaming or whistling noise.
Firearms, particularly shotguns, are now widely used as delivery systems for
scare cartridges. The cartridge comprises a double-charge 12-gauge shotgun
shell; the first charge delivers a timed-fuse secondary shell into the midst of
offending wildlife, where the second shell explodes. Some cartridges incorporate
powder flashes for a visual effect, while others whistle in flight. The effective
range, according to several manufacturers, is approximately 69 metres.
Similar shells can be delivered from either 22-calibre starter pistols, or specially
designed handguns. These weapons not only lack the range of shotguns, their
quality is in question as well. Some ammunition appears to have a limited shelf
life, and there have been instances in which the second charge has exploded in
the barrel of the gun. For safety reasons, short-barrel, pump action 12-gauge
shotguns should be used; ammunition expiry dates should be checked regularly.
Single-shot guns are recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture
because these breech-loading guns allow easy inspection of the barrel.
Safety and application
Precautions should be taken in any program using pyrotechnics:
Dispersal guns and shell crackers
• Operators should wear eye and ear
protection at all times.
• Shell crackers should be fired from
open choke-type guns.
• Shell crackers may misfire, so gun
barrels should be checked regularly
for obstructions, particularly after
a misfire.
• Cracker shells are corrosive, so guns
should be cleaned daily.
• Pyrotechnics are fire hazards, and
should not be used over dry vegetation.
• Pyrotechnics should not be fired
from inside vehicles.
Not all shell crackers will discharge
completely, and may become lodged in
E.6 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
the barrel. If this is the case, point the gun in a safe direction and wait at least
three minutes before inspecting the breech. After removing the shell, contact
the local police office to dispose of the ordinance.
Regular and proper gun cleaning is especially important. First, attach a bristle
brush to a rod and push it through the barrel a few times to loosen all unburned
powder. Repeat these steps with a softer brush. Next, use a clean cloth to coat the
inside of the barrel with gun oil. Apply a thin layer of oil to the external surfaces
of the gun to protect against moisture and rusting. Finally, check all parts of the
weapon to ensure that they are in proper working condition.
The following firearm safety considerations should be observed:
• Never point the firearm at anyone, whether loaded or not. Keep the firearm
pointed in a safe direction, usually straight upward.
• Never keep the firearm loaded, even with the breech open.
• Examine the firearm and liner daily. If either appears to have a fault, report
it as unserviceable immediately. Before firing a pistol, ensure the barrel is dry.
• Never load firearms in or fire from inside a vehicle.
• Ensure that cartridges are handled carefully so as not to become distorted,
damaged, or wet.
• Do not use excessive force when inserting cartridges into adapter sleeves. If
cartridges do not slip in easily, set them aside and treat them as misfires.
• Wear gloves and long sleeves for protection against possible skin burns
should cartridges misfire.
• Whenever possible, avoid firing cartridges directly up-wind.
• Use a pump-action shotgun because of its enclosed action or a breech-loaded
single-shot gun because of the ease with which the barrel can be inspected.
• Never use choke-barreled guns, as they may impede the flights of the
second charges.
• Always pick up spent shells and, when doing so, be aware of the potential
fire hazard of delayed second blasts.
• Avoid firing over runways.
• Always pick up FOD.
In general, volleys that explode in the air are more effective than those that
explode near the ground. Use the minimum number of rounds required to achieve
the desired results. The effect of additional rounds will only lead to habituation.
The first shots flush the birds; closely following second shots often cause them to
disperse. Ensure that the carcasses of all killed birds are quickly removed, thereby
Active Management Using Dispersal Techniques - E.7
deterring scavengers. If scavengers are not a problem at the site, the presence of a
dead bird in an agony position may act as an effective deterrent.
Use of the scare cartridge, particularly with birds, requires cooperation
between the user and ATC personnel so that birds are not dispersed into
the path of oncoming aircraft. Generally speaking, a series of carefully
placed shots can direct the birds to safer areas, or off airport land entirely.
A coordinated effort between two or more shooters can be highly effective.
• Used correctly, pyrotechnics provide one of the most effective methods available
for bird dispersal.
• The direction of dispersal can often be controlled by the placement of shots.
• Pyrotechnics are effective for both day and night.
• Pyrotechnics can be used as complementary devices with other deterrents.
• Use of pyrotechnics is labour intensive.
• Pyrotechnics give rise to FOD on runways.
• Birds may habituate to pyrotechnics, especially if they are used improperly.
• There is a degree of fire hazard associated with these devices if used in
dry conditions.
The effectiveness of scare cartridges has been both overemphasized and
maligned. This technique is most effective for the occasional dispersal of
transient species. Although often used alone, the effectiveness of pyrotechnics
can be greatly enhanced when they are used in association with taped distress
calls and long-term habitat-management techniques. If used too frequently,
habituation will occur. From time to time, reinforcement is necessary through
the killing of individual birds.
Effective against:
• gulls, crows, starlings, and waterfowl.
Limited effectiveness against:
• raptors when deployed at short range.
• small birds, such as Snow Buntings.
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Not effective against:
• most problem shorebirds at Canadian airports.
• pigeons or House Sparrows.
Permits required
Permits are required from Environment Canada for all bird scaring or hazing
activities that involve migratory birds if firearms are used. The definition of
firearms can be found in the Criminal Code of Canada. Permits may be
required from Provincial wildlife authorities to scare other species, including
Gas Cannons and Exploders (limited recommendation)
Bird dispersal.
Gas cannons have been in development for some time, primarily for agricultural
purposes. The most recent versions comprise portable gas canisters that emit a
loud bang in a particular direction at preset or radio-controlled intervals. They are
louder than 12-gauge shotguns and require little or no attention by ground
personnel. Once placed, the cannons can be adjusted to emit blasts at varying
time intervals, from 30 seconds to 30 minutes. Some deliver two shots in rapid
succession. Other models mount on a rotating bracket, and can be set to fire at
random intervals. As a result, each successive shot seems to come from a different
direction. Remote-control firing mechanisms are also available, allowing airport
personnel to adjust the timing and direction of shots from a distance.
The main disadvantage to gas cannons
is habituation. Some species, such as
gulls, soon learn not to flee at the
sound of a loud bang. This occurs
particularly rapidly when cannons fire
at regular intervals, as most do. To
counteract the habituation, continually
vary the location of cannons, adjust
timing and change the direction from
which shots are fired. To ensure easy
A Cannon
Active Management Using Dispersal Techniques - E.9
re-deployment of gas cannons, mount them on small trailers that can be towed
behind patrol vehicles.
While little concrete information exists concerning cannon deployment—
despite frequent use at airports—some experts recommend the following:
For dispersal of gulls:
• place cannons every 50 m along runways.
For dispersal of blackbirds:
• place one cannon every four to 10 hectares.
This last recommendation is based on research conducted in cornfields.
Dispersal over a 10-hectare area was achieved by using two synchronous
cannons: one firing at two-minute intervals, and the other every two-minutes,
Although most cannons are automatic and need attention only about once
every two weeks, their effectiveness is greatly enhanced when they are moved
frequently—at least every two or three days, and preferably more often.
Birds will eventually habituate to cannons unless other supplementary
techniques are employed—specifically, occasional killing.
• Low labour costs; cannons need only to be checked once a day.
• Inexpensive to operate (although reasonably expensive to acquire).
• Direction, timing, and volume of the blasts are easily controlled.
• Portability.
• Effective day and night.
• Rapid habituation will occur unless cannons are relocated frequently and are
supplemented by other bird control measures.
• Gas cannons can be a hazard during flying hours because random firing may
cause birds to disperse into the paths of aircraft.
• Older gas cannons may pose fire hazards.
• Their short range means many cannons may be required to cover the
expanse of airport grounds.
• Regular maintenance is required.
E.10 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Calgary International Airport employs cannons on an as-needed basis, and reports
they are effective for short-term control of non-resident bird species. Vancouver
International Airport also uses gas cannons that are carefully positioned over
problem sites where birds gather at the airfield, including puddles.
Cannons should not be relied upon as the sole—or even the major—component
of bird-control programs. These devices are recommended for occasional use as
part of integrated programs, in conjunction with other products and techniques.
Due to their igniters, cannons should not be deployed near fuel.
Effective against waterfowl and other game birds that have learned to fear the
sound of gunfire; however, young birds migrating in early fall—prior to the
opening of hunting season—may habituate as quickly as non-game species.
Permits required
Report Shells (no available recommendation)
Dispersing soaring birds at altitude.
Report shells—also referred to as aerial salutes or sound shells—are fireworks
devices similar to those used at public displays. Fired remotely or manually,
report shells explode at the end of their trajectory—at altitudes up to 450
feet—making a loud and abrupt noise that scares birds.
Report shells have not been tested by Transport Canada, but are known to be
generally effective for bird dispersal.
• More effective for deterring birds at higher altitudes.
• Difficult to aim; they also result in debris. Report shells should only be used
when pointed away from aircraft movement areas.
Active Management Using Dispersal Techniques - E.11
• Unsuitable for the quick clearance of birds, as they take longer to prepare
than bird-scaring cartridges.
Report shells are best employed to reach birds in flight; however, consideration
should be given to aircraft activity and conflicts with adjacent land owners.
Permits required
A Fireworks Supervisor Card—presented upon the successful completion of a
one-day course—must be obtained from Natural Resources Canada,
Explosives Regulatory Division (ERD). For course schedule and information,
visit the Natural Resources Canada website at: www.nrcan.gc.ca/mms/explosif,
or contact the regional office in your area:
Atlantic Region
Tel: (902) 426-3599
Fax: (902) 426-7332
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Kim McCulloch
Western Region
Tel: (403) 292-4766
Fax: (403) 292-4689
Email: [email protected]
Inspector: Doug Clarke
Pacific Region
Tel: (604) 666-0366
Fax: (604) 666-0399
Email: [email protected]
Inspector: John Martin
Québec Region
Tel: (514) 652-3999
Fax: (514) 652-0999
Email: [email protected]
Inspector: Roland Lescault
Ontario Region
Tel: (613) 995-8439
Fax: (613) 943-8305
Email: [email protected]
Inspector: John Hendrick
Phoenix Wailer Systems MKII (limited recommendation)
Bird dispersal.
The Phoenix Wailer is an electronic bird-deterrent device featuring 94
selectable audio and ultrasonic sounds. The wide variety of sounds—greater
E.12 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
than other similar devices—are said to prevent habituation. These systems
protect up to 3,000 feet of runway.
Pheonix Wailer in use
The Phoenix Wailer produces 94 random
variations of irritating electronic sounds,
the emissions of which alternate between
speakers and at varying speeds. The
resulting stress environment—combined
with the sound-movement effect—is
meant to unsettle birds. For airports that
are in close proximity to populated or
noise-sensitive areas, a light-sensitive
switch deactivates the speakers at night.
This feature can be over-ridden to
counter birds that become problems
after dusk.
The unit may be fitted with remote speakers that can be spaced at greater intervals,
thereby providing a larger coverage area and, according to the manufacturer,
heightened confusion among birds.
• Birds do not habituate quickly to the random combination of sounds.
• The output is controllable for use near built-up areas.
• Low maintenance.
• Research to date shows that while the synthetic sounds emitted from these
systems have no biological relevance to birds, such ultrasonic devices offer
limited, short-term effectiveness. This limited benefit, however, is outweighed
by the relatively high cost of the product.
The Phoenix Wailer has been used at many Canadian airports including
Halifax, Calgary, and Vancouver. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the Phoenix
Wailer is not effective in airport environments; therefore, this product is not
recommended for long-term airfield use. The Phoenix Wailer may, however, be
effective for short periods of time in areas where birds repeatedly concentrate
(e.g. around a spring run-off puddle).
Active Management Using Dispersal Techniques - E.13
Permits required
Bird Gard AVA (limited recommendation)
Bird repellant.
Bird Gard AVA is an electronic bird repellant that emits pre-recorded bird
distress calls.
The AVA units use as many as six remote speakers which, when placed 30 m
apart, broadcast over approximately 4 hectares. Speakers can be placed at
ground level. Attached to a 12-volt auto battery or 110-volt AC source, the
device can be set to run during the day, at night, or on a 24-hour cycle.
• The manufacturer suggests that distress cries repel many types of flocking
birds and Canada Geese.
• Labour costs are low, as the operation is automatic and the unit may be left
• The distress cries do not repel pigeons, doves, or gulls.
• Habituation is likely and the units should be moved frequently.
AVA units are purportedly effective in repelling various flocking and nonflocking birds such as Canada Geese, blackbirds, waxwings, and woodpeckers.
The alarm sounds are also purportedly effective against certain mammals such
as bats, deer, and Coyotes.
Permits required
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Bird Gard ABC (limited recommendation)
Repels stubborn bird species.
Bird Gard ABC offers the same type of control as Bird Gard AVA but at a lower
cost and with fewer features. Bird Gard ABC uses actual recorded distress calls,
which are electronically reproduced, to imitate an attack on one of their own
kind by a predator. The manufacturer suggests that birds cannot tell the sound
from the actual cries.
The units contain electronic controls, a speaker, 110-volt AC adapter, vinyl
weather cover, and mounting bracket. Optional motion sensor and extension
speakers are available. Bird Gard ABC may also be adjusted for day, night, or
24-hour usage. Per-unit coverage is 0.4 to 0.8 hectares (1 to 2 acres).
• The manufacturer suggests the species-specific standard unit may repel
Brown Thrushes, starlings, and robins.
• Within a one-acre area, custom units may repel Redwing Blackbirds, sparrows,
finches, and gulls.
• It is automatic and can therefore operate unattended.
• Habituation is likely if the units are not moved frequently.
The ABC model may be effective on specific, stubborn species.
Permits required
Active Management Using Dispersal Techniques - E.15
Av-Alarm (limited recommendation)
Bird dispersal.
Av-Alarm is an electronic noise generator that uses between one and three
speakers. This product is similar to the Phoenix Wailer, but has fewer sound
Warning: Wear ear protection when within range of an operating unit. When set
at high volume, the Av-Alarm is loud enough to damage human hearing.
In agricultural applications, Av-Alarms have been found to protect 3.3 to 20
hectares of crop from bird depredation. There have been no specific tests of AvAlarms at airports, but given their range, several units would be necessary to
disperse birds from an entire airfield. As with other noise-making devices, birds
are likely to habituate to Av-Alarms. In order to be effective, this product’s
sounds should be selected to target specific problem species. Units should also
be moved frequently.
• Low labour and maintenance costs.
• Can be used to disperse birds from a variety of habitats.
• Habituation occurs quickly if product is not moved frequently, or if it is not
used in conjunction with other control methods.
• Hearing protection is required for personnel working near the alarm.
There have been few quantitative tests of the effectiveness of Av-Alarm. Those
that have been conducted were brief and primarily in agricultural applications.
Nevertheless, most tests indicated that the alarms do decrease crop damage and
the numbers of birds. Other studies show that birds quickly habituate to the noise,
and that distress and alarm calls are more effective. Used in combination with
other techniques, Av-Alarm was effective in reducing short-term bird numbers.
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One effective technique involved turning on the Av-Alarm system as flocks
landed nearby; however, this strategy requires continuous monitoring, thereby
driving up labour costs and defeating the purpose of an automated system.
LGL Ltd. studies conclude that the sounds broadcast by these systems are not
biologically based, and are therefore unlikely to have long-term effectiveness—
a quality required for airport use. This product is not recommended as a standalone element of airport control programs.
Permits required
Distress Calls (highly recommended)
Dispersal of many bird species.
Many species of birds emit distress calls when they are captured, restrained,
injured, or otherwise in danger. Distress calls signal danger and warn other
members of the species to disperse. Specific to each species, distress calls—with
a few exceptions—only affect other birds of the same species. Some species,
including House Sparrows, are not known to have distress calls.
Detailed instructions on the use of distress cry tapes can be obtained from the
suppliers listed at the end of this section.
It is important to vary the playback of tapes so that birds do not become
habituated. In airport applications and in agricultural areas, the techniques
used involve playback of a call for 5 to 60 seconds at intervals ranging from 3
to 10 minutes. It is recommended that tapes be played in a 10-second-on,
10-second-off rotation for 1.5 minutes, or a 15-second-on, 25-second-off
rotation for 2.5 minutes. Effective tapes—and proper use—will normally
drive gulls into the air within a few seconds. Note that distress-call tapes are
specific both to species and region. Ottawa Herring Gulls gave no response to
Herring Gull distress tapes from Russia until the fourth time they were
played—a dozen repetitions were required before the gulls took flight.
Occasional reinforcement killing may be necessary.
Active Management Using Dispersal Techniques - E.17
Distress calls can be used to disperse starlings, blackbirds, and crows from
night-roosting sites. Operators and equipment should be in position two hours
before sunset. At least two sets of equipment should be used to vary the
location of sounds, as two birds in distress signify a greater danger and therefore
result in a quicker response.
If the roost is large and birds approach from several directions, more units may
be necessary. Distress calls are then broadcast as each flock approaches the roost.
Broadcast may become continuous near sunset. On the first night, a substantial
number of birds may enter the roost despite the broadcasts of distress calls. As
these birds will not disperse once they have settled into the roost, it is pointless
to continue the broadcast; however, repetition of the procedure over three to five
successive evenings should completely disperse the roost.
• Because birds respond instinctively to distress cries, habituation tends to
occur much more slowly than it does to man-made sounds.
• This technique can be used day or night—and in all weather conditions.
• With few exceptions (see below), birds will only respond to distress cries of
their own species. Some species do not emit distress calls.
• An assortment of tapes should be available, and the appropriate tape for each
species should be used. Distress calls for some species are not yet available.
• Playback equipment should be of good quality for best results. Digital
recordings are preferable.
• Some species, particularly gulls, may circle over the sound source to investigate
the danger for several minutes before dispersing. The use of pyrotechnics can
speed the dispersal once the birds are in the air.
Used alone or in combination with pyrotechnics, distress calls are one of the
most effective methods available for dispersing many bird species. There are,
however, some variations in responsiveness both within and between species.
As noted above, most birds—except for some gull species that spend much of
the year in mixed flocks—respond only to calls of their own species. Mixedflock gulls may respond to calls of the species with which they associate.
As noted above, even within a species, calls may vary with the location. One
study showed that alarm calls that dispersed Herring Gulls in North America
were ignored by Herring Gulls in Western Europe. If possible, it is advisable to
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obtain recordings of distress calls that were recorded close to the area where
they will be used.
LGL Ltd. studies conclude that distress calls are highly recommended for
dispersing many bird species and should be an essential part of wildlifecontrol programs.
Gulls can be effectively dispersed by distress-call playback. The birds may not
flush for several seconds, but then will usually approach the sound source and
circle for several minutes before dispersing. Once circling, the gulls can be
more effectively dispersed with pyrotechnics. Gulls are likely to return some
time after being dispersed by distress calls; the few reports available—based on
observations at landfills—indicate that the time before return varies from 15
minutes to 90 minutes. Gulls often loaf rather than feed at airports, and as they
are more attached to feeding areas, distress calls may prove relatively effective
in dispersing these birds for longer periods.
Similar response to gulls; crows will approach the sound source before dispersing.
Starlings and Blackbirds
These species respond with immediate dispersal by the entire flock. One study,
however—conducted at a stockyard where starlings were feeding in cattle
troughs—found that distress calls dispersed only about half the birds, and that
they returned within 10 minutes. There is no information on how long these
species will remain away from less attractive areas. Distress calls can be
effective in dispersing starling and blackbird roosts, but, as noted above,
several days of effort may be required.
Black-crowned Night Herons are the only species of heron for which relevant
information is available. Distress calls deterred this species from feeding at a
fish hatchery, but many birds remained in nearby trees rather than dispersing.
Permits required
Active Management Using Dispersal Techniques - E.19
Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics, Ohio State University
Website: blb.biosci.ohio-state.edu
Email: [email protected]
Offers original recordings of many species from numerous areas, mainly in the
United States. Recordings are available on 1/4-inch open-reel tape, on cassette,
and on three-minute continuous loops.
Laboratory of Ornithology, Cornell University
Website: birds.cornell.edu/BRP/
Phone: 1-607-254-2408
Original recordings are available on cassette, 1/4-inch open-reel tape, and CD.
Species available:
• Gulls: Ring-billed Gull, Western Gull, Herring Gull, Glaucous-winged Gull,
California Gull.
• Blackbirds: Red-winged Blackbird, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Brewer’s
Blackbird, Common Grackle.
• Corvids: Common Crow, Black-billed Magpie, Blue Jay.
• Others: Canada Goose, Black-crowned Night Heron, European Starling,
robin, Snow Bunting, and numerous other species not usually considered
problems at airports.
Scientists studying bird behaviour or vocalizations in the biology, zoology, or
ornithology departments of local universities and museums may have useful
recordings that they would be willing to copy for use at airports.
Alarm Calls (highly recommended)
Bird dispersal.
Alarm calls are given by some gregarious birds species when a predator is
detected. The normal response of flockmates in the open is to flush and fly for
cover. Like distress calls, alarm calls are species-specific.
Alarm calls are employed in the same way as distress calls. Using alarm calls in
combination with pyrotechnics and occasional killing enhances effectiveness.
E.20 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
• Because the response to an alarm call is instinctive, the probability of
habituation is reduced.
• Quality alarm-call recordings are not available for many species.
• Bird alarm calls are higher in pitch and lower in volume than other calls. As
a result, alarm calls do not carry as well over wide areas.
Because of the difficulty in obtaining quality alarm-call recordings, few
assessments have been made. As the alarm calls of many species tend to be
similar, it has been suggested that a generic call might have broad effectiveness.
The study of a mixed-species flock feeding on grapes did find that all birds
initially responded to the alarm call of one. Within a few days, however, this
alarm call worked only on its own species. This suggests that the early response
of the other species was to the sight of responding birds, rather than to the
alarm call itself.
At least one species—the Herring Gull—is known to have a two-part alarm
call. The first part alerts the flock; the second disperses it.
Permits required
Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics, Ohio State University
Website: blb.biosci.ohio-state.edu
Email: [email protected]
Offers original recordings of many species from numerous areas, mainly in the
United States. Recordings are available on 1/4-inch open-reel tape, on cassette,
and on three-minute continuous loops.
Laboratory of Ornithology, Cornell University
Website: birds.cornell.edu/BRP/
Phone: 1-607-254-2408
Offers original recordings of many species from numerous areas. Recordings
are available on cassette, 1/4-inch open-reel tape, and CD.
Active Management Using Dispersal Techniques - E.21
Scientists studying bird behaviour or vocalizations in the biology, zoology, or
ornithology departments of local universities and museums may have useful
recordings that they would be willing to copy for use at airports.
Predator Calls (limited recommendation)
Calls given by hawks, falcons, and owls may be effective in dispersing birds.
Predator sounds can be broadcast using the same equipment as distress or
alarm calls. The use of these calls warns birds of the presence predators; birds
respond with heightened awareness and, in some cases, take flight.
• Habituation to the call of a natural predator is generally slow.
• The predator call should specifically address the species to be dispersed.
Only one perfunctory assessment has been conducted regarding the use of
predator calls to deter birds. In that study, the calls of a Peregrine Falcon were
successful in dispersing gulls at Vancouver International Airport. It should be
noted, however, that predators usually hunt silently and do not announce
their presence. The use of predator calls therefore seems to be an unnatural
presentation of stimulus.
According to LGL Ltd. studies, it is difficult to evaluate the efficacy of predator
calls because their biological nature remains unclear. This product does, however,
warrant more research to determine its long-term effectiveness.
Permits required
E.22 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics
Website: blb.biosci.ohio-state.edu
[email protected]
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Website: birds.cornell.edu/BRP/
Phone: 1-607-254-2408
Auditory Deterrents
Avian Systems Corp.
Av-Alarm, Bird Guard AVA and ABC
Website: www.aviansystems.com
Toll Free: 1-888-828-9318
Scarecrow Bio-Acoustic Systems
Sound Deterrents
[email protected]
Phone: 01.825.73.2601
Phoenix Agritech
Phoenix Wailer
Website: www.pheonixagritech.com
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-902-662-2441
Reed Joseph International
Pyrotechnics, Cannons
Website: www.reedjoseph.com
Email: [email protected]
Toll Free: 1-800-647-5554
Website: theshellcracker.com
Email: [email protected]
Toll Free: 1-800-833-2264
Wildlife Control Technology
Website: www.wildlife-control.com
Email: [email protected]
Toll Free: 1-800-235-0262
Margo Supplies Ltd.
Pyrotechnics, Cannons, Av-Alarm
Website: www.wildlife-mgmt.com
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-403-652-1932
Predator calls
Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics
Predator Calls
Website: blb.biosci.ohio-state.edu
[email protected]
Phone: 1-614-292-2176
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Predator Calls
Website: birds.cornell.edu/BRP/
Phone: 1-607-254-2408
Active Management Using Dispersal Techniques - E.23
Chemical Repellents
Chemicals are used primarily to foul areas that are attractive to birds, such as
perching, nesting, and loafing sites. Used with growing frequency for wildlife
control at airports, chemicals either repel birds through taste, smell, or illness
following ingestion. While certain bird-control products have proven effective at
airports, mammal-repulsion products have had limited success; their development
is ongoing.
A major advantage of this control method is that it is not subject to habituation.
Most of these chemicals induce a physiological reaction to which animals do
not generally become accustomed.
Taste repellents
Of the many kinds of chemical repellents that may be useful at airports, taste
repellents are the most common. These bitter-tasting chemicals can be painted
onto cables to prevent mammals from chewing. Taste repellents can also be
used to deter deer from feeding on vegetation.
Behavioural repellents
The chemicals used to repel through ingestion may also be classed as poisons.
Sufficient doses will kill individual birds. The most familiar and widely used of
these chemicals is 4-aminopyridine, marketed in several strengths under the
brand name Avitrol. As the erratic behaviours and distressing cries of treated
birds may disperse other flock members, this chemical is also considered a
behavioural repellent. Birds that ingest this product usually die.
Other limited-use repellents act through odour or fumigation. For example,
naphtha flakes are sprinkled on favoured perching areas of House Sparrows.
At present, there are no studies to support the effectiveness of this treatment.
Tactile repellents
This class of control applications discourages problem birds from landing and
roosting on building structures. Tactile repellents are generally sticky mixtures
and may include a chemical that mildly irritates birds’ feet. The repellent
properties do not stand up well to variable weather conditions and dust, so
these materials are best used indoors. Some require specific application
procedures and occasional renewal to be fully effective. While they appear to
offer only limited effectiveness, they are not affected to any large extent
by habituation.
E.24 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
All chemicals used in pest control in Canada must be registered by Health
Canada’s Pest Control Products Act. This applies to products used in both
lethal control of wildlife, and to repellents. Registered chemicals undergo
controlled testing to demonstrate their efficacy and safety. The labels of all
chemical pesticide products must include both instructions for use and safety
precautions—instructions that must be strictly followed.
Federal registration does not guarantee products will be available—or be
permitted for use—provincially. For example, the Pest Control Products Act may
register a product for commercial use, permitting its sale in large quantities;
however, no licensing may be necessary under Federal law. Each province,
however, has the authority to further restrict the use of that product to
provincially licensed applicators.
Transport Canada strongly recommends that airport operators and wildlifecontrol personnel consult local pest-control company experts prior to the
application of any chemical repellents.
Chemical products for birds
Tactile Repellents
There are several kinds of chemical repellents that may be useful for airport bird
control. The most common are tactile repellents, which are sticky substances
that discourage birds from roosting on ledges and other flat surfaces. Although
application of the repellent is fairly labour intensive, the treatment is effective
for up to one year.
Prevents birds from roosting on ledges, window sills, and the tops of signs.
Registered for control of pigeons and sparrows.
These products consist of a soft sticky material that remains tacky through
a temperature range of -9°C to 48°C. As a result, these products may be
ineffective in many outdoor Canadian locations during the winter months.
Birds attempting to land on treated areas are not trapped, but they are
repelled by the stickiness of the product. Stickiness is retained for a year or
more under most conditions.
Active Management Using Dispersal Techniques - E.25
The substance is applied from cartridges with a caulking gun or from pails using
a putty knife. Spray cans and small tubes are also available for application in small
areas. Dust, loose paint, droppings, and dirt should be cleaned off surfaces before
the repellent is applied; the pre-treatment of porous surfaces such as masonry and
unfinished wood with silicone sealant or paint is also recommended. To ensure
quick and easy clean-up, the product may also be applied over waterproof and
oil-resistant tape.
Manufacturers’ recommendations for use suggest applying a strip 1-cm
wide and 1-cm high, 1.5 cm from the edge of the site, or along the highest
point of a perching area. For wide spaces, two or more strips 10-cm apart
are recommended. The application should be checked every six months to
ensure that weathering has not affected the stickiness of the product. In
some cases, scraping the surface will restore stickiness.
• Remains effective for a year or more after application.
• Habituation is rare.
• Initial and subsequent applications
are labour intensive.
• All roosting ledges should be located
and treated or birds may simply
move to a new area.
• The products’ ineffectiveness at
temperatures below -9°C limit their
value at Canadian airports during
the winter months.
• The appearance of the material is
not aesthetically pleasing, and may
therefore be inappropriate for the
exterior of some buildings.
• No quantitative efficacy reports have
been completed on these products;
their overall effectiveness remains
Applying “Hot Foot”
E.26 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
These products are effective in controlling pigeons, but relatively ineffective for
sparrows. Sparrows require a very small area for perching, and may therefore
be able to avoid contact with the repellent.
Even though these products are effective for the purposes claimed, they may
not solve a bird problem if numerous roosting areas remain untreated. These
products have been used in attempts to prevent raptors from perching on
antennas, but there is no information on their effectiveness in this application.
Should these products be employed at airports, it is imperative to monitor and
record their success.
Behavioural Repellents (limited recommendation)
Behavioural repellents can cause visible signs of stress in birds, including
disorientation and erratic behaviour. Frightened by such unstable behaviour,
unaffected members of the flock often disperse.
Avitrol is the most common product available. The chemical should be placed
in bait and eaten by the birds. Proper dilution of treated bait with untreated
bait is therefore critical to prevent lethal control of large numbers of birds.
Dispersing flocks of blackbirds, starlings, House Sparrows, pigeons, and gulls.
Avitrol (4-aminopyridine) is a poisonous chemical that kill birds when they
ingest a treated bait. This chemical causes visible signs of distress in birds when
they are dying, causing other members of the flock to disperse.
Blackbirds and Starlings
Commercial cracked-corn mixes of Avitrol are spread over feeding areas. The
mix contains only six treated kernels per 100 so that only a small proportion
of the flock is affected.
In one case, a blackbird roost in a cattail marsh was dispersed through the use
of Avitrol. Bait trays were placed above the level of the cattails to feed
incoming birds. The trays were pre-baited for three days with untreated corn.
On the fourth day, Avitrol bait—at a ratio of 1:10 treated-to-untreated
Active Management Using Dispersal Techniques - E.27
kernels—replaced the pre-bait. Most of the birds were dispersed to other roost
areas between 800 metres and 9.6 kilometres distant following four days of
treatment. To protect non-target species, bait trays were placed two hours
before sunset and removed in the morning.
Pre-baiting with untreated bait is essential for pigeon control. As well as
accustoming pigeons to the bait, pre-baiting concentrates the population and
draws the birds to preferred control areas. Elevated areas, such as roofs, are
recommended as pre-bait areas; they are out of public view and deter nontarget species such as Mourning Doves, which prefer to feed on the ground.
Pre-baits should be set out in numerous small piles of about 100 grams rather
than in a smaller number of larger piles. On a roof 15 metres by 30 metres, 10
to 20 pre-bait piles are adequate. The response of the pigeons will dictate the
duration of pre-baiting. If the pigeons have been exposed to Avitrol previously,
and have become bait shy, as many as three to four months of pre-baiting may
be necessary. Longer periods may also be required if an attempt is being made
to move pigeons from their accustomed feeding areas. Normally, however,
about two weeks of pre-baiting will be necessary.
Treated bait is provided once pigeons have been concentrated in the control
area. Some pigeons may be killed by the bait. If there is concern about dead
pigeons being found in public areas, the ratio of treated to untreated kernels
should be 1:30. If this does not give adequate control after two weeks, the ratio
should be increased to 1:20, and then to 1:10 after a further two weeks. If there
is no particular concern about carcasses, treatments can begin at ratios of 1:15
or 1:10.
House Sparrows
A pre-mixed commercial grain is available specifically for sparrow control. Prebaiting is necessary and should be carried out in areas where non-target species
will not be attracted. At airports, pre-baiting can take place near buildings and
away from natural-habitat areas such as bushes and grass.
Pre-baiting—usually with bread—is necessary for gull control. Once the gulls
are accustomed to feeding on the pre-bait, Avitrol-treated bread replaces the
pre-bait at a ratio of 1:10 treated-to-untreated bait. Because pre-baiting may in
fact attract gulls, Avitrol use on airports is of questionable value. Avitrol can
be useful, however, to disperse gulls from landfills near airports. Where gull
E.28 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
populations are large, three treated bait stations should be placed at each of
eight widely separated locations on the landfill. This treatment rate may be
reduced by half at landfills with fewer gulls.
• Flocks of birds can be dispersed by killing only a few birds if appropriate
mixes are used.
• Avitrol can successfully disperse pigeons and House Sparrows—species for
which other dispersal techniques are not effective.
• Extensive pre-baiting may be necessary, and the pre-bait may itself attract
additional birds.
• This product is recommended only for areas in which a direct threat to
aircraft safety is not posed, as the direction of dispersal cannot be controlled.
(Affected gulls and blackbirds, for instance, may circle upwards and fly
erratically into aircraft flight paths.)
• Improper dilution can result in large numbers of dead birds, which may lead
to a negative public perception of bird control.
• To prevent habituation or bait shyness, it is important to vary the pre-bait
food source. Not only is this time consuming, it also poses a challenge to
maintain a constant dosage level through changing food sources.
Blackbirds and Starlings
Avitrol is quite effective in dispersing large blackbird flocks (over 1000 birds)
in crops. At airports, Avitrol is likely to be useful only in agricultural lease
areas and in roost dispersal. Transient flocks feeding on the airfield itself can
be more effectively controlled through pyrotechnics.
Use of Avitrol at roosts in trees and bushes has not been tested, but delivery
of the bait would likely be more difficult in this habitat. Starlings cannot be
dispersed from roosts with Avitrol.
Pigeons and House Sparrows
Avitrol offers limited effectiveness in dispersing pigeons and House Sparrows.
As long as food or shelter remains attractive, the same or new individuals will
re-invade the treated area.
Active Management Using Dispersal Techniques - E.29
Avitrol can be effective in dispersing gulls; however, gulls often return, and
bait shyness can become a serious impediment to the continued effectiveness of
the treatment.
Behaviourial repellents should be used in conjunction with other control methods
as part of an overall management plan.
Permits required
Avitrol is a restricted chemical. Permits are required, and the agent should be
administered by a licensed Pest Control Officer.
Benomyl (limited recommendation)
Killing earthworms, particularly along runways and taxiways.
Benomyl is a fungicide supplied as a wettable powder. This product can be
used on and around runways to reduce earthworm populations.
Benomyl should be sprayed annually at a ratio of 2.25-kg active ingredient per
hectare in a 30 m band around runways and taxiways. This can be applied in
conjunction with herbicides. LGL Ltd. states that because earthworm control
is not a registered use for Benomyl, permits for this purpose are often difficult
to obtain. Health Canada has advised, however, that the product can be used
for its registered purpose as a turf-management agent at airports.
• The reduction in earthworm populations results in a substantial reduction in
the number of worms on paved areas in wet weather. This, in turn, reduces
the attraction of birds, particularly gulls, that feed on worms.
• As earthworms are no longer present to work the soil, there is often an
increase in thatch from grass-cutting operations. This may increase the
numbers of small mammals near the runway and, in turn, attract hawks and
owls. The potential for this problem is not serious enough to overcome the
advantages of worm reduction.
E.30 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Benomyl is effective in reducing numbers of earthworms.
Permits required
At airports, Benomyl should be used for its registered purpose as a turfmanagement agent.
Tersan (limited recommendation)
Killing earthworms, particularly along the grass aprons of runways and taxiways.
Tersan is a turf fungicide supplied as a wettable powder for pest control.
Tersan is applied as a spray on grass aprons or turf areas. It requires thorough
coverage, and should be applied every one or two weeks. This product should
be used at airports where earthworms attract a significant number of birds.
• Provides long-term protection.
• The reduction in earthworm populations results in a substantial reduction in
the number of worms on paved areas in wet weather. This, in turn, reduces
the attraction of birds, particularly gulls, that feed on worms.
• As earthworms are no longer present to work the soil, there is often an
increase in thatch from grass-cutting operations. This may increase the
numbers of small mammals near the runway and, in turn, attract hawks and
owls. The potential for this problem is not serious enough to overcome the
advantages of worm reduction.
• This fungicide may cause eye, nose, throat, and skin irritation. It may also be
harmful to grazers, and it may contaminate surface water. Because of these
environmental concerns, Tersan is not widely used at Canadian airports.
Tersan is effective in reducing the numbers of earthworms on and near runways.
LGL Ltd. recommends this product for use where earthworm populations are
creating major bird hazards near runways.
Active Management Using Dispersal Techniques - E.31
Permits required
At airports, Tersan should be used for its registered purpose as a turfmanagement agent.
Methyl Anthranilate — ReJeX-iT® (no available recommendation)
Repels birds from unsafe airport feeding areas by inducing them to forage for
food in their natural habitat.
These products contain naturally occurring flavour additives that render
treated food sources unpalatable to all species of birds. The products act as
sensory repellents, affecting the behaviour of the birds without causing
lasting physical harm.
With appropriate equipment, ReJeX-iT can be sprayed on animal food and
water sources such as ponds, landfills and turf. The product can also be used
in fogging applications to disperse birds in hangars and other structures.
• ReJeX-iT represents an alternative to the poisoning and shooting of nuisance
• Its toxicity is extremely low.
• It is biodegradable in low concentrations.
• If not used according to directions, discharge of high concentrations of the
product into water bodies could cause environmental hazards.
• Excessive exposure to the product may cause eye and skin irritation.
• Large applications of ReJeX-iT can be costly.
ReJeX-iT AP-50 may be used to repel birds such as Ring-billed Gulls, Canada
Geese, and Mallards from landfills and temporary pools of standing water.
ReJeX-iT TP-40 may be used to repel starlings, Brown-headed Cowbirds, Ringbilled Gulls, Canada Geese, and Mallards at landfills and from standing water.
E.32 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
ReJeX-iT AG-36 may be used to repel Canada Geese from turf areas.
ReJeX-iT has the potential to provide control of specific problem bird species
at airports. LGL Ltd. states that experimentation with varying formulations,
application frequencies and concentrations may be required. Given the
relatively high cost of ReJeX-iT applications, these experiments should be
carried out on a small scale prior to full implementation of the product.
Permits required
In Canada, turf-applied products are registered for use against ground-feeding
birds such as Canada Geese.
Flock Fighters Chemical Bird
Website: www.flockfighters.com
Email: [email protected]
or [email protected]
Phone: 1-219-447-0982
or 1-800-489-6651
Becker Underwood
Website: www.bucolor.com
Email: [email protected]
Toll Free: 1-800-232-5907
Canadian Sani-Corp
Hot Foot
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-604-985-7141
Bird X Inc
Bird Proof
Website: www.bird-x.com
Email: [email protected]
Toll Free: 1-800-662-5021
DuPont Canada
Benomyl, Tersan
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.dupont.ca
Abell Pest Control
Website: www.abellgroup.com
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-416-675-1635
or 1-888-949-4949
PMC Specialties Group
Website: www.pmcsg.com
Phone: 1-513-242-3300
Rodent Control
Website: www.liphatech.com
Toll Free: 1-800-558-1003
Active Management Using Dispersal Techniques - E.33
Chemical repellents for Mammals
Mammal repellents comprise chemical formulations that are placed in food,
and—to protect against chewing damage—chemical applications that are used
to coat cables and equipment. In both cases, animals are repelled by the
offensive taste of the chemicals.
To repel foraging mammals, applications should cover the animals’ preferred
vegetation. These applications tend to be time-consuming and labour intensive.
Additionally, these chemicals have a relatively short effective life span when
used outdoors, so they should be reapplied periodically.
Taste repellents
Taste repellents deter rodents and canids from chewing above-ground cables,
and deter deer and Elk from inhabiting airport property by rendering forage
plants unpalatable.
Most repellent chemicals are dissolved in a liquid carrier that is either sprayed
or painted on the area to be protected. The active ingredients in commercial
repellents include thiram, ammonium soaps, putrescent egg solids, bone-tar
oil, or a combination of plant extract oils. Many other substances are
available, but are not sold for the specific purpose of repelling wildlife. These
include tankage or feather meal (by-products of the meat-processing and
chicken-processing industries), human hair clippings, mothballs, creosote, and
predator fecal odours.
These products are sprayed in diluted form or painted in the concentrated form
that is supplied by the manufacturer. Manufacturer’s labels give information
on the correct application.
• Once applied to cables and other non-edible items, some repellents will
remain effective for a year or more.
E.34 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
• Spraying of vegetation should be repeated every two or three months to
counteract weathering and accommodate new plant growth.
• Products containing putrescent egg solids may attract Coyotes.
Repellents containing thiram at concentrations of at least 1:25 are effective in
repelling ground squirrels. The concentrations required to repel other species
have not been specifically reported. The period of effectiveness probably varies
with the manufacturers’ formulations, but there is no information on which
formulations have the greatest duration.
Deer, Elk and Moose
Most testing on the effectiveness of repellents has been done on Whitetail Deer.
Effective active ingredients include thiram, putrescent egg solids, ammonium
soaps, tankage, and feather meal. Most commercial repellents seem to be
effective for approximately two to three months, but heavy rains may reduce
this duration significantly. Products that are not effective repellents include
bone-tar oil, human hair, creosote, and mothballs.
Tests with Mule Deer indicate that fecal odours of deer predators are effective
repellents; however, no commercial formulation of such odours is available.
Research indicates that products containing putrescent egg solids are effective
for both Mule Deer and Elk. Thiram seems to be less effective as an Elk
repellent than putrescent egg solids.
Although certain products are demonstrably effective as repellents under
experimental conditions, this does not necessarily translate to success under
field applications. To date, the effectiveness of all repellents is measured in the
reduction of damage to vegetation, not the elimination of damage. If there are
no other food sources, or if treated vegetation is a preferred food, deer may
continue to eat despite chemical applications.
To deter wild canids such as foxes and Coyotes, thiram seems to be the longest
lasting and the most effective. Products containing putrescent egg solids are
effective deer repellents, but will attract canids.
Permits required
Active Management Using Dispersal Techniques - E.35
Visual Repellents — Birds
Visual repellents have been used for many years, commonly in the form of
scarecrows. While there have been many innovations for the protection of
agricultural crops over the years, most are unsuitable or ineffective for airport
control programs. Some recent developments have involved the use of predator
models that are often animated. Unfortunately, rapid habituation means their
acceptance as an effective control method has not been widespread.
When used in conjunction with taped
distress calls and firearms, dead birds
will sometimes scare away flocks of the
same species. Placing fresh carcasses in
open areas also offers limited effectiveness;
however, scavengers will also be attracted
to dead animals. Some wildlife officers
report success in dispersing flocks simply
by tossing a recently dispatched gull into
the air while playing distress calls. Such
acts should be carried out only with good
judgment, and with consideration for any
onlookers who might take offense.
Agony posture
Placing taxidermically-mounted gulls—prepared in what are termed agony
postures—in open areas has also led to some success, although such models are
unable to withstand harsh weather conditions.
Habituation is once again a major problem that is encountered in using these
methods of control. Transient birds are the most likely to be scared by visual
deterrents since the opportunity to habituate to these tactics does not arise.
With problem resident birds, however, a combination of visual and auditory
deterrents—usually exploders—will increase effectiveness.
Examples of visual deterrents include scarecrows, flags and streamers, flare
pistols, strobe lights, predator models, hawk kites, gull models, and heliumfilled balloons.
E.36 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Scarecrows, Flags, and Streamers (limited short-term recommendation)
Deterring birds from resting on airport property.
The primary aim of a scarecrow is to resemble a predatory human as closely
as possible. They can be constructed from such available materials as old
clothes, grain sacks, and straw. Streamers and various flags are available
commercially, but effective flags can be made on site as described below.
Scarecrows should be brightly coloured, and move in the wind to appear lifelike. Studies show that the most effective scarecrows possess realistic human
facial features. Scarecrows should be placed every 4 to 6 hectares for best
results. Birds will rapidly habituate to scarecrows unless they are moved at
least every two to three days. Anecdotal evidence states that scarecrows are
most effective when placed in fields immediately after harvest.
Flags are successfully used to protect crops from waterfowl. The most effective
flags consist of a simple 60-cm x 90-cm sheet of 3-mm black plastic attached
to a 1.2-m piece of lath. The short side of the plastic sheet is wrapped around
the lath and stapled through a piece of cardboard to prevent ripping. The use
of coloured plastic seems to lessen the effectiveness of these devices. Heavier
plastic and larger flags are too rigid in the wind; smaller flags are not as visible.
In areas where waterfowl have become accustomed to feeding, four flags are
recommended per hectare, placed in an offset grid pattern. One flag per hectare
suffices in areas frequented by waterfowl.
Reflective streamers
Streamers are useful for deterring blackbirds and House Sparrows from
feeding in crops. Streamers are made from reflective mylar tape—an elastic,
three-layered tape that has a silver metal layer on one side and a coloured
synthetic resin on the other. The tape flashes when it reflects sunlight, and
produces a noise as it flaps and stretches in the wind. In experimental
applications, the best effect was achieved when tapes were strung three metres
apart with two to four twists per 30 metres. Ensure there’s enough slack to
allow undulations of 0.5 to 1.0 metre at the centre. More twists and tighter
streamers resulted in reduced movement and effectiveness. Placing streamers
across rain ponds is an effective deterrent, especially for shorebirds and ducks.
Active Management Using Dispersal Techniques - E.37
Inflating balloons and placing them across ponds, approximately one metre
above the ground is also effective.
• These devices are inexpensive.
• Scarecrows should be moved frequently to counteract habituation.
• As breakage occurs often and easily, flags and streamers should be replaced.
• Broken parts should be picked up immediately to avoid FOD.
Evaluations are available only for reflective streamers. Although they substantially
reduced the numbers of blackbirds, cowbirds, and House Sparrows feeding in
fields, streamers did not completely deter these birds. No effect was observed for
Goldfinches and Mourning Doves.
Black flags, as described above, are reported to be useful in deterring waterfowl,
especially when used in combination with exploders and other noise-making
devices. The effectiveness of scarecrows is also increased when combined with
other methods. Scarecrows rapidly lose their effectiveness when used alone and
left in the same location for several days.
Overall, visual deterrents are recommended for short-term small-area use and
as minor components of wildlife-management programs.
Permits required
Predator Models (limited short-term recommendation)
Deterring prey species from landing and resting at airports.
Models range from very poor to excellent imitations of various predators.
Models can be mounted on posts or other supports in areas where prey species
roost or feed, but should be moved frequently to prevent habituation. Experiments
E.38 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
in the use of models show that placing a dead bird—or model—in the talons of the
predator model increased the effectiveness of this technique. Effectiveness was
further increased when a live starling was tethered to the model.
• Models can be inexpensive.
• Associated labour costs are low.
• Models should be moved frequently to prevent habituation.
• Owl models in open areas have been known to attract crows.
Some species of birds are not particularly responsive to predator models, and
the species of predator the model represents may affect the response to it. For
example, in one study Mourning Doves were much less responsive to two
taxidermically-mounted hawk species than were starlings or Blue Jays.
Predator models are only recommended for use at airports when they are part
of integrated programs.
Permits required
Hawk Kites and Balloons (limited short-term recommendation)
Deterring birds from landing at airports.
These kites are similar to stationary models in their resemblance to predators.
Kites may be either tethered to the ground, or suspended from helium balloons
or flexible poles during periods in which there is no wind.
Balloons are tethered to lines that are up to 60 metres long. Kites are
attached to tether line with fishing swivels. In agricultural areas, one kite for
each two to four hectares is effective in reducing bird damage. In one test of
balloon longevity, polyurethane balloons were found to be more durable
Active Management Using Dispersal Techniques - E.39
than rubber balloons; blue balloons were found to deteriorate quicker than
those of other colours.
• Habituation does not occur as rapidly as with stationary models because the
movement of the kite ensures a more realistic appearance.
• At airports, kites and balloons may themselves be hazardous to aircraft
should they be ingested into jet engines.
• Balloons and kites should be checked at least every second day to ensure
proper operation, and to refill with helium if necessary.
• Kites and balloons deteriorate rapidly and should be replaced regularly. In
one study of several types of weather balloons, none lasted longer than a
week. More durable balloons are available—made primarily for advertising
purposes—but cost several hundred dollars each.
• Kites and balloons can be damaged by high winds, as well as the wash
generated by aircraft.
All tests of kite balloons effectiveness were conducted in agricultural areas,
particularly vineyards. These devices are effective in deterring some species of
birds from areas of one to two hectares around the kite. Species that were
effectively deterred included Blue Jays, Mourning Doves, and starlings. The
overall numbers of birds in the areas tested were reduced between 27 and 65
percent. The lower reduction was achieved in a study in which the kites were
left in the same position for six weeks.
Kites that were tethered to a five-metre flexible pole from a two-metre tether
line were found to be less effective than kites tethered to balloons. Presumably,
this result relates to the short distance the kite could travel in the groundtethered position, compared to the 30- to 40-metre coverage that was afforded
when tethered to a balloon.
Studies by LGL Ltd. conclude that kites and balloons can be useful as bird
deterrents on airfields, but the effectiveness of these devices is limited by
habituation. If these products are to be used, they should be supplemented
with other scaring devices to ensure optimum effectiveness.
Permits required
E.40 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Gull Models (limited short-term recommendation)
Deterring gulls from loafing at airports.
Models should be faithful replicas or actual dead specimens.
Placement of the models should be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Observations should be made of both where the gulls are loafing and whether
they display a preference for one location over another. Models should be
placed in areas where gulls rest and cause particular hazards. Models and dead
gull specimens—both in agony positions—warn all other birds in the vicinity
that danger exists. Ensure that if gulls are dispersed from the area where the
models are placed, the birds are not simply moving to new airport loafing areas
at which they will cause even greater hazards. Some gulls may even initially be
drawn to models. In both these instances, supplementary deterrents, such as
pyrotechnics, may be required.
• Gull numbers should be reduced in areas where models are deployed.
• Model effectiveness depends on the realism of the product; therefore, they
should be custom made.
• In some cases, models will only encourage gulls to change their preferred
loafing area, not disperse them entirely from airports.
Experiments at airports in various parts of the world have shown that gull
models and dead specimens can deter other gulls from loafing nearby for
periods ranging from eight days to eight months. Effectiveness varies with
the species and the geographic location, and may also be affected by the
realism of the model and the state of the dead specimen (carcasses that are
overly weathered may be ineffective). To enhance the effectiveness of gull
models, they should be used in conjunction with other scaring techniques.
Permits required
Active Management Using Dispersal Techniques - E.41
Falconry (no available recommendation)
To disperse birds from airports.
Falconry is a centuries-old art; however, it was not employed as a bird-control
technique at airports until the 1970s. In this method, trained falcons—and
occasionally other birds such as merlins and hawks—pursue, scare, and sometimes
kill problem species. Although highly specialized and reliant on professional
falconers, falconry has proven a successful airport bird-control method in
some situations.
Falconry at airports
Falconry plays upon some birds’ natural fear of raptors—their presence in the
area is sometimes enough to temporarily disperse problem species. The natural
reaction of most prey species is to form a tight flock and attempt to fly above
the falcon. If this fails, they will fly for cover, often away from the airport.
Caution should be exercised, however, as the direction of dispersal is not always
controllable and flocks may fly along or across active runways.
• Some birds have an innate fear of raptors and, as the danger is real, do
not habituate to their presence. The biological basis of this control
method is strong.
• Professional falconers can assist in developing a comprehensive wildlifemanagement program in which falconry is an integral component.
E.42 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
• Requires full-time employment not only of experienced falconers, but also
suitable birds, which are at times scarce.
• Falconry cannot be employed in bad weather conditions such as fog, high
temperatures, heavy rain, or high winds.
• Several falcons of different sizes are required to chase the various birds that
are found at airports.
• The presence of any bird at airports can pose a risk to aircraft, so falconers
should be in complete control of their birds—and in contact with control
towers—at all times.
• Full-time falconry programs are costly.
• Large birds such as Canada Geese are not deterred by falcons.
Studies by LGL Ltd. conclude that there is a biologically sound basis to the use
of falconry for bird control. Pest birds are sometimes readily dispersed and
habituation does not occur. The threat is increased when falcons are allowed
to kill periodically.
Anecdotal evidence from major Canadian airports shows that falconry, while
expensive, is an effective means for controlling birds. The practice offers real
public relations benefits as well, since many animal-welfare groups look upon
falconry as a humane method of wildlife control.
Falconry is not, however, a stand-alone solution; it should be used in conjunction
with other wildlife-control measures.
Permits required
None-other than those obtained from Provincial authorities for keeping
protected raptors.
Border Collies (no available recommendation)
To disperse birds/deer from airports and prevent their return.
It is reported that Border Collies can serve as an effective means of wildlife control
in airfield environments by introducing a true predator into the ecosystem. Border
Collies are canids, representing an actual, not perceived, threat to wildlife, thereby
Active Management Using Dispersal Techniques - E.43
eliminating the problems of habituation. Border Collies should be used by a
handler who can either be a trained airfield employee or from a professional
organization employing Border Collies, which can also provide a comprehensive
wildlife-management program for the airport.
Since Border Collies are under the direct control of a handler, in theory they
disperse wildlife only in prescribed areas and at the direction of the handler.
Border Collies can be stopped at any point in time at the approach of an
aircraft, avoiding potentially dangerous dispersals, by either recalling the dog
to the handler or lying the dog down. This allows them to work during flight
operations, even at the busiest of airfields. Dispersal of birds and wildlife relies
on visual cues, so noise does not affect the efficacy of their actions.
• Birds have an innate fear of wolves and canids and, as the danger is real, do
not habituate to their presence. The biological basis of this control method
is strong.
• Border Collies can work in almost all weather conditions and can travel over
all forms of terrain, including following waterfowl into marshes or open water.
• Border Collies can work for long periods of time and can learn from various
situations and adapt to changing circumstances as required.
• Border Collies have the instinct to herd animals but have been bred to avoid
“going in for the kill”. Since they do not harm the birds being harassed, they
can be used to deter protected species of bird and wildlife.
• A single handler and Border Collie can cover extensive territory in conjunction
with a vehicle. The dogs can be directed on command to change directions, lie
down, approach the birds, back away, continue searching, or to quit working
without the handler ever having to change position.
• Border Collies can be directed with relative precision, enabling directional
dispersals of birds or wildlife. This avoids the tendency of birds, for example,
to scatter and then to regroup in an area just behind their initial staging area.
• Border Collies have a lifespan of approximately 14-15 years. The dogs are
capable of working as early as 1 year of age and may continue working until
they are 11-12 years old.
• Border Collies are environmentally friendly and the positive public
relations from a Border Collie program can be as valuable as their bird
deterrence capabilities.
• Use of a Border Collie requires full-time employment of trained handler(s),
with ongoing training required for both dog and handler(s).
E.44 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
• The dogs are minimally effective against the smallest bird species such as
swallows and Dunlin, and do not prevent gulls and other birds from flying
over the airport or raptors from hunting on the airport.
• Border Collies require daily work and exercise, even without birds present,
and so should be taken out every day for work.
• Both dogs and handlers should be professionally trained. Qualified dogs are
expensive (equivalent to drug and bomb-trained dogs) and training for
airport staff is considerable. Outsourcing of wildlife control with a professional
organization employing Border Collies can also be costly.
Studies by KLECE ecological consulting have shown a dramatic reduction in
airfield bird populations after the employment of a single Border Collie. Further
studies from Vancouver International Airport have shown birds visiting the
airport dropped by almost fifty percent after the first year of utilizing Border
Collies. Pyrotechnic usage also dropped dramatically, resulting in a substantial
cost savings for the wildlife management program.
Cold Lake AFB has successfully eliminated runway incursions by deer through
the use of a single Border Collie in their airfield environment. Border Collies
are now being tried at airports and airbases all over the world.
Permits required
Radio-controlled Model Aircraft (limited recommendation)
Bird dispersal.
Standard radio-controlled aircraft can be used to harass and disperse birds
from airports. While these aircraft can be painted to resemble falcons, models
are now available in the shape of these birds. Radio-controlled aircraft have
proven effective at some airports; however, well-trained operators are required.
Computer simulators are available for a modest price and are highly effective
tools for training airport staff in using the models. A high degree of hand-eye
coordination is required but most individuals, with enough practice, can
become adept at their control.
Active Management Using Dispersal Techniques - E.45
• Radio-controlled model aircraft eliminate the hazards associated with flying
live birds, which can be unpredictable in certain situations.
• Can be used at night.
• Effective on a broad range of species.
• A basic radio-controlled model aircraft program is relatively inexpensive to
acquire and maintain.
• The steering capability of the model aircraft allows for the directional dispersal
of birds away from active areas of the airfield.
• The dynamic presence of radio-controlled model aircraft prevents birds from
returning to and landing in areas.
• Model aircraft can cover an extensive range away from the operator, limited
only by line of sight.
• Radio-controlled model aircraft can be an effective means of dispersing soaring
birds at higher altitudes, such as hawks and eagles.
• Requires skilled operators.
• Response time is often slow. Radio-controlled model aircraft should be fueled,
charged, and transported around the airfield at all times in order to be effective.
• Model aircraft cannot be used in heavy winds, and moderate to heavy rain
and snow.
• Ineffective against geese resting on bodies of water. Radio-controlled model
boats should be used instead.
• Habituation is not a problem but the deterrence effect is not long-term, as
the birds often return the next day or many hours later.
• Air traffic control personnel are often hesitant to allow operation of radiocontrolled model aircraft near active runways
• Nearby landing and refuelling areas are needed. Maintenance of aircraft can
be time-consuming.
Permits required
E.46 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Bird Control International Inc.
Phone: 1-519-853-1771
Bird X Inc.
Predator Models, Bird Light,
Streamers, Flags
Website: www.bird-x.com
Email: [email protected]
Toll Free: 1-800-662-5021
Border Collie Rescue Inc.
Border Collies
Website: birdstrike.bcrescue.org
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-877-SHEEPDOG
or 1-352-473-0100
Mobile: 1-352-281-0359
Current Corporation
Night Vision Products
Website: www.currentcorp.com
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-604-461-5555
Falcon Environmental
[email protected]
Phone: 1-613-525-9998
Intercept Technologies Inc.
Website: intercept-technologies.com
[email protected]
Phone: 905-936-5469
LeBaron Outdoor Products Ltd.
Predator Models
Website: www.lebaron.ca
Email: [email protected]
Toll Free- 1-800-567-3377
Margo Supplies Ltd.
Streamers, Flags, Scarecrows
Website: www.wildlife-mgmt.com
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-403-652-1932
Reed Joseph International
Balloons, Streamers, Flags
Website: www.reedjoseph.com
Email: [email protected]
Toll Free: 1-800-647-5554
Section F
Active Management Using
Exclusion Methods
Porcupine Wire (Nixalite)
Fine Wires (small-area applications)
Fine Wires (large-area applications)
Bird Balls™
Non-electric Fences
Galvanized steel chain-link fence
High-tensile fixed-knot fencing
Cattle Gates
One-way gates
Electric Fences
ElectroBraid™ Fence
Rodent-proof buildings and exteriors
Physical abilities of rodents
Preventing access
Active Management Using Exclusion Methods - F.1
Airports provide the necessities of life—food, water, and shelter—for many
wildlife species. Eliminating these necessities, and preventing access to them,
dramatically reduces wildlife problems at airports.
Netting is an effective method to prevent birds from roosting and nesting in
and on airport buildings. A grid of fine wires stretched above a source of food
or water deters some species of birds by interrupting their flight patterns. An
alternative to wires is Bird Balls™, a product described later in this section.
Many Canadian airports are already surrounded by security fencing, which is an
effective means to prevent medium-sized and large mammals such as deer,
Moose, and bear from entering airport lands. To be effective, however, security
fencing must not only be high, it must also be kept clear of drifting snow, and
subjected to frequent checks. Gates must close tightly and be snug to the ground.
If fencing does not surround airport perimeters, it can be used around selected
wildlife habitats that are attractive to mammals. For example, fencing around
ponds is effective in barring Beaver and Muskrat. Fencing also prevents access
to crops that may be grown on airport lands.
Rodents present unique problems at airports, often chewing electrical cables;
copper and steel cable-sheathing products are available to prevent this kind of
damage. Metal flashing and grates are effective in preventing rodents from
gaining entrance to airport structures.
Netting may be used in a variety of ways to prevent birds from gaining access
to food or roosting areas.
Available nettings range from those that feature small 3- to 3.5-centimetre
mesh openings, to fishnets with openings of several metres. Netting is generally
available in 3- to 4-metre wide rolls that are 16 to 1200 metres in length.
Lightweight netting—designed to protect crops from bird predation—is also
F.2 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
available. The manufacturers and distributors listed at the end of this section
also supply netting that is resistant to deterioration by sunlight.
To be effective, netting must prevent birds from gaining access to food, water,
and shelter. If barred from access, birds are likely to leave airport lands and
look elsewhere for attractive habitat.
Due to the sheer volume that would be required—and the resultant high cost—
netting is only used to cover the most valuable and attractive crops, such as
fruit. Netting is also effective in barring birds from small and temporary bodies
of water.
At airport buildings, netting can be used to:
• make curtains that can be hung across open hangar doors;
• create covers for smaller holes and openings;
• isolate the ceiling support structure so that birds cannot nest or perch in
beams and girders;
• hang at 45o angles beneath eaves to prevent nesting by swallows.
• Barring birds from crops, as well as roosting and nesting sites, reduces the
overall numbers of birds in the area.
• Netting provides a long-term solution when installed in hangars to deny
birds access to beams and girders.
• Polypropylene netting deteriorates in sunlight and needs to be replaced regularly.
• The installation and removal of netting is labour intensive.
As part of an integrated management plan, netting is effective in barring birds
from airport lands and buildings.
Permits Required
Active Management Using Exclusion Methods - F.3
Porcupine Wire (Nixalite)
Porcupine wire, typically marketed as Nixalite, prevents birds from perching
and roosting on flat surfaces such as ledges and signs.
Nixalite is a system of stainless steel
strips that feature needle-like wire
prongs. The prongs project from a 0.5
centimetre base and come in two lengths
– 5 and 9.5 centimetres. Strips are
available in either single (90o) or double
(180o) radius.
The manufacturer of Nixalite supplies
the application hardware and provides
instructions on spacing the strips. To
remain effective, the prongs must be
kept free of all debris, specifically
leaves, garbage and twigs that can be
used as nesting material. It can be
applied with Velcro strips for easy
removal when maintenance is required.
• Nixalite permanently excludes many birds from areas where it is installed.
• Nixalite is expensive.
• Unless all ledges are treated, birds are likely to move to a new location nearby.
• Some birds, such as Red-tailed Hawks, have sufficiently long legs to perch
on Nixalite-covered surfaces.
When properly installed and maintained, Nixalite effectively prevents birds
from perching and roosting.
Permits Required
F.4 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Bird-B-Gone prevents birds from perching or roosting on ledges, signs and
flat surfaces.
Bird-B-Gone comprises strips of durable plastic porcupine wire that is resistant to
ultraviolet light. The product is safe to install and prevents birds from perching
and roosting on all surfaces.
The manufacturer of Bird-B-Gone provides instructions on spacing the strips
and recommends various installation techniques. Several tools required for
installation are not included: a hacksaw to cut the base, and nails, screws, glue,
ties, or Velcro to attach the base to chosen surfaces.
• Bird-B-Gone permanently excludes birds from areas where it is installed.
• Bird-B-Gone is less expensive than Nixalite.
• Unless all ledges are treated with the product, birds are likely to move to new
locations nearby.
• Some birds may not be deterred.
When properly installed and maintained, Bird-B-Gone effectively prevents
some birds from perching and roosting.
Permits Required
Avi-Away prevents birds from roosting and perching on flat surfaces such as
ledges. The product can be used to deter birds from entering large-door buildings
such as hangars.
Active Management Using Exclusion Methods - F.5
The Avi-Away system consists of a control unit and cable installed along the
area to be protected. When a bird lands on the cable, it completes an electrical
circuit and receives a mild shock. The manufacturer claims that in addition to
the repelling effect of the shock, the alarm call given by the bird disperses other
birds in the immediate area.
Avi-Away cables should be installed along ledges where birds congregate;
control units must be installed indoors. The manufacturer supplies the system’s
mounting hardware, including extension brackets that allow installation below
the top of hangar doorways and other large openings.
• Avi-Away permanently excludes all birds from locations where it is installed.
• Avi-Away requires periodic maintenance.
• Unless all ledges are treated, birds are likely to move to new locations nearby.
Avi-Away’s overall effectiveness is questionable, as the repellent effect of the
product relies on birds landing on its cables; some birds will inevitably avoid
the cables. Further, the manufacturer’s claim that birds’ alarm calls will repel
other birds must be tempered with the knowledge that only birds of the same
species may be affected.
Permits Required
Fine Wires (small-area applications)
Fine wires prevent birds from roosting and perching on ledges, pipes, and
flat surfaces.
In this method, one-millimetre diameter stainless-steel wires are stretched
across roosting and perching areas at a height of 2-4 centimetres.
F.6 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Attach wires at each end of the roosting and perching sites using “L” brackets.
Use turnbuckles to ensure the wires are taut. “L” brackets should be welded
in place, or attached to conduit and piping with cable clamps or aircraft
hose clamps.
• Fine wires permanently prevent some birds from roosting and perching.
• Installation of wires is labour-intensive.
• Unless all sites are treated, birds are likely to move to new locations nearby.
Fine wires effectively prevent some birds from roosting and perching along
pipes, however the product is unlikely to deter smaller birds such as sparrows
from using ledges.
Permits Required
Fine Wires (large-area applications)
Fine wires extended over specific areas restrict the access of gulls, waterfowl
and crows to sources of food and water.
A grid of fine wires or monofilament
strands (less than 0.5 millimetre in
diameter) is installed at 2.5- to 12metre intervals above sources of food
and water. The wiring should be
strung no less than 1 metre above
ground or water.
At airports, grids of fine wire should be
installed over ponds, standing water
and other wetlands. Wire grids can also
Fine wires on water
Active Management Using Exclusion Methods - F.7
be installed over flat roofs where gulls congregate. In areas near airports, grids of
fine wire should be used over landfills.
Several general guidelines apply:
• Wire must be 0.5 millimeter or less in diameter—small enough to be difficult
for birds to see.
• Stainless-steel wire is the most durable, although monofilament line and
steel-core Dacron line are also acceptable if installed inconspicuously.
• Strands of wire should be installed in parallel and on a horizontal plane.
Spacing between strands of wires will vary according to the species of bird the
installation is intended to deter. Trials at one landfill, for instance, revealed that
strands of wire strung at 6-metre widths reduced the numbers of Ring-billed
Gulls, while wire spaced at 12 metres was even more effective at deterring
Herring Gulls.
In a test at Calgary International Airport, wires spaced at 3.5 to 4 metres prevented
most ducks from using a pond. As a result of the test, authorities recommended:
• reducing the wire spacing in an attempt to deter more birds;
• covering associated pond areas, including mud flats and aquatic vegetation; and
• installing additional wires around the periphery of ponds, specifically
between the ground and the tops of the brackets to which the horizontal
wires are attached.
It was also recommended that wires be installed before the arrival of waterfowl
in the spring, since the grid seemed to be effective against transient waterfowl
but not against those already nesting on the pond.
• Following its initial installation, little labour is involved in maintaining
the system.
• A grid of fine wires significantly reduces the attraction of water and food to
many species of birds.
• Birds that gain access to areas covered with fine wires are extremely nervous
and, therefore, more susceptible to scare techniques.
• Wire systems must be checked regularly.
F.8 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
• Stainless-steel wire is difficult to handle during installation, as it frequently
kinks and breaks.
• Monofilament wire deteriorates rapidly in sunlight.
• Some bird mortality may occur when birds fly into wires.
Fine wire grids have been tested against Ring-billed and Herring Gulls, crows,
waterfowl, pigeons, shorebirds, and some small birds. In general, fine wire
grids are ineffective against shorebirds, pigeons, and such small birds as blackbirds, starlings, and swallows.
Wire is most effective against waterfowl when grids have been installed before
waterfowl become attached to nesting territories. Unfortunately, fine-wire
grids have not been tested against migrating waterfowl.
Due to the concentrated availability of food sources, it is difficult to disperse
gulls from landfills. According to several studies, however, the use of widely
spaced overhead wires has been effective in reducing the number of gulls at
landfills, reservoirs, and ponds.
Permits Required
Bird Balls™
Bird Balls prevent birds from landing on bodies of standing water.
Bird Balls are designed as an alternative to netting and wires. When installed,
the hollow-plastic balls cover the entire water surface. From the air, birds see
a solid surface and move on to search for water elsewhere.
• Bird Balls are easy to install.
• Unlike wires and netting, Bird Balls do not break or tear.
• Bird Balls are effective in all weather conditions.
• Bird Balls require little maintenance.
• Bird Balls adjust to fluctuating water levels.
Active Management Using Exclusion Methods - F.9
• Bird Balls are considerably more expensive than netting and wires.
• Bird Balls are only effective on bodies of standing water.
To date, no independent studies of Bird Balls have been completed. LGL Ltd.,
however, states that the technology associated with Bird Balls is simple,
straightforward, and sound.
Permits required
Abell Pest Control
Website: www.abellgroup.com
Phone: 1-416-675-1635
Bird X Inc.
Website: www.bird-x.com
Email: [email protected]
Toll-Free: 1-800-662-5021
Bird Barrier
Netting and wire
Website: www.birdbarrier.com
Email: [email protected]
Toll Free: 1-800-503-5444
or 1-800-662-4737
Margo Supplies Ltd.
Streamers, flags and scarecrows
Website: www.wildlife-mgmt.com
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-403-652-1932
Nixalite of America
Website: www.nixalite.com
Email: [email protected]
Toll Free: 1-800-624-1189
Wildlife Control Technology
Bird Balls™ and netting
Website: www.wildlife-control.com
Email: [email protected]
Toll Free: 1-800-235-0262
F.10 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Fences are the most important tool to control mammals at airports. A variety
of fencing options are available to address the range of hazardous species:
A March 2000 study by Transport Canada and LGL Ltd. evaluated these
fencing options, particularly for deer. These findings are summarized below.
The complete report is available online as an Aerodrome Safety Circular, Evaluation
of the Efficacy of Various Deer Exclusion Devices and Deterrent Techniques
for use at Airports, http://www.tc.gc.ca/CivilAviation/aerodrome/menu.htm
The report can be obtained by calling: 1-800-305-2059
or E-mail: http://www.tc.gc.ca/aviation
Non-electric Fences
Galvanized steel chain-link fence
Used to prevent mammals from accessing airport lands.
Description and application
Used for security at airports throughout North America, galvanized steel
chain-link fencing is the standard against which all other types of fencing are
compared. It is described in detail in the Transport Canada Airport Fencing
Manual (AK-70-21). This fencing is made of woven mesh, anchored by steel
posts and topped with projecting arms that support multiple strands of barbed
wire. Chain-link fencing provides a good physical barrier to deer.
• Relatively maintenance-free following initial installation.
• Galvanized steel construction resists chewing, clawing, tearing, etc.
• Standard 2.4-metre height with 3-strand barbed-wire extension blocks
access by most mammals.
• At $43,000 per kilometer, cost may be prohibitive.
• Snowdrifts can reduce fence height in the winter months.
Active Management Using Exclusion Methods - F.11
• Soil erosion and digging by canids can compromise the effectiveness of
these fences.
• Can interfere with Instrument Landing systems (ILS).
Galvanized-steel chain-link fencing is recommended for use at Canadian airports.
High-tensile fixed-knot fencing
Used to prevent mammals from accessing airport lands.
Description and application
High-tensile fixed-knot fencing is used in areas where chain link disrupts ILS.
This fencing comprises high-tensile wire that is available in weave widths
between 7.6 and 15.2 centimetres, and in heights of 2.4 to 3.7 metres. Posts
made from either galvanized steel pipe or pressure-treated wood is used to
support the fence. The recommended post spacing varies from 6 to 7.6 metres.
• High-tensile fixed-knot fencing lasts 20 to 30 years; maintenance is limited
to soil-erosion control.
• Its tightly locked wire prevents mammals from squeezing through.
• 3.7-metre high fencing provides protection against White-tailed Deer (generally
capable of jumping 3 metres).
• High-tensile fixed-knot fencing does not interfere with ILS.
• At $30,000 per kilometre, cost can be prohibitive.
• Snowdrifts reduce fence height.
• Soil erosion and digging by canids can compromise the effectiveness of
these fences.
High-tensile fixed-knot fencing is recommended for use at Canadian airports.
The 3-metre fence design, which uses smooth high-tensile wire to add height to
the basic 2.4-metre fence, is effective at most airports. In areas where deer
populations are high, 3.7-metre high fencing is recommended.
F.12 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Cattle Gates
Used in conjunction with perimeter fencing in areas where vehicular access
is required.
Description and Application
Their name is misleading, as cattle gates actually comprise metal grids installed
over ditches at gaps in airport fencing. The grids—constructed of 7.6-centimetre
pipes spaced at 12.7-centimetre intervals—permit access by vehicles while
providing inadequate footing to such large mammals as deer, whose hooves slide
between pipes.
Cattle gates are effective for deterring large mammals from accessing airport lands.
One-way gates
Permit non-lethal removal of deer from inside airport perimeters.
Description and Application
When mammals—specifically deer—manage to enter areas surrounded by
fencing, they are often unable to find their way out. One-way gates allow
mammals to exit areas otherwise enclosed by fencing.
One-way gates use spring-steel bailer lines hinged and arranged to form
funneling valves. This design permits easy passage from inside the fence while
hindering access from outside.
• One-way gates save wildlife control officials from having to trap or
shoot mammals.
• Maintenance costs are high in areas affected by frost heave, which causes
these gates to slip from alignment.
Active Management Using Exclusion Methods - F.13
• One-way gates hinges must be lubricated regularly.
• When panicked, mammals do not recognize one-way gates as escape routes.
One-way gates are recommended for use in conjunction with perimeter
fencing. Although one-way gates require frequent maintenance, they prevent
the need to capture or kill mammals trapped inside perimeter fencing.
Electric Fences
ElectroBraid™ Fence
Used to prevent mammals from entering airport lands.
Description and application
ElectroBraid™ fence features copper strands that are woven into its polyester
cords, which are then strung 15 to 30 centimetres apart between fiberglass or
wooden posts. The cords are then attached to the positive post of a grounded
fence charger to produce 4,000 to 5,000 volts DC.
• Mammals avoid this fencing after experiencing electric shock.
• ElectroBraid is visible enough to prevent accidental contact.
• It costs significantly less than traditional chain-link fence.
• ElectroBraid requires frequent maintenance.
• Vegetation growing around this fencing can cause short-circuits.
• Snow must be regularly cleared from around this fencing.
ElectroBraid™ fencing is recommended for long-term mammal control at
airports. Regardless of the brand of electric fencing selected, routine checks
must be conducted to repair damage from soil erosion, chewing, digging, and
frost heave.
Snow accumulation must be considered when determining optimal fence heights.
F.14 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Rodent-proof buildings and exteriors
Commensal rodents (rats and House Mice) often live year-round in buildings.
Some wild rodent species, however, will invade buildings only in the fall as they
search for winter nest sites. Plugging all access holes during careful summer
inspections of these buildings proves highly effective in limiting those animals
seeking fall access.
Physical abilities of rodents
Rats and mice are able to climb most
rough, vertical surfaces, including
wood, brick, and weathered sheet
metal. These animals gnaw through a
variety of materials, including lead and
aluminum sheeting, wood, rubber, and
hard plastic. Rats will not hesitate
to dive through plumbing traps, and
are capable of traveling considerable
distances through sewer lines.
Results of rodent chewing cable
Rodent teeth curve slightly inward,
making it difficult for them to gnaw on
hard, flat surfaces. These animals will
quickly exploit edges: rats will work to
enlarge holes as small as 1 centimetre
in diameter. Mice can slip through
holes as small as 6 millimetres.
Preventing access
Rodents and birds enter buildings through drains, openings in ventilation
systems, as well as holes around pipes and wiring. Small holes can be
temporarily filled with packed steel wool, but permanent sealing is recommended
using cement, 24-gauge (or heavier) sheet metal and 19-gauge hardware cloth
(1.3-centimetre mesh for rats, 6.3-millimetre mesh for mice). Drains should be
covered with fixed grates.
Rodents are able to crawl up the corrugations in some types of metal sheathing
unless angle iron or metal flashing protects the bottom edges. House Sparrows
will crawl into corrugations in sheet metal and nest within a wall, if the lower
end is left open.
Active Management Using Exclusion Methods - F.15
Website: www.electrobraid.com
Email: [email protected]
Toll Free: 1-888-430-3330
Geotek Inc.
Website: www.geotekinc.com
Email: [email protected]
Toll Free: 1-800-533-1680
Margo Supplies Ltd.
Electric fencing
Website: www.wildlife-mgmt.com
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-403-652-1932
Section G
Active Management
Through Removal
Lethal Chemicals
Slow-acting rodenticides — Anticoagulants
Acute Rodenticides
Tracking Powders
Coyote Fumigants
Additional acute poisons for other wildlife
Lethal Chemical Suppliers
Live traps
Raptor Traps
Live Traps
Live Trapping — Deer
Rat and Mouse Traps
Mole Traps
Section G
Pocket-gopher Traps
Fur-bearing Animal Traps
Glue Boards
Trap Manufacturers and Distributors
Live-ammunition Shooting
Surfactant Water Sprays
Wildlife-control Products Manufacturers and Distributors
Active Management Through Removal - G.1
Removing wildlife from airports through the use of traps, poisons, and
firearms is necessary and effective in certain circumstances; however, wildlifecontrol personnel should remember that animals are present at airports because
of the availability of food, water, and shelter. The removal of individual
animals—prior to eliminating these key attractants—may eliminate an immediate
hazard but will not provide a long-term solution, as other animals will replace
those that have been removed.
Wildlife removal may be effective in situations in which:
• the species involved is not mobile, and is unlikely to be replaced immediately;
• the species involved is of a solitary nature—high-density populations of this
species are rare and unlikely to be found in areas surrounding airports;
• the immediate removal of a few animals is required—generally for short-term
• a large population of concealed animals (i.e., rodents) must be reduced;
and the removal of a few animals by shooting enhances the effectiveness of
non-lethal frightening tools such as pyrotechnics.
Rodents present a special case. Neither far ranging nor particularly mobile,
rodents are also major attractants to such predators as foxes, Coyotes, and
raptors—themselves hazardous species at airports. Rodent removal can be,
therefore, highly effective in reducing the numbers of various problem species.
Site-specific rodent problems should be professionally assessed prior to initiating
large-scale lethal-control programs; the population dynamics of many species
ensure that removed animals are replaced quickly.
The harsh nature of many removal programs requires sensitivity on the part of
wildlife-control personnel. The integrity—and survival—of airport wildlifemanagement programs depend on the respectful treatment of all animals; in
poisoning, shooting, and trapping, their suffering should be minimized.
When handling mammals, especially predators such as Coyotes and Raccoons,
extreme caution must be exercised to protect against such animal-borne
diseases as rabies. Wildlife-control personnel should be vaccinated, and wear
heavy gloves at all times. If these measures cannot be followed, professional
wildlife exterminators should be consulted.
G.2 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Finally, wildlife is afforded various levels of protection under federal and
provincial laws. While special permits and licenses are required to trap, shoot,
and poison some species, endangered species have complete protection. The
Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC)
designates endangered and protected species in this country; their listings can
be viewed at www.speciesatrisk.gc.ca/Species/English/SearchRequest.cfm.
Lethal Chemicals
Chemicals used to kill wildlife fall into three categories:
• acute toxins that kill after ingestion of a single lethal dose,
• anticoagulants and decalcifiers requiring the ingestion of several doses over
a period of days, and
• fumigants that suffocate burrowing animals in the ground.
Poisons are generally confined to use on small animals, specifically rodents, because:
• bait placed in confined areas—including burrows—is not accessible by
other animals,
• small amounts of poison treat large rodent populations at relatively low
costs, and
• problems associated with rodent carcass disposal are minimized, as the
carcasses are generally concealed in burrows, away from predators as well
as the eyes of the public.
Occasionally, poisons are used against Coyotes, which sometimes damage
electrical cables and pose strike hazards. Lethal chemicals are also registered
for killing pigeons, House Sparrows, and starlings.
Knowledge of proper handling methods is critical to ensure the safety not only
of the user, but also the environment and non-target species. All chemical
pesticide product labels include safety precautions and instructions for use.
These products should be used only as directed.
If not used properly, poisons may seep into soil and ground water. Poisoned
animals may be consumed by predators; toxic carcasses could be eaten by
scavengers, causing secondary poisoning. For these reasons, proper placement
of poisons is critical, as is the removal of exposed dead animals.
Active Management Through Removal - G.3
All chemicals used in pest control—including those employed against
wildlife—must be registered with the Pest Management Regulatory Agency of
Health Canada, pursuant to the Pest Control Products Act. Registration
applies to herbicides (weed control), insecticides (insect control), fungicides
(mould and fungi control), as well as all animal and insect repellents—chemical
and mechanical.
Registered chemicals undergo controlled testing to demonstrate their efficacy
and safety. These tests determine:
chemicals’ toxicity,
the qualifications required to handle chemical products,
potential health hazards,
possible adverse effects on food and drinking water, and
overall environmental impact.
Federal pesticide regulations were implemented and enforced by Agriculture
and Agri-Food Canada (Pesticides Directorate) until April 1, 1995. Federal
regulation of pesticides was then transferred to the Pest Management
Regulatory Agency of Health Canada, pursuant to the Pest Control Products
Act. For further information on the Pest Control Products Act, telephone
1-800-267-6315 or visit the Health Canada website at www.hc-sc.gc.ca.
Provincial restrictions may be more stringent than those of the federal Pest
Control Products Act, as each province also has the authority to restrict the use
of chemical products. Furthermore, certain products registered for use by the
federal government may not be available in some provinces.
G.4 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Methods used to poison birds include poison perches, bait stations, and egg
oiling, which suffocates developing bird embryos.
Ornitrol affects the fertility of birds, ultimately reducing the size of local
populations. In Canada, it is registered only for use on pigeons.
The chemical is injected in corn baits. Pigeons should be pre-baited to ensure
that as many birds as possible consume the chemical. The program should be
carried out in early spring (March) and again in mid-summer (July).
• Successful sterilization programs lower the overall local population of
pigeons, reducing the need for other control methods.
• Unless sterilization programs are carried out over wide areas, rapid repopulation will occur.
• As female pigeons reproduce for five to 10 years, several years of treatment
are necessary to effectively reduce pigeon numbers.
In one study that compared Ornitrol’s urban/rural effectiveness, reproduction
was almost completely suppressed for three to seven months in rural pigeon
populations. On the other hand, city numbers were reduced by only 10
percent, largely because untreated birds continually re-populated the area. For
this reason, Ornitrol is unlikely to have substantial effects at airports, where
large pigeon populations reside.
Although Ornitrol suppresses reproduction in blackbirds, it is an ineffective
means of control at airports, as these birds flock from many breeding areas.
Permits required
As Ornitrol is a restricted chemical, only licensed pest-control officers may use
this product.
Active Management Through Removal - G.5
Although marketed by several companies under a variety of names, only two
acute-toxin rodenticide compounds are registered for use in Canada: strychnine
and zinc phosphide. Both chemicals are restricted for use only by licensed pestcontrol operators. Mammals that ingest lethal doses of these chemicals usually
die within a few hours.
The active ingredients in registered anticoagulant rodenticides include warfarin,
diphacinone, chlorophacinone, brodifacoum and bromadiolone (often called
bromone). These chemicals cause death through extensive internal bleeding.
Rodents may not succumb for as long as 26 days after ingestion; most die
within one to 10 days of initial poisonings. Many anticoagulant-rodenticides
formulations can be purchased without a license.
The third group of rodenticides dissolves the calcium in mammals’ bones,
eventually causing heart failure. Cholecalciferol is the active chemical in
these poisons.
These three groups of chemicals produce substantially different results. For
example, although acute toxins—such as strychnine—may seem the most
effective, their distinct tastes and fast action may deter substantial proportions
of rodent populations from eating lethal amounts of bait. Surviving rodents
then frequently become bait shy and cannot be controlled through the use of
the same chemical.
First-generation anticoagulants (including warfarin, diphacinone, and
chlorophacinone) have been in use since the late 1940s. They are much safer
to use than acute toxins, due to their lower inherent toxicity. Further, an
antidote is available in the event of accidental poisoning.
Persistent improper use of these first-generation anticoagulants can result in
resistant rodent populations; directions should be followed closely.
More powerful second-generation anticoagulants came into use in the late
1970s. The active ingredient in these products is either brodifacoum or
bromadiolone. For some species, particularly mice and voles, one feeding is
sufficient to cause death. Resistance to second-generation anticoagulants is
not widespread.
G.6 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Several factors should be considered when delivering rodenticide to target animals:
• palatability of the bait,
• placement of the bait so that target
animals will find it,
• bait shyness or avoidance, and
• risks to non-target species.
Rodents have highly developed senses of
taste and smell; both play a role in
the acceptance of baits. Rodents finding
unusual tasting or smelling bait are likely
to feed sparingly on it or reject it. As a
result, a less-than-lethal dose is consumed.
Rodents may reject baits under the following circumstances:
• The baits are mouldy.
• The fats or oils in the baits’ formulations have become rancid.
• The baits have been stored in close proximity to herbicides, insecticides,
fertilizers, and paint thinners and have taken on the flavours and odors of
these volatile chemicals.
• The baits are contaminated by dust, bird droppings, or other foreign materials.
• The baits have aged and their moisture content has fallen below the level of
fresh grains.
• The baits are insect-infested.
• Low- and high-quality baits have been mixed to save money; as a result,
rodents reject the entire mixture.
Principles of bait acceptance and rejection
There are three general principles governing bait acceptance and rejection
among rodents and other wildlife species:
• Animals must accept the taste and smell of the bait.
• As prey for a wide variety of animals, rodents are wary of anything new and
potentially threatening, including food. This wariness is referred to as neophobia.
• Learned food aversions—including the avoidance of a particular food through
association with discomfort or illness—is perhaps the most important factor
governing bait acceptance and rejection. This principle provides the basis for
Active Management Through Removal - G.7
bait shyness. Learned food aversions can be acquired for a specific food after
only one experience. These aversions are often strong and long-lasting.
Pre-baiting with non-toxic bait is recommended to overcome animals’ natural
wariness of unfamiliar bait, especially when acute toxins are to be used. This
procedure conditions the rodents to accept the bait. While pre-bait should
closely resemble the poisoned substance, compounds that mimic the taste of
toxins are as yet unavailable. Even so, it is commonly accepted that pre-baiting
increases the effectiveness of poisoning programs by establishing a momentum
to consume, thereby reducing neophobia.
Pre-baiting is rarely necessary when using anticoagulants, since these products
seldom induce food aversions.
Risks to non-target species
While there is comparatively little information on the secondary effects of
acute poisons, most available research indicates that scavengers are unlikely to
be seriously affected by eating the carcasses of rodents killed by anticoagulants.
Of greater concern—particularly in areas populated by endangered species—is
the possibility that non-target species may eat bait that has been placed for
rodents. Endangered species that may be attracted to grain baits include Plains
Pocket Gophers, Black-tailed Prairie Dogs, Whitetail Jackrabbits, Whooping
Cranes, and Greater Prairie Chickens. The best way to avoid poisoning
non-target species—particularly birds—is through the use of enclosed bait
stations, which also protect bait from inclement weather.
Slow-acting rodenticides — Anticoagulants
Anticoagulant rodenticides cause internal bleeding and kill such rodents as
rats, mice, and ground squirrels.
Several anticoagulant compounds are available. Products containing warfarin,
diphacinone or chlorophacinone require multiple feedings to be effective.
Products containing brodifacoum or bromadiolone often kill small rodents—
such as mice and voles—through single feedings; two or more feedings are
usually required to kill larger rodents.
G.8 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Products containing cholecalciferol, which decalcifies rodents’ bones, require
more than one feeding. Although the toxic effect of cholecalciferol differs from
anticoagulants, its application is identical.
These poisons can be purchased as pre-treated baits, or in bulk for on-site
preparation. Pre-treated baits may be combined with grain, or formed into
pellets or blocks in which the grain carrier is embedded in paraffin for
protection from inclement weather.
The general principles of poison bait use, discussed earlier in this section,
should be followed when applying these particular poisons. Application
techniques specific to larger mammals are discussed in succeeding pages.
Mice and Voles
The majority of airport rodent problems involve Deer and House Mice, as well
as Meadow Voles. Deer Mice occasionally infest airport buildings in search of
winter nesting sites, House Mice are more likely to infest airport buildings
Several studies have shown the active ingredients diphacinone, chlorophacinone
and bromadiolone are all highly effective in controlling these and other rodents.
All baits—including pellet baits, in which grain is embedded in a paraffin
coating—should be broadcast only when dry weather is forecast for at least two
days; even light rain will leach much of the active ingredient, and reduce its
effectiveness. Use large numbers of small pellets containing low concentrations
of the active ingredients.
Bait stations should be constructed of waxed paper tubes 12-centimetres long
and 4-centimetres in diameter. Fasten the bait inside using edible glues. Bait
stations must be checked every 48 hours, and restocked as necessary. Any grain
bait can be used; however, Deer Mice prefer oats.
To reduce spilling and exposure to non-target species, and to protect bait from
dust and moisture, use bait stations that feature only two openings, rather than
open containers. Bait stations should be made of cardboard or plastic and
feature openings on opposite sides, which allow rodents to see an escape route
as they enter. Mouse-station openings should be 2.5 centimetres in diameter—
rat stations, 6 centimetres. Bait stations should be placed along walls and known
rodent travel routes, which can be detected by the presence of droppings.
Active Management Through Removal - G.9
Whether broadcasting bait or establishing bait stations, the following guidelines
will help ensure successful outcomes:
• Place sufficient quantities of bait.
• Do not rush the process; allow as many rodents as possible to access the
poison over time.
• Replenish bait on a regular basis.
• Place bait stations close together; mouse-bait stations should be spaced at
2-metre intervals. For rats, place stations within 7 to 10 metres of each other.
• Use palatable baits; rats will accept paraffin-treated blocks, while loosegrain and pellet baits are more palatable to mice.
Ground squirrels
Ground-squirrel control programs should be conducted in the spring—no less
than two weeks after the first sightings of squirrels. Timing is critical, as baits
are less effective once succulent new plant growth is available.
Since several feedings are necessary to control ground-squirrel populations, bait
stations should be used. Several bait-station designs are available, including
those constructed from discarded tires, which are cut in half and enclosed
with wire.
Bait stations should be placed near runways, burrows and feeding areas, and
spaced no more than 60-metres apart. Stations should also be checked and refilled daily, as squirrels can recover from anticoagulants if more than 48 hours
elapse between feedings. Mouldy and contaminated baits must be replaced.
Squirrels may require a few days to become accustomed to bait stations. Once
the animals have begun eating, poisons may require at least a week to take
effect. It is important, therefore, to ensure plentiful fresh bait remains available.
Some products provide anticoagulant baits in loose form. Where permitted by law,
these baits may be scattered in the vicinity of squirrel burrows and replenished
regularly. Ground squirrels do little feeding at their burrows, however, so baits
should neither be placed in the burrows, nor piled at burrow entrances. Three to
four alternate-day treatments are usually sufficient.
Although spring is the optimum time to bait, grain baits also will be readily taken
in late summer. However by this time, populations may have greatly expanded.
G.10 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Pocket gophers
Although chlorophacinone is available in Canada for use against pocket
gophers, no Canadian information exists concerning its use and effects.
Information supplied here is based on research completed in the United States.
Unlike ground squirrels, pocket gophers feed almost exclusively inside their
burrows. The complexity of these burrow systems, however, make repeated
baiting of underground tunnels difficult. Similarly, anticoagulants have
proven ineffective in burrow applications, as moist soils tend to leach the
active ingredient from bait.
Recent experiments, however, have shown that paraffin-treated bait blocks
containing the active ingredient bromadiolone effectively control pocket
gophers. In these experiments, 100 grams of cylindrical wheat baits were
placed in burrows. Pocket gophers readily accepted the baits and frequently
took them to their nests. In one case, a second pocket gopher, invading the
burrow of a recently killed gopher, consumed the remainder of the bait and
was also killed.
Several paraffin-treated baits should be placed in each burrow system. To
ensure they can be easily manipulated by the animals, baits should weigh no
more than 100 grams. Wildlife officers should note that pocket gophers will
close any unwanted holes in their burrows, so openings made for bait placement
should be carefully re-covered to prevent the animals from covering baits.
These experiments were conducted on a species of pocket gopher not found in
Canada; however, the behaviour of Canadian species is similar.
• Bait shyness is rare, since symptoms of poisoning occur well after bait ingestion.
• Many bait formulations are available.
• Resistance may develop in populations repeatedly poisoned with the same
active ingredient.
• Some baits may not be accepted.
• Repeated placement of baits may be necessary.
These chemicals are highly effective when used properly.
Active Management Through Removal - G.11
Permits required
Consult Provincial regulations to determine whether permits are required for
specific products.
Acute Rodenticides
Acute rodenticides kill all rodents, regardless of size.
The active ingredients in these products are strychnine and zinc phosphide;
both toxins are registered for killing rodents.
For all species but gophers, application is similar to that of anticoagulants.
Acute rodenticides are recommended for single annual applications and in
outdoor situations only. Although only one baiting period is necessary,
extensive pre-baiting with non-poisoned bait is highly recommended to
overcome bait shyness.
Pocket gophers
For effective control of pocket gophers, toxic baits must be placed within
burrow systems. Pocket-gopher burrows consist of a main burrow 30- to 45centimetres underground, from which lateral burrows angle upward to the
surface, ending in fan-shaped mounds of earth.
Baiting pocket gophers may be done either by hand or by using mechanical
burrow builders. When baiting by hand, place baits at two or three locations
throughout main burrow systems. Metal probes may be used to locate tunnels,
which are then opened using shovels. Holes should be sealed completely after
placing bait to prevent gophers from closing holes and—in the process—
covering baits. Push-button bait dispensers—attached to hollow probes—serve
as effective alternatives to shovels.
Burrow builders are drawn behind tractors, and automatically deliver bait to
the tunnels they make. Spaced at intervals of up to 7.5 metres, artificial
burrows should be constructed at the same depths as those of natural pocketgopher tunnels. As these depths vary according to geographic area, local
burrow measurements must be made. Tunnels should then be dug to intersect
existing pocket-gopher burrows, allowing exploring gophers to find bait.
G.12 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
• Only single baiting periods are required.
• Bitter chemical tastes may prevent rodents from ingesting enough bait to
cause death.
• Surviving rodents may experience bait shyness.
• The high level of toxicity in acute rodenticides, compared to anticoagulants,
increases both handling hazards and likelihood of killing non-target animals.
• Purchase and application costs are high.
• Use of burrow builders is restricted by soil conditions. Good burrows will
not be formed in dry soils; wet soils accumulate on packer wheels and, as a
result, tunnels are closed improperly.
These chemicals are effective when rodents take bait in sufficient quantities. Baits
broadcast on grain lose approximately one-half their toxicity within one week.
Studies indicate the effectiveness of zinc phosphide and strychnine against
pocket gophers depends on geographic location; presumably, this reflects
variations in the susceptibility of pocket-gopher populations. Nonetheless,
effective control using strychnine is thought to rely on bait concentrations of
at least one percent.
Permits required
Strychnine is restricted under federal law. Zinc phosphide is not classified as a
restricted chemical by Health Canada; however, several provinces have
imposed their own conditions upon the chemical’s use. Check with local
authorities prior to use.
Tracking Powders
Tracking powders are used to kill rats and House Mice.
Tracking powders combine zinc phosphide with inert ingredients. Rodents
pick up the powder on their fur and then ingest the poison while grooming.
Active Management Through Removal - G.13
Tracking powders are spread along rodent travel paths and placed in specially
designed stations.
• Tracking powders may be used on bait-shy rodents.
• For indoor use only.
• Must be kept away from food storage and preparation areas.
• Airport personnel may come in contact with tracking powder.
The dispersal of tracking powder is difficult to control, making the product an
unattractive alternative to toxic baits.
Permits required
Structural Exterminator licenses are required by federal law. Provincial regulations
vary. Check with government and local pest-control authorities.
Fumigants kill rodents and moles in their burrows.
Ignited cartridges or pellets reacting with soil moisture in burrows produce
lethal gases.
Adequate gas must be generated to fill entire burrow systems. Therefore—to
ensure thorough fumigation—all rodent entrance holes must be located.
Between two and five entrance holes exist for most Groundhog burrows. Due
to the size of these burrows, fumigant devices must be placed in each entrance,
which may be as much as 15 metres apart.
Ground squirrel holes are much closer together. There may be as many as eight
entrances to the burrows of Richardson’s Ground Squirrels, the main problem
species on the Prairies. Similarly, the Columbian Ground Squirrel—a problem
G.14 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
species in the Rocky Mountains—has as many as thirty-five entrance holes.
Thanks to the relatively small size of their burrow systems, however, placing
pellets or cartridges in two or three entrances usually proves sufficient.
Fumigation will not be effective unless rodents are in their burrows. As
these animals are unlikely to be present in their holes during the day, night
fumigations are most effective. Daytime fumigation can be done if the
rodent is observed entering a burrow.
Pellets or lit cartridges should be placed—not thrown—as far down entrance
holes as possible. Be sure to seal holes with sod after stuffing wadded newspaper
into the entrances—this reduces the likelihood that pellets or cartridges will be
accidentally covered. Sand or earth placed around the sod prevents gas from
escaping. After sealing off the entrances, observe the surrounding areas for
escaping smoke, and close off any holes or leaks.
Moles search for worms and insect larvae by swimming through soil near the
surface. Moles live much deeper, however, and may not be accessible through
surface feeding tunnels. Attempts to kill moles are rarely successful when
fumigants are placed in the mounds of soil that result from feeding activity.
• Animals die in their burrows, making carcass recovery unnecessary.
• Unlike other lethal baits, fumigants are effective against Groundhogs.
• Locating holes and active feeding tunnels is time-consuming and labourintensive.
Fumigants are effective in the control of Groundhogs; however, given the difficulty
locating all entrances to burrow systems, trapping may be a better alternative.
Against ground squirrels, poisoning is more effective and less labour-intensive
than fumigants. For moles, fumigation is the only chemical control method
available. Its effectiveness is low, therefore fumigation is not recommended.
In the case of all species, fumigation is most effective when soil moisture is high.
Active Management Through Removal - G.15
Permits required
Requirements vary according to product type. Fumigant cartridges may be
purchased by anyone. Calcium cyanide use is restricted in some provinces.
Coyote Fumigants
Fumigants are used to kill Coyotes inside their dens.
Gas cartridges—containing 65-percent sodium nitrate and 35-percent charcoal—
produce carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and other nitrous gases when ignited.
Fumigants should be used only during periods in which Coyotes are in their
dens with pups—usually from late March to late June. At other times, trapping
is the preferred control method. Den activity may be measured through the
presence of tracks, by listening for sounds from within dens, and by observing
pups lounging outside den entrances.
• Fumigants kill all Coyotes inside dens.
• Fumigation is less labour-intensive than trapping.
• Fumigation is only useful when Coyotes are inside their dens with pups.
• Public education and awareness programs may be required to ensure the
public is properly informed.
As noted above, fumigation is only effective against Coyotes from late March
until late June—when the animals are in their dens.
Permits required
Structural Exterminator licenses are required under federal regulations. Check
with Provincial authorities to ensure no additional regulations exist.
G.16 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Additional acute poisons for other wildlife
Although rodenticides form the largest group of lethal control chemicals
registered for use in Canada, two other acutely toxic compounds are registered
for use against Coyotes: sodium monofluoroacetate (compound 1080) and
strychnine, which is also used to control pigeons and pocket gophers.
Strychnine for pigeons
Effective control programs using strychnine must include pre-baiting using
non-toxic bait that is identical to the strychnine carrier. Pre-baiting not only
ensures pigeons become familiar with the feed, the process also establishes
feeding locations—rooftops, for example—that protects non-target species and
the public from exposure to baited poisons.
The length of time required for pre-baiting depends on pigeons’ responses. If
pigeons are bait shy as a result of previous exposure to strychnine, three to four
months of pre-baiting may be necessary. Longer periods may also be required
to move pigeons to preferred control areas.
Poisoned bait can be introduced once pigeons are accustomed to feeding in
control areas. Both pre-bait and poisoned bait should be placed in 100-gram
piles no more than two-metres apart.
Sodium monofluoroacetate or strychnine for Coyotes
Sodium monofluoroacetate or strychnine is mixed with meat baits and placed
in locations frequented by Coyotes.
• These highly toxic compounds quickly kill any animal ingesting baits.
• These compounds are as dangerous to humans as they are to animals.
• Carcasses must be located and removed immediately.
Control programs using these chemicals are sometimes highly effective.
Active Management Through Removal - G.17
Permits required
Use of these chemicals is restricted to licensed personnel only. Furthermore, use
of sodium monofluoroacetate is subject to approval of Provincial wildlife
authorities, who also control its distribution.
Lethal Chemical Suppliers
Abell Pest Control
Chemical control methods
Website: www.abellgroup.com
Phone: 1-416-675-1635
Gardex Chemicals
Fumigants, tracking powder, rodenticides, Avitrol and perches
Website: www.gardexinc.com
Email: [email protected]
Toll-Free: 1-800-561-7302
Rodent control
Website: www.liphatech.com
Toll-Free: 1-800-558-1003
PMC Specialties Group
Chemical control methods
Website: www.pmcsg.com
Phone: 1-513-242-3300
United States Department of Agriculture
Equipment for use with rodenticides and fumigants
Pocatello Supply Depot
Website: www.aphis.usda.gov
Email: [email protected]
G.18 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Two types of traps are available: kill and live traps. Kill traps dispatch animals
quickly and efficiently. Live traps may simply restrain animals; complex livetrap devices include those in which animals are captured and then killed
through such secondary means as drowning. Live traps are often employed to
capture and transport wildlife to release areas away from airport lands. As this
method is time-consuming and costly, it is used mainly for protected and highprofile species.
When using traps, careful handling is critical. Trap placements must be logged
and mapped to ensure people frequenting the areas know where the devices are
located. Trap locations should also ensure that the capture of non-target
species are minimized. Check traps at least daily to minimize the suffering of
snared animals, and to prevent scavengers from feeding on carcasses.
As effective trap use requires some knowledge of animal behaviour, airport
personnel who are considering trapping programs should consult professional
trappers and pest-control agents. Airport personnel must also determine which
species are protected from trapping, and obtain any required permits.
Kill trapping
Kill traps are generally used on small animals. Although not strong
enough to dispatch larger animals, these traps can still be dangerous when
handled improperly.
Airport personnel may trap rats, mice, moles, Groundhogs, and pocket
gophers after consulting with knowledgeable authorities. Larger animals—
such as Beavers, Muskrats, foxes, Coyotes, and deer—should be left to
experienced trappers.
Live trapping
Live traps range from simple restraining snares and leg-hold devices to box and
barrel traps used to trap various sizes of animals, from sparrows to bears. Live
traps should be frequently checked to minimize the discomfort of trapped
animals. Airport personnel should consult reference guides and knowledgeable
authorities to learn proper methods for setting and baiting traps.
Active Management Through Removal - G.19
Live trap — birds
Live trap — mammals
Live traps, as well as raptor traps, are used to capture birds that are then either
killed or transported to pre-approved release areas away from airports. Time
consuming and costly, live trapping is often employed against protected and
high-profile species that are relocated from the airport.
Live traps
Live traps are used to capture sedentary birds such as pigeons and House
Sparrows. Other birds—such as starlings, blackbirds, and crows—may also be
captured; however, trapping these species is often not an effective method for
lowering their population numbers.
A wide variety of traps are commercially available, including traps that use
decoy birds and devices that catch several birds at once.
Pigeons are easily trapped where they feed. Pigeon traps should be left open
and baited for two or three days before being set. Decoy birds improve the
effectiveness of pigeon traps. Pigeons are not easily trapped at their nightroosting sites.
G.20 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
House Sparrow
House Sparrows are readily trapped when bait areas are established prior to
placing traps. When placing traps, the baited areas should surround the traps.
Allowing some trapped sparrows to remain in the baiting area will cause other
sparrows to respond to the distress calls.
• Live trapping of pigeons and House Sparrows is the preferable control method
in airport public areas.
• Live trapping has proven to be the only effective way to remove House
• Live trapping is labour-intensive.
• Traps must be checked at least once daily to remove birds and replace baits.
• Birds must be dispatched or moved to release areas.
• It is unlikely that all problem birds will be captured through live-trapping
programs. Furthermore, unless the attractants are removed, captured and
released birds may return.
Live traps are effective for capturing sparrows and pigeons. To trap sparrows,
trigger devices—as well as those that deposit birds into a holding chamber
when sprung—are more effective than funnel traps.
Permits required
Raptor Traps
Used to capture hawks, falcons, and owls for release away from airport lands.
Raptor traps are difficult to obtain commercially; however, plans are available
from the Journal of Wildlife Management, issue 35:832-835.
Set traps in open locations and either stake or weight down the bait cages to
stabilize them against winds. Place one or two prey animals (pigeons, House
Active Management Through Removal - G.21
Sparrows, or mice) in each bait cage. Provide food and water for the bait
animals. Traps must be checked at least twice a day; trapped raptors must be
moved immediately to holding facilities or directly to release locations.
Raptor-trapping programs should be undertaken only following consultation
with wildlife officials or others with experience handling these birds.
• As permits to kill these birds are
rarely granted, live trapping may be
the only way to reduce raptor numbers at airports.
• Raptors can be trapped without harm.
Raptor trap
• Facilities must be provided in which
to house these birds prior to their
transfer to release sites.
• To reduce the chance that raptors
may return to airports, release sites
must be at least 30 kilometres distant.
Trapping is often ineffective as long as food and other attractants remain
plentiful at airports. Many adult birds simply return, even if they are released
at considerable distances. When trapped birds do not return, their removal
often allows less-experienced and therefore more hazardous birds of the same
species to move onto airport lands.
Trapping is most effective in winter, when raptors tend to be sedentary. In
summer, few raptors are present at airports unless they are nesting in the
immediate area. In spring and fall, many raptors are migrating and, if
removed, are replaced at airports by other birds.
Permits required
Permits from Provincial authorities are required to trap raptors.
Goshawk Perch Trap
Often used by wildlife-control officers to capture raptors, goshawk perch traps
are made of two pieces of wood that are hinged together. A spring mechanism
made of elastic shock cords is used to pull in the sides. Attached to poles, the
G.22 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
trap jaws close to capture birds. Although well-padded, these traps often injure
birds. A variation is the Swedish goshawk trap, which closes over raptors
when sprung.
Swedish Goshawk Trap
A variation of the goshawk perch trap, the Swedish goshawk trap consists of
a trigger mechanism enclosed in a large, open “A” frame and mounted on a
bait cage. Pigeons, starlings, rats, and mice serve as decent lures. A bird dropping
into the trap will activate the trap to close and snare the bird safely.
Bal-chatri Trap
This small and modifiable trap is comprised of 1-inch chicken wire formed into
a cage and numerous small nylon nooses attached to the wire. Bait is placed in
the cage, and the nylon nooses entangle the birds’ feet upon landing on the
cage. The trap should be attached to a nearby branch or bush to prevent the
bird from dragging the trap too far.
Sliding Padded-Pole Trap
A padded leg-hold trap is placed at the top of 5- to 10-foot poles where the
bird would perch. The jaws of the trap must be well-padded to prevent injury,
and 12-gauge steel wire should be attached to the trap chain ring and the
bottom of the post to allow the trap to slide to the ground and the bird to rest.
Live Traps
Live traps are used to capture mammals
as large as deer, bear, Raccoons, and
feral dogs.
Most live traps are made of galvanized
wire, and are open at one or both ends.
A trigger is tripped when mammals
enter these traps, closing the door.
Traps used to capture deer and bear
are more specialized.
Live mammal traps
Active Management Through Removal - G.23
Traps are set near dens, in travel paths and at feeding areas of target mammals.
Pre-baiting with traps that are fixed open increases the probability of capture.
Trap manufacturers provide bait suggestions for several species.
Trapped mammals should be removed to release areas at least 15 kilometres
from airports. When releasing mammals, traps should be opened from a
distance using a long piece of twine; this protects the handler and minimizes
stress upon the animal.
Although capturing most mammal species is straightforward, skunks pose
obvious problems. To minimize the likelihood of spraying, place a tarpaulin or
other cover over traps to provide a dark and secure environment for skunks.
Once caught, skunks usually do not spray as long as traps are handled gently.
Following each use—and the capture of all animals—traps should be steam
cleaned to remove scents and odours.
• Protected and high-profile problem mammal species may be captured and
removed alive.
• Live trapping is labour-intensive and highly inefficient in removing large
numbers of mammals.
• Building or buying large numbers of traps is expensive.
• Live trapping often requires the expertise of trained personnel.
As live trapping is too labour-intensive for use in the removal of abundant
species, the technique is best applied for the removal of individual problem
animals from airports.
Permits required
Provincial wildlife authorities may require permits to live-trap fur-bearing
species, including Beavers, Muskrats, and foxes.
When bears roam onto airfield properties, Provincial wildlife-control personnel
should be called upon to capture the animals through live trapping or controlled
hunting. Grizzly Bears have been assigned a special status by the Committee on
G.24 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada and cannot be killed without
formal hunting protocols.
Live Trapping — Deer
Live traps are used to capture deer for relocation elsewhere.
There are two main types of deer traps: corral traps and box traps. Traps
should be placed near perimeter fencing and baited, as deer generally follow
fence-lines once inside airport grounds. When bait is taken, doors are triggered
shut, trapping the deer inside. Deer are then tranquilized and relocated off
airport lands. Professional wildlife-control officers should be called upon to
assist in these live-trap programs.
• Deer can be removed alive from airport lands.
• The effectiveness of live traps declines in summer and fall as natural food
sources become more abundant.
• Qualified wildlife-control officers are required to trap and relocate deer.
• Despite the non-lethal intent of this procedure, deer often die due to the
stress of capture and relocation.
• Sites suitable for deer relocation are often limited near urban airport settings.
Deer traps are most effective in winter and spring, when natural food is scarce
and baits are attractive. The effectiveness of these traps, however, decreases in
summer and fall when natural food sources become readily available.
Active Management Through Removal - G.25
Used to capture deer located inside airport fences for relocation elsewhere.
Deer are directed into portable nets that are extended from vehicles and raised
by hand. When herding deer, people are positioned to block potential exit routes.
Once captured, the animal’s feet are tied and their eyes blindfolded, subduing
them until they reach relocation areas. At night, lights improve the effectiveness
of drive-netting, allowing personnel to direct the deer into the traps.
• Effective when relocating several deer.
• Deer can be removed alive from airport lands.
• Drive-netting is an extremely labour-intensive live-capture technique; many
trained wildlife-control personnel are required.
• Despite the non-lethal intent of this procedure, deer often die due to the
stress of capture and relocation.
• Sites suitable for deer relocation are often limited near urban airport settings.
Drive-netting is effective in winter when deer are easily located by tracking and
when their movements are somewhat restricted by snow.
Permits required
Permits issued by Provincial natural-resource ministries are required before
airports can implement any deer control program involving lethal or non-lethal
trapping. All control programs involving firearms must be undertaken by
licensed specialists. Federal law strictly regulates the acquisition and use of
firearms. For information regarding the requirements under federal law, contact the
Canadian Firearms Centre at 1-800-731-4000 or www.canadianfirearms.com.
G.26 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Rat and Mouse Traps
Used to kill rats and mice. Standard snap-traps kill rodents individually; more
elaborate multiple traps can kill up to 30 mice.
Snap traps
Snap traps should be placed on rodent
travel paths—usually along walls or at
the edges of open areas—with triggers
set against walls. When using doubletraps, set them side-by-side with their
triggers against the wall, or end-to-end
with their triggers facing out. Mousetraps
should be placed no further than 1.8 metres
apart. As rats travel more widely, their
traps may be spaced at greater distances.
Mouse traps
Effective snap-trap baits include bacon, nutmeats, peanut butter, and marshmallows. When mice are nesting in fall, cotton balls also serve as effective bait.
More wary than mice, rats initially should be allowed to take bait from unset
traps to reduce trap shyness.
Multiple-capture traps
Several varieties of mechanical traps—which catch up to 30 mice at one setting—
are available. Some multiple-capture traps attract mice to large bait reservoirs,
while other devices merely take advantage of the tendency of mice to enter small
dark holes. These traps should be set in areas of greatest mouse activity; the trap
entry hole should be placed near the wall. Traps should be checked frequently.
Drown live mice by emptying them into buckets of water.
• Carcasses are readily found and removed.
• Trapping is labour-intensive.
Active Management Through Removal - G.27
Traps are effective when used properly.
Permits required
Mole Traps
Mole traps are used to kill moles while they feed in surface tunnels.
Mole traps are simple spring-operated traps that either impale or crush moles.
Moles feed on worms and insect larvae by swimming through soils near the surface.
The actual living area of the mole, however, is deeper in the soil and consists of one
or more enlarged burrows. Relatively straight connecting tunnels link these burrows
to feeding areas. As feeding tunnels may be used only once, traps should be placed
in connecting tunnels near areas where fresh digging is evident.
For traps that crush moles, dig out portions of tunnels and insert traps, packing
soil firmly under the traps’ trigger pans.
For traps that impale moles, dig out the tunnels and pack soil firmly where trap
triggers rest. Raise the traps’ springs, set safety catches and push supporting
stakes into the ground on either side of the tunnels. Trigger pans should just
touch the packed earth replaced in tunnels. Releasing the safety catches allows
springs to force traps’ spikes into the ground. This ensures that the spikes
penetrate the tunnel when traps are sprung.
Set both types of traps to spring easily. Do not disturb any other part of the tunnel
system. Moles spring traps by heaving soil up in an attempt to re-open tunnels.
Although labour-intensive, trapping is the most effective way to reduce
mole populations.
Permits required
G.28 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Pocket-gopher Traps
Used to kill pocket gophers.
There are two types of pocket-gopher traps: metal-jawed traps that act as
modified snap-traps, and box traps that snare pocket gophers.
Pocket-gopher traps must be placed in gophers’ burrow systems. These systems
consist of main burrows 10 to 45 centimetres below the surface, and lateral
burrows that angle upward to the surface, ending in fan-shaped mounds.
In lateral burrows, set one trap with the trigger facing down. In main burrows,
set two traps end-to-end with triggers facing out. In both cases, anchor traps
at the surface with wire and stakes.
Seeking to keep their tunnels closed off from the surface, gophers are attracted
to traps by incoming air. Holes above box traps should be closed enough to
make tunnels dark, while still allowing air to enter through the trap’s shielded
vent. Experimentation may be required with jawed traps to determine whether
or not the hole can be covered.
• Trapping is the only non-chemical method available to reduce pocketgopher populations.
• Trapping is labour-intensive.
• Unless the population is small, trapping is unlikely to be effective.
The effectiveness of pocket-gopher trapping varies according to geography and
time of year and, as a general rule, is too labour-intensive to be an effective
means of control. In dealing with small, localized populations, however—and
following poisoning programs—this method can be beneficial.
Permits required
Active Management Through Removal - G.29
Fur-bearing Animal Traps
Leg-hold, conibear, snare, and other specialized traps are useful in capturing
and killing medium-sized fur-bearing animals, such as Muskrats, Beavers, and
foxes. As alternatives to leg-hold traps, several recently developed models trap
and kill animals immediately.
Successful trapping of fur-bearing animals requires both knowledge of the
behaviour of target species and skill in trap placement. Accordingly, professional
trappers should be contracted to deal with most fur-bearing animals at airports.
Groundhogs, however, are easily caught by placing traps at the main entrance
of active burrows. As Groundhogs are more likely to see and avoid traps when
they are entering their burrows, traps should be set at night or, in hot weather,
during the middle of the day, when the animals are underground.
• Traps are useful for removing animals that cannot be poisoned—such as
Groundhogs, Muskrats, and Beavers—or against animals that airport
personnel may be prohibited from poisoning, such as foxes and Coyotes.
• Trapping fur-bearing animals requires the skill of professional trappers.
Trapping is effective when traps are set properly.
Permits required
Permits issued by Provincial ministries of natural resources are required to trap
fur-bearing animals.
G.30 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Glue Boards
Glue boards are used to trap and kill rodents inside airport buildings.
Glue boards are trays containing sticky substances that adhere to rodents’ feet
and fur when the animals step on these boards. Rodents trapped by glue
boards will frequently suffocate after burying their noses in glue. Nevertheless,
glue boards should be checked frequently to ensure that rodents do not die
lingering deaths due to starvation.
Glue boards should be placed flush against walls or along rodent travel paths.
Boards for mice should be at least 10 centimetres long with glue 2 to 3
millimetres thick; these measurements should be doubled for rat boards. Glue
boards are ineffective in extreme temperatures—below 2°C or above 49°C.
Although available commercially, glue boards may also be prepared on site
using bulk glue and convenient materials such as plywood, floor tiles, and
paper plates.
Pipe versions of these traps are also effective. For mice, use 30-centimetre
lengths of 30- to 50-millimetre diameter PVC pipe. For rats, use 75-millimetre
diameter PVC pipe. Spread glue on heavy paper and insert it in the pipe. Glue
handling is made easier by keeping a thin film of soapsuds on both hands
and tools.
Use covers to keep glue boards free of dust, grease, and water. Although glue
odour does not repel rodents, offensive odours can be absorbed from nearby
solvents or pesticides. Glue boards made of non-absorbent materials such as
plastic are recommended.
• Unlike poison, glue boards may be used in food-preparation areas.
• Location and disposal of rodent carcasses is straightforward.
Active Management Through Removal - G.31
• Temperature and dampness can reduce the effectiveness of glue boards.
• Rodents caught on glue boards may die slowly after considerable struggle.
Permits required
Provincial authorities should be consulted prior to using glue boards.
Trap Manufacturers and Distributors
Animal Management Inc.
Website: www.animalmanagement.com
Email: [email protected]
Toll-Free: 1-888-744-8173
Bert ‘Ram’ Trap Ltd.
Phone: 1-204-842-5189
Fax: 1-204-842-3287
LeBaron Outdoor Products Ltd.
Website: www.lebaron.ca
Email: [email protected]
Margo Supplies Ltd.
Website: www.wildlife-mgmt.com
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-403-652-1932
Reed Joseph International
Website: www.reedjoseph.com
Email: [email protected]
Toll-Free: 1-800-647-5554
Tomahawk Live Trap Company
Website: www.livetrap.com
Email: [email protected]
G.32 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Live-ammunition Shooting
Firearms are heavily restricted, and should be used only after all other control
methods have failed, or in cases in which immediate removal of persistent
animals is required. If firearms must be used, education programs should be
instituted to raise public awareness.
Although limited in their application, shotguns act in support of scare and
dispersal tactics. With flocking birds such as gulls, for instance, the occasional
shooting of one bird may be needed to illustrate the significance of loud, sharp
noises to the rest of the flock.
In removing large and particularly dangerous animals, firearms are required to
deliver immobilizing drugs. This technique is particularly useful for removing
problem bears, which are usually first snared or caught in culvert traps.
When using firearms, empty casings should always be recovered; they can
cause serious damage when ingested into turbine aircraft engines.
For maximum effectiveness and safety, integrated control programs involving
firearms require close cooperation among airport staff and skilled field
biologists experienced with guns.
Due to their short lethal range, shotguns are preferred over rifles. Shotgun volleys
are also less likely to ricochet off flat surfaces such as runways.
Permits required
Airport personnel must receive special permits to kill such persistent and highly
hazardous species as gulls and starlings; many other birds are protected by
federal and provincial law.
All control programs involving firearms must be undertaken by licensed
specialists. Federal law strictly regulates the acquisition and use of firearms.
For information regarding requirements under federal law, contact the
Canadian Firearms Centre at 1-800-731-4000 or www.canadianfirearms.com.
Active Management Through Removal - G.33
Surfactant Water Sprays
Used to kill birds or disperse them from roosts.
Surfactants, such as PA-14, are added to water as it is sprayed at roosting sites.
The surfactants allow water to penetrate bird feathers. Once the birds become
wet, their body temperatures drop and, in cold weather, they are likely to die
of hypothermia. Studies indicate water mixed with PA-14 has been successful
in the control of both blackbirds and starlings. Spraying is typically done at
night when birds are roosting.
• The water-spray method is inexpensive, requiring minimal labour and
• Surfactants are non-toxic.
• Spray can be directed at specific problem areas.
• Despite the benefits noted above, water spraying is a more complicated birddispersal method than pyrotechnics.
LGL Ltd. recommends water spray with or without surfactants for lethal control
or dispersal of birds, particularly in cold temperatures.
G.34 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Wildlife-control Products Manufacturers and Distributors
Bert ‘Ram’ Trap Ltd.
Phone: 1-204-842-5189
Fax: 1-204-842-3287
Margo Supplies Ltd.
Website: www.wildlife-mgmt.com
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-403-652-1932
Bird X Inc.
Website: www.bird-x.com
Email: [email protected]
Toll-Free: 1-800-662-5021
Nixalite of America
Website: www.nixalite.com
Email: [email protected]
Toll-Free: 1-800-624-1189
PBI Gordon Corp.
Website: pbigordon.com
Toll-Free: 1-800-821-7925
Avian Systems Corp.
Website: www.aviansystems.com
Toll-Free: 1-888-828-9318
Phoenix Agritech- Phoenix Wailer
Email: [email protected]
Reed Joseph International
Website: www.reedjoseph.com
Email: [email protected]
Toll-Free: 1-800-647-5554
Website: theshellcracker.com
Email: [email protected]
Toll-Free: 1-800-833-2264
Wildlife Control Technology
Website: www.wildlife-control.com
Email: [email protected]
Toll-Free: 1-800-235-0262
Trillium Windmills Inc.
Website: www.trilliumwindmills.com
[email protected]
Weitech Electronic Pest Control
Website: www.weitech.com
Email: [email protected]
Toll-Free: 1-800-343-2659
Flock Fighters Chemical
Bird Aversion
Website: www.flockfighters.com
Email: [email protected]
Becker Underwood
Website: www.bucolor.com
Email: [email protected]
Toll-Free: 1-800-232-5907
Canadian Sani-Corp
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-604-985-7141
Active Management Through Removal - G.35
Abell Pest Control
Website: www.abellgroup.com
Phone: 1-416-675-1635
PMC Specialties Group
Website: www.pmcsg.com
Phone: 1-513-242-3300
Rodent control
Website: www.liphatech.com
Toll-Free: 1-800-558-1003
The Current Corporation
Night vision products
Website: www.currentcorp.com
Email: [email protected]
T.C. Management
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-914-295-5002
Bird Control International Inc.
Phone: 1-519-853-1771
Falcon Environmental
[email protected]
Reed Joseph International
Website: www.reedjoseph.com
Email: [email protected]
Toll-Free: 1-800-647-5554
Scarecrow Bio-Acoustic Systems
[email protected]
Bird Barrier
Website: www.birdbarrier.com
Email: [email protected]
Toll-Free: 1-800-503-5444
or 1-800-662-4737
Wildlife Control Technology
Bird Balls™
Website: www.wildlife-control.com
Email: [email protected]
Toll-Free: 1-800-235-0262
Electro-Braid Fencing
Website: www.electrobraid.com
Email: [email protected]
Toll-Free: 1-888-430-3330
Geotek Inc.
Website: www.geotekinc.com
Email: [email protected]
Toll-Free: 1-800-533-1680
Tomahawk Live Trap Company
Website: www.livetrap.com
Email: [email protected]
Animal Management Inc.
Email: [email protected]
Toll-Free: 1-888-744-8173
LeBaron Outdoor Products Ltd.
Website: www.lebaron.ca
Email: [email protected]
G.36 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics
Website: blb.biosci.ohio-state.edu
[email protected]
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Website: www.birds.cornell.edu/BRP/
Phone: 1-607-254-2408
Section H
Integrated Control Methods
— Birds Profiles
Bird-identification techniques
Field guides
Bird-remains identification
Ranking the hazard levels of birds and other wildlife
Bird Profiles
1. Waterfowl
2. Gulls
3. Raptors
4. Swallows and Nighthawks
5. Pigeons and Doves
6. Shorebirds
7. Crows
8. Herons, Cranes and Egrets
9. House Sparrows
10. European Starlings
11. Other Small Birds
12. Miscellaneous Birds
Protected Species
Integrated Control-methods Profile — Birds - H.1
Effective control of birds at airports can only be achieved once existing species
have been identified. Bird-identification skills, therefore, should be developed
among wildlife-control personnel. Appropriate control measures—such as
modifications to bird habitats—can then be implemented.
Most birds can be identified by specific behavioural characteristics or unique
physical markings, including:
Season and time of day
Geographic distribution
Colour and pattern
Group size
Bills and beaks
Flight pattern
Observing both the bills and feet is particularly important when examining
bird remains. Bills provide information concerning the feeding habits of birds,
while feet give evidence of habitats. Understanding feeding habits and habitat
preferences helps wildlife-management personnel understand what has attracted
specific birds to airports.
Bird-identification techniques
Field guides
Providing pictures, range maps, and written descriptions of birds, field guides
are invaluable tools in bird identification. A number of excellent field guides to
North American birds are available. The three commonly used guides in
Canada are The Golden Guide, The Peterson Guide, and The National
Geographic Society Birds of North America. Each book groups birds into
families based upon such physical and behavioural characteristics as beak and
body shape, and food and habitat preferences.
A basic profile of various problem bird species is provided later in this section;
additional resources are listed in Section K.
Bird-remains identification
The remains of birds involved in aircraft strikes are often difficult to identify,
especially when they have been ingested by jet engines. Identification in these
circumstances relies on a number of techniques, usually associated with the
identification of feather remains. Feather identification is not only an important
tool in wildlife control, it is also a useful aid to manufacturers who apply the
H.2 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
knowledge acquired through the various techniques in the design and modification
of aircraft engines, windshields, and airframes.
Pursuant to an agreement with the United States Air Force and the Smithsonian
Institution, Canadian airports receive feather-identification services free of
charge. To identify birds involved in Canadian bird-strikes, airport personnel
are advised to seal any feathers in a plastic bag and send them to:
Carla Dove
Smithsonian Institution, Division of Birds
NHB E-605, MRC 166
Washington, DC
USA 20560
A detailed description of the Smithsonian Institution Feather Identification Program
is contained in the April 2001 issue of Flying Safety, which is available on-line at
http://safety.kirtland.af.mil/magazine/htdocs/aprmag01/menu.htm. The Aerodrome
Safety Information Circular describing the feather identification process is available
online at: http://tcinfo/aviation/aerodrme/circulars/english/97_001i_e.htm.
Ranking the hazard levels of birds and other wildlife
Although all birds and mammals are potential hazards at airports, each species
poses a different level of risk. Wildlife-management programs are most effective
when they take into account the comparative risks posed by problem species.
For instance, control priorities are generally established according to the risk of
collision—and the impact damage-potential—posed by particular species.
Ranking these species assists authorities in determining their wildlife-control
priorities and assigning resources to combat problem species.
A ranking of hazardous species in Canada (see Figure H.1 and H.2) has been
adapted from the work of Dr. Richard Dolbeer, who conducted similar work in the
United States. Dr. Dolbeer’s system ranks species’ risks according to three factors:
• percentage of strikes causing damage,
• percentage of strikes causing major damage, and
• percentage of strikes causing effect-on-flight.
Using this method, each species found at Canadian airports is scored according
to an ascending hazard scale between one and twenty-one. For example, due
Integrated Control-methods Profile — Birds - H.3
to their large body mass and flocking behaviour, Canada Geese pose greater
threat to aircraft safety—and therefore receive a higher score—than swallows.
As a result, wildlife-control authorities understand that if flocks of geese and
swallows are present at the airport, they should give priority to countering the
presence of the geese.
H.1 Ranking the Hazard Level of Candian Bird Species 1993-1999
Geese (all species)
Gulls(all species)
Number of Incidents
Hawks (buteos)
Ducks (all species)
Owls (all species)
Rock Dove
Eagles (Bald & Golden)
Sandhill Crane
Sparrows/ Snow Bunting
Mourning Dove
Herons (all species)
Vultures (turkey)
American Kestrel
Adapted from: Dolbeer, Richard et al. Ranking Wildlife Hazards to Aviation.
January 1999. (unpublished)
H.2 Ranking the Hazard Level of Canadian Mammal Species 1993-2000
Number of Incidents
H.4 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Weather conditions affect both bird movement and behaviour. The short-term
forecasting of bird movements can benefit from information available at
meteorological offices. Keep in mind, however, that bird behaviour is
influenced by weather not only near airports, but also by conditions tens or
hundreds of kilometres away. For example, migratory waterfowl will stage in
northern regions of Canada. When a cold front passes through, these birds will
ride the winds aloft that follow the passage of the front, thereby conserving
energy required in the flight south. By tracking cold front conditions in the fall,
therefore, airport operators to the south can often predict when waves of
migratory waterfowl will enter their areas.
Three wind factors affect bird movement and behaviour:
Wind-chill: Birds expend a great deal of energy maintaining normal body
temperatures in cold weather. To avoid winter winds, therefore, birds move to
the shelter provided by airport buildings.
Wind direction: As previously described, birds often preserve energy by delaying
migration until winds are blowing in the direction of their flight. Determining
wind direction can be helpful in predicting the numbers of birds on airfields and
along proposed air routes.
Wind speed: As a rule, wind speed is greater at high altitudes as opposed to
low altitudes, where friction caused by the ground decreases wind speed. As a
result, birds flying at lower altitudes take more time to travel given distances
when facing strong head winds—thereby increasing their time in the air and
the likelihood of strikes.
Temperature plays a significant role—especially as it affects bird migration
patterns—in determining the food sources available to birds. Seed-eating birds,
for instance, will migrate earlier when faced with a shortage of food, and gulls
will vacate an area when surface water freezes.
Although many birds feed on airfield grass areas, only birds with particularly
strong beaks can penetrate the baked and frozen grounds that result from
extreme hot and cold conditions. High temperatures also drive insects deeper
below ground, further decreasing food availability.
Integrated Control-methods Profile — Birds - H.5
Extreme heat also creates unique meteorological effects, such as thermals.
These rapidly rising currents of heated air are sometimes over 1000 metres in
height; birds—especially raptors—harness these thermals to quickly gain
altitude. As they often occur over the open asphalt found at airports, thermals
contribute to a heightened risk of strikes between birds and aircraft.
In poor visibility—in mist and fog, for instance—birds are reluctant to leave
familiar surroundings. Bird dispersal under these conditions can therefore be
difficult. It should be noted, however, strikes are less likely in these conditions,
as bird movements are minimal. Obviously, any birds attempting to rest on
runway surfaces during these conditions must be dispersed.
An obvious hazard to aircraft flight, rain also poses the following indirect hazards:
• In wet weather, invertebrate animals—such as worms—rise to the surface
and provide an attractive food supply for insectivorous bird species.
• After rainfall, birds may be drawn to the driest areas, which may include the
short grass adjoining runways and taxiways, or the tarmac itself.
• Rainwater collects in puddles and ponds, in which birds bath.
Bird Profiles
The following guide provides fundamental tables and descriptions for use in
the identification of various problem bird species. More detailed identification
resources are available through the references provided in Section K.
For the purposes of this basic guide, information concerning each bird species
falls under the four headings outlined below.
Describes and discusses:
body, bill, head and wing shapes,
legs and feet,
common colour forms,
flight and movement characteristics,
H.6 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
• geographic locations,
• preferred habitats, and
• major behavioural characteristics such as typical flock size, human interaction,
feeding actions, and habits at airports.
Food and attractants
Lists typical sources of food and other common attractants.
Wildlife-control methods are recommended pursuant to those outlined in
Sections C through G.
Similar species
Lists species with similar attributes.
The birds addressed in this section fall into 12 groups:
Waterfowl (geese and ducks)
Raptors (hawks, owls, kestrels, and eagles)
Pigeons and Doves
Shorebirds (Dunlins, sandpipers, and plovers)
Crows and Vultures
Herons and Cranes
House Sparrows
Other Small Birds (Snow Buntings and blackbirds)
Miscellaneous Birds (pheasants, flickers, robins, larks, and Peregrine Falcons)
Integrated Control-methods Profile — Birds - H.7
1. Waterfowl
Snow Goose (Anser caerulescens
atlantica and A.C. caerulescens)
• Male: 2744 to 3450 grams (6 to 7.5 lbs)
• Female: 2517 to 3087 grams
(5.5 to 6.5 lbs)
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis
moffitti and other subspecies)
• Male: 4741 grams (10.5 lbs)
• Female: 4044 grams (9 lbs)
Brant (Branta bernicla)
• Male: 1370 grams (3 lbs)
• Female: 1230 grams (2.5 lbs)
Their flocking behaviours and large sizes make several species of geese particularly
hazardous to aircraft in Canada. The greatest number of these geese is observed
during the spring and fall migratory periods, when flocks comprising hundreds of
geese take flight in their familiar V-formations. These flocks rest and feed in marsh
areas as well as both barren and agriculturally developed fields.
The Snow Goose—white and blue-gray in colour—and the Brant breed only
in Canada’s far north. During spring and fall migratory periods, however,
these birds appear further south in tidal flats, lakes, marshes, open fields, and
grain stubble.
Canada Goose populations have grown dramatically in North America, and
pose increasing problems at many Canadian airports. Between 1985 and 1997,
the North American Canada Goose population increased by 54 percent; today,
the total population is estimated at over five million. The majority (60 percent)
of Canada Geese are migratory; the remaining 40 percent reside in large urban
centers, such as Vancouver and Toronto.
Canada Geese adapt quickly to changing food sources and nesting locations. As
a result, the species has extended its winter range further north, increasing the
need to control geese not only during peak migratory periods but year-round.
H.8 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Food and attractants
Airports along their migratory routes provide geese with extremely attractive
resting and feeding areas. Geese also inhabit other areas of dry open land,
such as grass fields, tundra, and corn and grain fields, as well as areas of open
water. Geese feed primarily on vegetation, aquatic plants, grass shoots,
seedlings, sprouts, and the stubble of many grains. Airport grass can be a
strong food attractant.
• During peak migratory periods, pyrotechnics are effective for clearing birds
from airports. Scare tactics work best when they combine a range of products,
such as gas cannons reinforced with live ammunition. Screamer shells have
also proven both effective and cost-efficient in dispersing Canada Geese.
• Distress and alarm calls are highly recommended for the dispersal of geese.
There is a strong biologically based link between alarm calls and escape
responses in birds. Furthermore, birds habituate slower to distress and alarm
calls than to pyrotechnics.
• The use of Border Collies has proven to be an effective means of dispersing
waterfowl at a number of airports around the world.
• Wet areas should be eliminated. Enclose drainage ditches and fill temporary
pools that form after rainstorms and during spring melt.
• Remove aquatic and edge vegetation from open water areas through cutting,
dredging or herbicide use.
• Erect physical barriers around areas of open water.
• Cover areas of open water with wire or netting hung 18 centimetres above the
surface and at 36-centimetre intervals. To avoid injuring birds, hang streamers
from the barrier. When covering water, fences should also be constructed
around the edges to prevent geese from walking under overhead wires.
• Cover small industrial ponds with floating plastic balls (such as Bird
BallsTM), which prevent geese from seeing these bodies of water from the air.
Balls are easy to install, adjust to changing water levels and survive various
climatic conditions.
• Ensure airport ponds have 4-to-1 shoreline slopes. Geese find such ponds
less attractive, as on-shore predators are harder to observe from the water.
• At Vancouver International Airport, extremely long grass up to 75 centimetres
high has proven effective in keeping both geese and ducks off airport lands.
Studies completed recently in the United States, however, indicate typical
long grass (10 to 20 cm) does not deter geese. To ensure their effectiveness,
therefore, long-grass programs should only be implemented following sitespecific studies.
Integrated Control-methods Profile — Birds - H.9
• Replacing grass with herb-rich vegetation—otherwise known as poor-grass
regimes—has been an effective control measure at airports in the
Netherlands. High wildflowers-to-grass planting ratios provide benefits
similar to those of long-grass programs. Botanical expertise should be
sought in applying both poor-grass regimes and wildflower-control methods.
• All nests of Canada Geese and other waterfowl found on airport property
should be removed immediately, preferably before eggs are laid. Adults
tending the nests should be dispersed. If the birds persist in returning, they
should be shot or otherwise removed. A permit is required for this control
measure if eggs are destroyed or geese are shot or captured.
• Many residents living near airports feed geese and perceive of them as
positive additions to the urban environment. These people should be informed
of the hazards geese pose to aircraft. This may be accomplished through
communication campaigns that include public meetings and the distribution of
awareness and education materials. Local ordinances may also be passed.
• Encourage farmers near airports to modify their practices, eliminating
attractive crops—such as corn and other grains—and ploughing under
stubble, thereby reducing the food supply available to geese.
• Lethal-control programs are often required in areas where geese take up
permanent residence. Although not as effective as lethal control programs,
some airports remove geese using trap-and-relocation programs. These
initiatives are becoming much more difficult to implement, as very few
communities in North America will accept relocated Canada Geese.
Similar species
Tundra Swan and White-fronted Goose
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos):
• Weight range: 720 to 1580 grams (1.5 to 3.5 lbs)
Although several duck species pose hazards to aircraft, the Black Duck—found
primarily in central and eastern Canada—and the Mallard—found in central
and western Canada—typify the wildlife-control challenges presented by these
birds in Canada.
H.10 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Food and attractants
Ducks are attracted to ponds, lakes, and
slow streams—shallow-water bodies
that provide submerged and emergent
vegetation and good edge cover. Ducks
nest in this habitat throughout their
range, which stretches north into tundra
regions. Temporary water arising from
both spring melt and prolonged rains
also attracts these birds.
During nesting season, ducks remain
solitary or in pairs. During fall migration,
however, they gather by the hundreds in
flocks. They feed in shallow water on
submerged aquatic plants and aquatic
insects, and in agricultural fields on grain
and corn stubble.
• Enclose drainage ditches and fill temporary pools to eliminate wet areas that
form after rainstorms or during spring melt.
• Erect physical barriers around areas of open water.
• Cover areas of open water with wire or netting hung 18 centimetres above the
surface and at 36-centimetre intervals. To avoid injuring birds, hang streamers
from the barriers. When covering water, fences should also be constructed
around the edges to prevent birds from walking under overhead wires.
• Cover small industrial ponds with floating plastic balls (such as Bird
BallsTM), which prevent ducks from seeing these bodies of water from the air.
Balls are easy to install, adjust to changing water levels and survive various
climatic conditions.
• The use of Border Collies may be an effective way to disperse ducks that
have settled on the ground.
• Encourage farmers near airports to modify their practices, eliminating
attractive crops—such as corn and grain—and ploughing under stubble,
thereby reducing the food supply available to ducks.
• Plant corn and grain away from airports in small plots known as lure
areas. The roosting and flight patterns of ducks should be studied prior to
establishing lure areas to determine the effectiveness of this control strategy.
• During peak migratory periods, scare tactics—such as shell crackers—have
proven effective in clearing ducks from runways and taxiways.
Integrated Control-methods Profile — Birds - H.11
2. Gulls
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)
• Male: 566 grams (1.3 lbs)
• Female: 471 grams (1 lb)
Herring Gull (Larus agentatus)
• Male: 1226 grams (2.5 lbs)
• Female: 1044 grams (2.3 lbs)
Franklin’s Gull (Larus pipixcan)
• Weight range: 220 to 335 grams
(0.5 to 0.75 lb)
Ring-billed Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
(Larus glaucescens)
• Weight range: 730 to 1400 grams
(1.5 to 3 lbs)
Gulls are a high-risk species. Since 1993, they have been involved in more
strikes at Canadian airports than any other bird. Their large size, slow speed,
flocking behaviour—and rapid habituation to most control measures—
combine to make gulls particularly hazardous. The flat, wide-open areas found
at airports also provide ideal resting and feeding sites for gulls.
Depending on the species, gulls nest in colonies numbering in the thousands,
usually at waters’ edge. Gulls often arrive at roosts after nightfall, a behaviour
pattern that creates serious strike risks after dark.
Gulls pose unique wildlife-control challenges. Usually appearing in late summer,
immature gulls are relatively ignorant of aircraft. Although most gulls migrate
south in the fall, many spend the winter months in southern areas of Canada
near such food sources as landfills, and will often remain as long as there is
some open water. Gulls will often travel considerable distances in search of good
feeding areas—some have been known to travel up to sixty kilometers between
feeding and roosting sites.
H.12 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Ring-billed Gull
A major problem species at airports in the Great Lakes region, Ring-billed
Gulls are medium-sized birds noted for the black ring around the end of their
beaks; young Ring-billed Gulls also have a distinct black band on their tails.
These birds are extremely social and have been known to travel long distances
daily in search of food.
Herring Gull
Found throughout much of Canada, Herring Gulls are large birds that are
distinguished by the red dot on their beaks. Herring Gulls are not as sociable
as Ring-billed Gulls, and are unlikely to stray far from water.
Franklin’s Gull
Common to the Prairies in spring, Franklin’s Gulls are small, black-headed
birds that feed primarily on insects found in prairie fields. This species closely
resembles Bonaparte’s Gull, found primarily in the northern Prairies.
Glaucous-winged Gull
Found along the Pacific coast, Glaucous-winged Gulls are large white birds
with dark wing tips.
Food and attractants
Gulls feed and nest in lakes and ponds, and on flat, open areas. After feeding,
gulls tend to loaf in parking lots and on runways. As scavengers, gulls eat a
variety foods, including insects, earthworms, grubs, sprouting vegetation, food
waste, small animals (dead and alive), fish, berries, and other small fruits. Gulls
forage for these foods in many habitats, including short-grass fields, freshly
ploughed fields, garbage dumps, restaurants and picnic areas, beaches, shorelines,
shallow water, waste-treatment plants, and airports.
Although gulls easily habituate to most control methods, the following measures
have proven effective, particularly when used in combination as part of a
comprehensive control program.
• As gulls prefer to loaf on short grass and pavement, cutting airport grasses
no shorter than 10 centimetres reduces the attraction to gulls. Gulls find it
difficult to observe predators in long grass. These birds also have difficulty
accessing small invertebrates—convenient sources of food—in long grass.
As long grass may not be appropriate at all airports, Transport Canada
recommends that each airport determine the most effective grass heights
Integrated Control-methods Profile — Birds - H.13
based on local conditions. Airports should constantly monitor grass
management programs to gauge their effectiveness. Other control measures
should be used in concert with long grass. Pyrotechnics, for instance, prevent
gulls from loafing on runways; insecticides control insect populations.
Improved drainage reduces standing water, which provides drinking and
bathing sites.
Store garbage indoors, or in well-sealed outdoor dumpsters.
Scare tactics and persistent harassment are effective in reducing the number
of gulls. Shell crackers and flares, for instance, should be reinforced with live
ammunition, distress-cry tapes, and falconry. Scare tactics should also be
modified regularly to prevent habituation, and used in conjunction with
habitat modification techniques.
When necessary to remove gulls with live ammunition, #4 steel shot is
recommended. Target gulls flying at the head of flocks to best demonstrate
the danger to other birds. Placing dead birds at strategic locations and in
agony postures also reduces the likelihood that other gulls will return. Lethal
control is a necessary part of any gull control program, and it is used as a
means to reinforce non-lethal control techniques.
Suspend wires over bodies of water and preferred nesting sites to prevent
gulls from landing. As with waterfowl, wires should be suspended at 36centimetre intervals approximately 18 centimetres above water.
Spray chemicals such as Tersan and Benomyl along runways to kill earthworms. This will decrease the availability of food and drive gulls elsewhere.
Neither Tersan nor Benomyl—both available from DuPont Canada—are
registered for killing earthworms, and therefore should be used for turf
management purposes.
Encourage nearby farmers to modify agricultural practices. Night ploughing,
for instance, significantly reduces strike hazards in the vicinity of airports
because birds do not normally feed at night.
Similar species
Bonaparte’s Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, and several other gull species.
H.14 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
3. Raptors
Red-tailed Hawk
Buteo jamaicensis
• Male: 1028 grams (2 lbs)
• Female: 1224 grams (2.7 lbs)
Found across Canada—and north to
the tree-line—Red-tailed Hawks reside
in rural areas year-round. Red-tailed
Hawk colours vary depending on the
region—paler in the Prairies, darker in
the Northwest.
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawks are able to soar to great heights. They usually hunt for small
animals while perched on utility poles, fence posts and dead trees. In winter,
Red-tailed Hawks have been known to travel great distances in search of prey.
Alone or in pairs during the summer, large numbers may gather during
migration or in areas containing abundant food.
Food and attractants
Red-tailed Hawks hunt for mice, rats, voles, birds, ground squirrels,
Woodchucks, rabbits, hares, and Muskrats in open areas such as agricultural
fields and airport lands. These birds are often attracted to airports through the
availability of prominent perching sites.
• As the hawk is a perching bird, the removal or modification of perching sites
is recommended. The sharp projections of porcupine wire or a single spike
—both placed on post tops—effectively discourage perching.
• Minimize food supplies by reducing small-animal populations through
vegetation and water-body management. Given the broad diet of hawks—
and the difficulty managing all their food sources—food-supply management
should be considered only one aspect of an overall control program.
• Use rodenticides to control specific problem species such as ground squirrels
and voles.
• Employ live trapping for removal from airport lands. Following the
implementation of such programs in Toronto and Windsor—where hawks
were trapped, banded and released 50 kilometres away—only four percent
Integrated Control-methods Profile — Birds - H.15
of birds returned to the airports. Adult, territorial birds are more likely to
return than are juvenile birds. Unfortunately, the removal of experienced
hawks from airports often results in their replacement by migratory and
non-resident birds, which may pose greater risks to aircraft. It is important
to ensure that whatever technique is used for Red-tailed Hawk management
in fact reduces the strike rate for this species.
Similar species
Rough-legged Hawk, which inhabits the far North in summer, and migrates
south in fall. Swainson’s Hawk ranges through the Yukon, Saskatchewan,
Alberta, and British Columbia. The Ferruginous Hawk is found in the Prairies.
Great Horned Owl
Bubo virginianus
• Male: 1318 grams (3 lbs)
• Female: 1768 grams (4 lbs)
Great Horned Owls are common
throughout Canada, and range as far
north as the tree-line. During the day,
they prefer to roost in forested areas.
During twilight hours and at night,
they hunt over open fields, marshes,
wet areas, and agricultural fields.
Great Horned Owls usually winter in
their home area, but may travel some
distances in search of food. These owls
establish nests early in spring in tall trees.
Great Horned Owl
Food and attractants
Large and powerful, Great Horned Owls hunt many animals, including mice,
rats, squirrels, rabbits, hares, birds, Woodchucks, skunks, and snakes. These
birds prefer open areas—fields, agricultural areas, and airports—where there
is an abundance of food.
• Eliminate perch sites and replace them with perch barriers and tactile repellents.
• Use night-vision technology to study and monitor local owl behaviour.
H.16 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
• Eliminate nesting sites, such as those found in derelict buildings.
• Engage wildlife-control officers to live-trap and relocate owls that have
become comfortable at airports.
• Modify agricultural practices and clean up garbage. Although they do not
feed on garbage or agricultural products, owls are attracted by rodents that
favour such food sources.
Similar species
Short-eared and Long-eared Owls
Snowy Owl
Nyctea scandiaca
• Male: 1806 grams (4 lbs)
• Female: 2279 grams (5 lbs)
A large, predominantly white bird
found in the far North, Snowy Owls
spend summers in Canada’s treeless
tundra regions. These birds will, however, wander southward in winter in
search of prey.
Snowy Owl
Perching on low mounds, snow banks, and fence posts rather than in trees,
Snowy Owls are usually seen alone or in pairs. Unlike many owls, they are
active primarily during the day.
Food and attractants
When they venture south, Snowy Owls are attracted to airfields, as the open
spaces resemble the birds’ natural habitat—tundra. Perching low or gliding
silently over the ground, Snowy Owls hunt for such small animals as mice,
rats, rabbits, ptarmigan, lemmings, and ground squirrels.
• Eliminate perch sites, replace them with perch barriers, or treat them with
tactile repellents.
• Engage wildlife-control officers to live-trap and relocate owls that have
become comfortable at airports.
Integrated Control-methods Profile — Birds - H.17
• Modify agricultural practices and clean up garbage. Although they do not
feed on garbage or agricultural products, owls are attracted by small rodents
that favour such food sources.
• Grade and eliminate low mounds and rubble heaps to reduce available perches.
Eagle (Bald and Golden)
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)
• Male 3477 to 4130 grams (7.5 to 9 lbs)
• Female 4913 to 5350 grams (11 to 12 lbs)
Eagles are the largest bird of prey found in North America. Although not a
common problem at Canadian airports, eagles were involved in 27 reported
incidents between 1993 and 1999; their large size and tendency to soar make
them significant hazards.
Food and attractants
Eagles feed on rodents, and are attracted to the open areas that provide these
sources of food. Eagles will soar in thermals over airports.
Few products or techniques have proven effective to control eagles. When used
by trained wildlife-control personnel, however, the Ruggieri CAPA anti-birdstrike cartridge is a safe, long-range, and reliable scare method. For greatest
effectiveness, however, use pyrotechnics sparingly.
Note: Eagles are a protected species in Canada. The use of toxins or other
lethal control measures against these birds is prohibited by law.
American Kestrel
Falco sparverius
• Male: 111 grams (0.25 lb)
• Female: 120 grams (0.25 lb)
H.18 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
American Kestrels, also known as Sparrowhawks, are small falcons found
throughout Canada. They range north to the tree-line in the summer, and
migrate to southern Canada during the winter.
Food and attractants
Commonly seen alone or in pairs along roadsides, in agricultural areas and at
airports, American Kestrels often perch on—and observe prey from—utility
wires, small dead trees and posts near open-field areas. They also fly over fields
in search of such animals as mice, voles, and small birds, as well as large
insects, such as grasshoppers and crickets.
• To eliminate habitat that attracts small animals and insects, establish
vegetation and drain water from airfields.
• Remove dead trees and modify perches using porcupine wire and other
tactile repellents.
Similar species
Turkey Vulture
Cathartes aura
• Average Weight: 1135 to 1589 grams (2.5 to 3.5 lbs)
Once common only to areas south of Canada, Turkey Vultures are now found
throughout the countryside, as well as in many cities of southern Canada.
Turkey Vultures tend to roost in large numbers on rock ledges, cliff faces,
hollow trees, and even in abandoned buildings.
Although presently a low-risk bird in Canada, Turkey Vultures have been
involved in only three reported strikes between 1993 and 2000; the Turkey
Vulture population in Canada continues to increase. The large body mass and
low-level soaring behaviour of these birds makes them an increasing strike
threat at Canadian airports.
Food and attractants
Turkey Vultures feed primarily on carrion and are often found at landfills.
Integrated Control-methods Profile — Birds - H.19
As noted above, Turkey Vultures are considered low-risk birds at Canadian
airports, as the species is not yet common in Canada. These birds have,
however, been involved in a number of aircraft losses during low-level flying
missions undertaken by the United States Air Force. While work is being done
in the United States to better understand Turkey Vulture behaviour, pilots
should be advised to avoid areas frequented by soaring Turkey Vultures.
4. Swallows and Nighthawks
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
• Male: 16.2 grams (0.03 lb)
• Female: 15.8 grams (0.03 lb)
Cliff Swallow (Hirundo pyrrhonota)
• Weight range: 17.5 to 26.7 grams
(0.03 to 0.05 lb)
Barn Swallow
These small flocking birds are found throughout southern Canada, the Yukon,
and western Northwest Territories. Swallows are easily identified by their
small size and erratic, swerving flight. Two species are airport hazards: Barn
Swallows, with their forked tail, build mud nests in protected areas on building
ledges, under eaves and against walls; Cliff Swallows prefer to build their juglike nests under eaves. Both species also nest inside buildings, such as hangars,
barns, and garages. Swallows are not considered high risk, although these birds
have been involved in a large number of bird-strikes at Canadian airports;
strikes against flocks, in particular, can result in significant aircraft damage.
Food and attractants
Swallows catch and eat insects while in flight. These birds are attracted to areas
that produce large insect populations, such as wetlands and cut grass. Large
numbers of swallows also reside at airports located near water, where the birds
feed on aquatic insects such as crane flies that are blown over airport lands.
H.20 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
• Nest removal is the most effective way to control swallows at airports.
Airport buildings and structures should be checked regularly for nests,
which should be removed immediately. Hidden nests can be located by
watching the ground in preferred nesting areas for accumulated bird
droppings and straw.
• Block and screen holes, cavities, vents, and ledges to prevent access to the
interiors of airport hangars and buildings. The application of screen and
plastic or metal sheeting prevents nests from adhering to the underside
of eaves.
• Eliminate insect-breeding areas—such as slow-moving water—through
vegetation management.
• Consult with area farmers to determine effective aerial spays for eliminating
insects. Of note, a study at Vancouver International Airport has shown that
chlorpyrifos eliminates crane-fly populations. The study also found that the
insecticide’s ecological impact was minimized when applied in the spring.
• Use falconry as a scaring technique.
• When using pyrotechnics, vary the sounds and locations daily to avoid
Similar species
Tree Swallow, Bank Swallow, and Purple Martin
Common Nighthawk
Chordeiles minor
• Male and female: 62 grams (0.12 lb)
In summer, Common Nighthawks range throughout Canada and as far north as
the tree-line; in winter, they migrate to South America. These birds are active
primarily at dusk and during the night, although they are occasionally seen
during the day. In shape and size, they resemble small falcons; however, Common
Nighthawks are distinguished by their nocturnal habits, predominantly dark
colour, erratic flight patterns, and insect-eating behaviour.
Food and attractants
Common Nighthawks are commonly seen in small groups of five to ten. They
feed entirely on moths and other insects captured in flight near such insectattracting and insect-producing sites as light towers, wet areas, and damp fields.
Integrated Control-methods Profile — Birds - H.21
• Eliminate habitats that produce or attract insects, establish vegetation, and
drain water from airfields. Consult nearby farmers to determine effective
Similar species
Small falcon
5. Pigeons and Doves
Common Pigeon (Rock Dove)
Columba livia
• Male: 369 grams (0.8 lb)
• Female: 340 grams (0.7 lb)
Year-round inhabitants of urban areas throughout southern Canada,
pigeons—or Rock Doves—roost and nest on sheltered ledges inside and
outside buildings. Pigeons are prolific breeders of particular concern at
airports, where they are commonly found around hangars and terminals.
Flocks of up to 50 birds are common, producing abundant and unsightly
droppings that may contain various disease-causing agents. Clean-up and
disposal of these droppings should be done only when wearing proper protective
gear, including gloves, respiratory masks and goggles.
Food and attractants
Although tight flocks may be seen flying rapidly over the countryside, pigeons
rarely venture far from specific buildings upon which they have chosen to
roost. Pigeons feed on grains, seeds, garbage scraps, and seedlings, and are
attracted to gravel areas by the availability of grit.
• Remove all nests promptly. Nests are commonly found in hangars, on ledges,
under bridges and, in some cases, in parked aircraft.
• Reduce available nesting and roosting sites by modifying buildings to limit
ledge space; close entry holes through the use of screens and boards.
• Use scare tactics and pyrotechnics in concert with other control methods.
H.22 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
• Live-trapping, according to an Israeli study, is the most cost-effective,
environmentally-friendly method for the long-term control of pigeons.
Live-trapped pigeons should be removed and killed because pigeons have
a strong homing instinct.
• Air rifles have proven to be highly effective in lethal-control programs at airports.
• Use chemicals to kill or drug pigeons for removal. Avitrol-treated corn kills
pigeons ingesting the treated corn and disperses other members of the flock.
Alpha chlorase-treated corn can be used to drug pigeons so they can be
captured and killed humanely.
• Hire local pest-control companies. These firms deal with pigeons on a regular
basis and are licensed to use various chemical products.
Mourning Dove
Zenaida macroura
• Male: 123 grams (0.25 lb)
• Female: 115 grams (0.25 lb)
Similar in overall appearance to pigeons,
the smaller Mourning Doves are, however, brown with long pointed tails.
They are common throughout most of
rural southern Canada, and are normally
seen in tight flocks of up to 20 birds.
Flocks of up to 1,000 birds have also
been observed. Most Mourning Doves
migrate south in winter, although some
birds remain in the extreme southern
parts of Canada.
Mourning Dove
Food and attractants
Mourning Doves are attracted to open areas near forests, woodlots, and
agricultural fields and—unlike pigeons—often roost on telephone wires.
Mourning Doves feed on seeds and insects found in agricultural areas and
open fields. They also forage for grit in gravel pits and along roadsides.
Integrated Control-methods Profile — Birds - H.23
• Noises and shell crackers are effective in dispersing Mourning Doves.
• Remove weeds from fields.
• Ensure stubble and split grain is not left on agricultural fields.
6. Shorebirds
Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva)
• Weight range: 122 to 192 grams
(0.25 to 0.4 lb)
Various types of small to medium-sized
shorebirds are common to all regions of Plover
Canada. The Killdeer and Golden Plover
are particularly common at airports,
preferring open habitats with little undergrowth; both species nest in dry,
short grass and gravel-rich fields—Golden Plover in tundra regions of the far
North and the Killdeer throughout southern Canada. Being migratory birds,
plovers are most often observed in flocks during the fall. Throughout the summer,
however, Killdeer are commonly seen in pairs or small groups. Plovers resemble
sandpipers, but are distinguished by their short beaks and short, thick necks
and bodies.
Food and attractants
Most plovers feed on small insects, crustaceans, grubs, and worms they find in
shallow water and in the surface soil of wet fields and mud flats. The Killdeer
and Golden Plover, however, prefer dry areas, such as short-grass fields, freshly
ploughed fields, and areas rich in gravel.
• Improve drainage to eliminate attractive wet areas, such as ponds and other
• Maintain long grass, as plovers prefer short grass or gravel—areas that
provide clear views of predators and better access to food.
• Scare tactics, such as shell crackers, gas cannons, and falconry should be
used in peak migratory periods.
H.24 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Similar species
Black-bellied Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, Semipalmated Plover, and Sandpipers
Upland Sandpiper
(Bartramia longicauda)
• Male: 137 grams (0.3 lb)
• Female: 164 grams (0.4 lb)
Dunlin (Calidris alpina sakhalina)
• Male: 55 grams (0.1 lb)
• Female: 60 grams (0.1 lb)
Various species of sandpiper are common
to all regions of Canada. Although similar to plovers in several ways, sandpipers
have longer beaks and more slender
necks and bodies.
As a rule, sandpipers prefer wetlands, such as ponds, lake shorelines, and
mudflats. The exception is the Upland Sandpiper, which prefers the dry, grassy
fields found in western and south-eastern Canada. Of particular concern to
airport wildlife authorities, Upland Sandpipers migrate south in flocks during fall.
The Dunlin is another problem species—a common shoreline species that
breeds in the far North, but is seen farther south in flocks during fall and
winter, particularly along the Pacific coast.
Food and attractants
Sandpipers feed on a variety of grubs, worms, crustaceans, and insects found
in the soil of mud flats, wet-grass areas, beaches and fields. Upland Sandpipers
are often seen perching on fence posts.
• Improve drainage to eliminate attractive wet areas, such as ponds and
other wetlands.
• Maintain long grass, as sandpipers prefer short grass or gravel—areas that
provide clear views of predators and better access to food.
Integrated Control-methods Profile — Birds - H.25
• At Vancouver International Airport, pyrotechnics—such as screamers and
whistlers—have proven effective in dispersing Dunlins. Propane cannons,
meanwhile, were found to drive birds upwards rather than out of the area.
• Falconry is an effective but costly method of scaring shorebirds.
Similar species
Common Snipe and Long-billed Curlew
7. Crows
American Crow
Corvus brachyrhynchos
• Male: 458 grams (1 lb)
• Female: 438 grams (1 lb)
American Crows are large, black birds commonly seen across Canada and north
to the tree-line. Adaptable to many habitats—including forests, agricultural
areas, cities, towns, open fields, and garbage dumps—American Crows are often
seen alone, in pairs or in flocks ranging from five to 50 birds. Owls are an arch
enemy, and large numbers of crows often congregate during the day to harass
roosting owls.
Food and attractants
American Crows eat a variety of foods, including grains, stubble, sprouting
plants, vegetables, and berries, as well as small rodents and dead animals,
which they find in fields, garbage dumps, and along roadsides. At airports,
American Crows will generally roost in tall, prominent trees.
• Limit available foods by enclosing refuse containers, removing animal
carcasses, and cleaning picnic areas.
• Distress calls and pyrotechnics are useful to disperse crows, especially when
Similar Species
Raven (north and far north) and Northwestern Crow (west coast)
H.26 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
8. Herons, Cranes and Egrets
Great Blue Heron
Ardea herodias
• Male: 2576 grams (5.7 lbs)
• Female: 2204 grams (4.8 lbs)
Tall, wading birds commonly found
throughout southern Canada—the Great
Blue Heron feeds along the edges of
shallow ponds, rivers, lakes, marshes, Great Blue Heron
and swamps as well as in grassy fields.
While hunting, Great Blue Herons are
often difficult to see; they move slowly
in shallow marshes looking to spear
small animals. Great Blue Herons are
often seen flying at dusk and dawn—beating their wings slowly with their necks
curved back against their bodies as they fly. These are solitary birds, except
during migration, when they are often seen in pairs.
Food and attractants
Great Blue Herons are attracted to still and slow moving waters—such as ditches
and ponds—that are abundant with edge and aquatic vegetation. In these habitats
birds feed on most small aquatic animals, including fish, frogs, snakes, insects,
salamanders, and crayfish. Great Blue Herons will also frequent open fields,
including airports, to feed on rodents such as voles and mice.
• Improve drainage to eliminate attractive wetlands, such as ponds and marshes.
• Suspend wires and netting or use Bird Balls™ to cover large ponds that
cannot be drained or filled.
• Reduce rodent populations in grassy areas.
• Reduce available food supply by eliminating the vegetation that surrounds water.
• Scare tactics, such as shell crackers, are effective when used in conjunction
with other control methods.
Similar species
Sandhill Crane and Whooping Crane
Integrated Control-methods Profile — Birds - H.27
Sandhill Crane
Grus canadensis tabida
• Male: 5797 grams (13 lbs)
• Female: 5345 grams (12 lbs)
Sandhill Cranes are tall wading birds
that summer in the far north as well
as in areas of central and western
Sandhill Crane
Canada. These birds are often seen in
flocks through southern Canada during
fall migration. Sandhill Cranes nest in
wetlands, such as marshes, bogs, wet
fields, and on the weedy edges of lakes.
They forage for vegetation and small animals in wetlands, open fields, and
agricultural areas—usually following harvest. Often confused with the Great
Blue Heron, Sandhill Cranes are slate gray with red-capped heads; young birds
are brown. More commonly seen in flocks than Great Blue Herons, Sandhill
Cranes are characterized in flight by rapid wing beats and outstretched necks.
Food and attractants
Sandhill Cranes are attracted to marshes, bogs, and the weedy edges of lakes.
They also prefer open fields and freshly ploughed earth. These birds feed on a
variety of small animals, including frogs, fish, mice, snakes, grasshoppers and
grubs. During the fall, Sandhill Cranes enjoy resting in fields that offer the
stubble of wheat, barley and oats.
• Improve drainage to eliminate wetlands, such as ponds.
• Cover drainage ditches and fill in temporary pools created by heavy rain and
spring melt.
• Use insecticides in grassy areas to decrease the availability of food.
• Encourage nearby farmers not only to plough under grain stubble, but also
to plough at night.
• Use scare tactics, such as shell crackers and noise makers.
• Sandhill Cranes are a protected species in Canada; it is illegal to use lethal
means to control these birds without Federal permit.
Similar species
Great Blue Heron and Whooping Crane
H.28 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
9. House Sparrows
Passer domesticus
• Male: 28 grams (0.06 lb)
• Female: 27 grams (0.06 lb)
House Sparrows are commonly found in flocks of various sizes in cities and
towns throughout southern Canada. They nest in holes and cavities both
outside and inside buildings, and in dense vines and shrubbery near buildings.
House Sparrows will winter in buildings such as airport hangers, maintenance
garages, and storage sheds if food sources are available nearby.
Food and attractants
House Sparrows feed on seeds, grain,
small fruits, and garbage scraps.
• Block or screen any holes, vents, and
cavities in hangars and other buildings.
• Limit available food by cleaning up
garbage and enclosing refuse containers.
• Remove sparrows through trapping
and the use of Avitrol.
• Scare tactics disperse House Sparrows
quickly from runways and taxiways.
House Sparrow
10. European Starlings
Sturnus vulgaris
• Male: 85 grams (0.18 lb)
• Female: 80 grams (0.17 lb)
European Starlings are a flocking species found throughout farms, parks, cities,
and towns in southern Canada. These birds are, however, gradually expanding
their range northward. They are able to squeeze through openings less than two
inches wide to nest in holes or cavities outside and inside buildings, including
mailboxes, ventilation ducts and aircraft-engine intakes and ports.
Integrated Control-methods Profile — Birds - H.29
During fall, large flocks of European Starlings gather to roost in trees, reed beds,
under bridges, and on buildings. These birds spend winters in areas that provide
adequate food and shelter, including farms and cities in southern Canada. Their
winter plumage is spotted white; in summer, they are predominantly dark in
colour. Their dark winter bills change to yellow during breeding season.
Food and attractants
European Starlings are attracted to short-grass fields, barnyards, freshlyploughed fields, granaries, berry-producing bushes, and food-processing
plants. These birds feed on insects, seeds, grains, small fruits, and food scraps.
• Remove all nests found in airport buildings. Prevent future nesting by sealing
cracks and holes and placing screen vents over other openings.
• Discourage roosting by closing buildings and placing porcupine wire on
ledges, rooftops, and rafters. Netting or wires can also be placed over indoor
roosting areas. Tactile perches are also recommended.
• Cut back or remove trees used for perching.
• Spraying roosting birds with water in cold weather is both a dispersal method
and a lethal control, as wet birds are likely to die in low temperatures.
• Keep grass long to decrease the ability of small birds to see prey and find
food. As European Starlings feed on insects, aerial spraying of insecticides is
effective in conjunction with long-grass programs.
• Eliminate fruit and berry-producing vegetation to minimize food supply.
• Encourage farmers to feed livestock in open sheds during the late afternoon,
and to keep water for these animals at low levels.
• Use scare tactics, such as shell crackers and distress-cry tapes, to disperse birds.
Scare tactics should be modified and varied frequently to avoid habituation.
• Lethal controls include the use of Avitrol, starlicide, and live-ammunition
• Trapping is largely ineffective against the high numbers of European
Starlings generally found near airports.
H.30 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
11. Other Small Birds
Snow Bunting
Plectrophenax nivalis
• Weight range: 34 to 56 grams
(0.07 to 0.12 lb)
White with black wing tips, Snow
Buntings are sparrow-like flocking
birds that migrate to southern Canada
from the far North.
Snow Bunting
Food and attractants
In winter, flocks of 50 to 100 Snow Buntings are attracted to exposed weeds
and low bushes in wide-open areas where they feed on weed seeds and dried
berries. Snow Buntings often find food and grit at runway edges exposed
by snowplows.
• In late summer and fall, reduce standing weeds—particularly adjacent to
runways—through cutting or a seasonal-herbicide application.
• Scare tactics, such as shell crackers and noisemakers, work well against
Snow Buntings, although the flocks are often simply moved from one part
of the airport to another.
• Fill holes and cavities and place screens on vents to prevent Snow Buntings
from entering airport buildings.
• Halifax International Airport recently devoted half of its wildlife-management
program resources to falconry—with effective results against Snow Buntings.
The hunting characteristics of the falcon used at Halifax were similar to those
of the Gyrfalcon—a species Snow Buntings fear innately.
Similar species
Various sparrows, Horned Lark and Lapland Longspur
Integrated Control-methods Profile — Birds - H.31
Red-winged Blackbird
(Agelaius phoeniceus)
• Male: 64 grams (0.14 lb)
• Female: 42 grams (0.09 lb)
Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)
• Male: 127 grams (0.28 lb)
• Female: 100 grams (0.22 lb)
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Cowbird (Molothrus ater)
• Male: 49 grams (0.1 lb)
• Female: 39 grams (0.09 lb)
Yellow-headed Blackbird
(Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus)
• Male: 80 grams (0.17 lb)
• Female: 49 grams (0.1 lb)
These four species of blackbirds are common throughout specific regions
in Canada:
• Red-winged Blackbird: southern Canada, the Yukon and North-west Territories.
• Yellow-headed Blackbird: southern Canada west of Ontario.
• Cowbird and Common Grackle: southern Canada.
Migrating in flocks numbering in the thousands, all four species are attracted
to wet, marshy areas surrounded by such vegetation as bulrushes, willows, and
cattails. The Common Grackle and Cowbird are also found in open areas near
forests and parkland.
Food and attractants
All species of blackbirds are attracted to short-grass fields, pastures, barnyards,
corn and grain fields, and fruit-producing bushes. These birds feed on insects,
grains, and soft fruits.
H.32 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
• Improve drainage to eliminate wetlands.
• Eliminate vegetation surrounding permanent wetlands, such as ponds
and ditches.
• Eliminate fruit- and berry-producing vegetation.
• Encourage nearby farmers to modify agricultural practices and eliminate
corn and grain stubble.
• Combine long-grass programs—in which lengths are maintained between
10 and 15 centimetres—with regular pesticide applications to control
insect infestations.
• Use scare tactics, such as shell crackers and distress-cry tapes, to disperse birds.
This technique is best employed in the early morning and late afternoon when
blackbirds are actively feeding; scare tactics should also be modified and
varied frequently to limit habituation.
• Lethal-control methods include the use of Avitrol and live ammunition.
Similar species
Rusty Blackbird and Brewer’s Blackbird
12. Miscellaneous Birds
Ring-necked Pheasant
Phasianus colchicus
• Male: 1317 grams (3 lbs)
• Female: 953 grams (2 lbs)
Generally seen in pairs or groups up
to five, Ring-necked Pheasants are
common in many parts of southern
Canada. Because of their size and
potential to damage aircraft, pheasants
should not be allowed to nest or feed
on airports.
Ring-necked Pheasant
Food and attractants
Ring-necked Pheasants prefer dense undergrowth in open country, forest edges
near agricultural areas, and marshes and ditches offering sufficient cover.
Integrated Control-methods Profile — Birds - H.33
These birds feed on weed seeds, sprouting plants, berries, insects and crops
such as corn, grain stubble, soybeans, and alfalfa.
• Pyrotechnics quickly disperse persistent birds.
• Eliminate brush from open areas.
• Encourage nearby farmers to modify agricultural practices and eliminate
corn and grain stubble.
• Trained dogs were used successfully to locate nests at the former Canadian
Forces Base in Lahr, Germany.
Colaptes auratus auratus
• Male: 135 grams (0.3 lb)
• Female: 129 grams (0.3 lb)
Flickers reside as far north as the tree-line throughout Canada. In southern
British Columbia and Alberta Flickers are yellow in colour; elsewhere they are
generally orange-red. Small groups of three to five Flickers are often seen in
favourable feeding areas.
Food and attractants
Flickers nest in cavities in dead trees and fence posts. These birds feed on
insects—such as ants—that they find in open fields, on fence posts, and in
rotten logs and trees.
• Eliminate potential nesting sites, such as logs and dead trees.
• Combine long-grass programs with regular pesticide applications to control
insect infestations.
• Use scare tactics to disperse Flickers from runways.
H.34 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Turdus migratorius
• Weight range: 64 to103 grams (0.13 to 0.25 lb)
In summer, Robins can be found as far north as the tree-line throughout
Canada. Small groups of three to five may be seen in favourable feeding areas.
Large flocks are rarely observed—even during migration.
Food and attractants
Robins prefer nesting in stands of trees found in parkland and residential
areas. They feed in open fields and short grass, eating small berries and fruits,
grubs, insects, and earthworms—particularly after rainstorms.
• Combine long-grass programs—in which lengths are maintained between
10 and 15 centimetres—with regular pesticide applications to control
insect infestations.
• Eliminate berry-producing shrubs and bushes.
• Use scare tactics to disperse Robins from runways.
• Use earthworm-inhibiting chemicals, such as Benomyl or Tersan, in extreme
cases only.
Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna)
• Male: 102 grams (0.22 lb)
• Female: 76 grams (0.16 lb)
Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)
• Male: 112 grams (0.25 lb)
• Female: 89 grams (0.2 lb)
During the summer, Meadowlarks are found across most of southern Canada,
except in the Maritimes. Although they are sometimes observed in small
groups in favourable feeding areas, flocks of Meadowlarks are rare.
Integrated Control-methods Profile — Birds - H.35
Food and attractants
Meadowlarks prefer the abundant long grass and weed growth of open fields,
where they feed largely on insects, berries, and seeds.
• Employ habitat-management techniques through grass cutting and general
clean-up of old field habitats.
• Eliminate weeds.
• Use scare tactics to disperse Meadowlarks from runways.
Horned Lark
Eremophila alpestris
• Male: 32 grams (0.07 lb)
• Female: 31 grams (0.06 lb)
Horned Larks are sparrow-sized birds
commonly found throughout Canada,
including the Far North. During the
fall, Horned Larks form flocks and
migrate to southern Canada and the
United States.
Horned Lark
Food and attractants
A ground species, the Horned Lark prefers open, gravel-rich fields that provide
grass and weed clumps for cover, as well as weed seeds and insects for food.
• Cut grass and modify habitat to decrease available food sources.
• Eliminate weeds and establish turf species.
• Use scare tactics to disperse Horned Larks from runways.
H.36 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Peregrine Falcon
Falco peregrinus
• Male: 611 grams (1.3 lb)
• Female: 952 grams (2 lbs)
Once found throughout most of Canada, Peregrine Falcon populations
declined to very low numbers by the 1970’s. Although populations have
increased in recent years, they are still considered endangered everywhere in
Canada and in many regions of the United States. Successful programs have
been conducted to re-establish Peregrine Falcons in southern Canada through
the release of captive-bred birds in many major centres.
Peregrine Falcons are large birds with long, slender, pointed wings and slender
tails that assist them in flying rapidly and directly. They breed primarily on
high cliffs, building ledges and bridge girders, but can be seen hunting during
fall and spring migrating periods in open areas—such as airports—where prey
is abundant. Young birds are predominantly brown.
Food and attractants
Peregrine Falcons are attracted to open areas, where they feed on small and
medium-sized birds such as pigeons, ducks, shorebirds, blackbirds, Mourning
Doves, and gulls.
Given their low population numbers, Peregrines Falcons are not considered a
problem species at airports, nor are they likely to become significant strike
hazards in the near future. Nonetheless, it is illegal to kill or disturb Peregrine
Falcons in their nesting areas in both Canada and the United States. If
Peregrine Falcon carcasses are found—or they are involved in aircraft strikes—
reports should be filed with the Canadian Wildlife Service.
Similar species
• Prairie Falcon: found in the southern Prairies and British Columbia
• Gyrfalcon: found in the far North
• Merlin
Integrated Control-methods Profile — Birds - H.37
Protected Species
The federal government of Canada protects most native bird species. Prior to implementing control programs, wildlife-control personnel are advised to consult the listing
of protected species at www.speciesatrisk.gc.ca/Species/English/SearchRequest.cfm.
Furthermore, Appendix D of Transport Canada’s Sharing the Skies (TP 13549E)
provides a complete listing of legislative and regulatory measures governing
wildlife management and the environment, along with relevant website addresses
at which further information can be found.
Section I
Integrated Control Methods
— Mammal Profiles
Mammal Profiles
Deer and other Ungulates
Whitetail Deer
Mule Deer
Control measures and management techniques
Visual- and auditory-deterrent techniques
Deer-removal methods
Woodland Caribou
Black Bear
Grey Wolf
Red Fox
Muskrat and Beavers
Snowshoe Hare (also known as the Varying Hare)
Starnose Mole
Section I
Red Squirrel
Ground Squirrels
Richardson Ground Squirrel
Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel
Pocket Gophers
Northern Pocket Gopher
Meadow Vole
Norway Rat
Other Problem Mammals
Striped Skunk
Other Small Mammals
Integrated Control Methods — Mammal Profiles - I.1
Mammal Profiles
Mammals can be categorized as posing either direct or indirect strike hazards
to aircraft. Due to their size, large mammals such as deer or Coyotes are
generally considered direct threats. Smaller mammals, including rodents, are
categorized as indirect threats because they attract direct-threat predators such
as raptors and Canids.
Mammals also pose an assortment of airport-maintenance problems, such as
chewing through electric cables, burrowing—which can damage mowing machinery
as well as weaken aircraft movement areas—and tunneling under fences.
Most mammal-control programs comprise these key methods:
• fencing to exclude large mammals.
• poisoning through the use of lethal chemicals that repel or kill animals, and
• trapping and shooting to remove or disperse animals.
When developing and implementing mammal-control programs at airports,
several general principles should be considered:
• Install effective security fencing to prevent large mammals from entering
airport lands.
• Eliminate broad-leaved plants—such as weeds, clover, and alfalfa—on all
areas within 300 metres of runway centre lines.
• Apply herbicides regularly to prevent the recurrence of broad-leaved plant cover.
• Close all fence gates when not in use.
• Install cattle gates where fence openings are frequently used.
• Ensure all necessary Federal, Provincial, and Municipal permits are obtained
before mammals are killed or removed.
• Inform the nearest Canadian Wildlife Service office whenever endangered
species are involved.
• Maintain mammal-control files to ensure a log of interaction with these species.
• Report all mammal strikes by completing and submitting Transport
Canada’s Bird/Wildlife Strike form.
• Maintain and keep available a list of the names and telephone numbers of
local wildlife authorities.
I.2 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
This section provides an introductory guide to the following mammals considered
hazardous to aircraft in Canada:
Deer and other Ungulates (Elk, Moose, and Caribou)
Bears (Grizzly Bears, Black Bears, and Polar Bears)
Canids (Coyotes, Wolves, and Foxes)
Muskrats and Beavers
Leporids (Hare and Rabbits)
Squirrels and Woodchucks
Pocket Gophers
Raccoons, Badgers, and Skunks
Readers are presented with cursory descriptions of the mammals and their
behaviour, as well as effective control methods to employ against these animals.
Deer and other Ungulates
Ungulates are hoofed mammals that shed their antlers once a year. These
animals pose extremely serious hazards to aircraft, straying onto active
runways and taxiways, and disrupting the schedules and budgets of airlines.
Strikes can significantly damage aircraft.
Food and attractants
Ungulates are attracted to airports by:
• cover provided by broad-leaved vegetation, such as trees and shrubs;
• food, particularly grasses and legumes, such as clover and alfalfa; and
• protection afforded by open airport lands.
Integrated Control Methods — Mammal Profiles - I.3
Whitetail Deer
Height: approximately 1 m (3 ft) (The
height of all Ungulates is measured to
the shoulder)
Weight (males): up to 182 kg (400 lbs)
Weight (females): up to 90 kg (200 lbs)
Location: Whitetail Deer are found
throughout southern Canada in swamps
and young-growth forests.
Whitetail deer
• Flagging tails.
• Coats are reddish in summer and blue-gray in winter.
• Males have two-beam antlers with prongs.
At airports, deer disrupt operations, delaying takeoffs and landings and
temporarily closing runways. Strikes can cause significant damage to aircraft.
Food and attractants
Deer are attracted to the large open tracts of land available at airports—land
that is isolated from heavily populated areas. The diet of Whitetail Deer consists
mainly of grass, twigs, and buds.
Similar Species
Mule Deer
Mule Deer
Height: approximately 1 m (3 ft)
Weight (males): up to 180 kg (400 lbs)
Weight (females): up to 68 kg (150 lbs)
• Coats are reddish in summer and bluegray in winter.
Mule deer
I.4 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
• Tails are white with black tips; they have a white patch on their hind.
• Antlers on males rise vertically, then divide evenly and slant backward at the
first fork.
Food and attractants
Mule Deer prefer coniferous-forest and grassland habitats, where they eat
grass, twigs, and buds.
Similar Species
Elk, Whitetail Deer
Control measures and management techniques
In March 2000, LGL Limited conducted a study for Transport Canada to
determine the most effective means of preventing deer strikes at airports.
The authors examined existing literature and proceedings from wildlifemanagement conferences, and communicated with wildlife workers,
including airport managers, game-farm owners, and staff at public zoos.
Several deer-exclusion devices and deterrent techniques were reviewed and
rated; the findings regarding recommended fencing are summarized throughout
this section. Fencing is also discussed in Section F.
The report is available online as an Aerodrome Safety Circular, Evaluation of
the Efficacy of Various Deer Exclusion Devices and Deterrent Techniques for
use at Airports: http://www.tc.gc.ca/Civil Aviation/aerodrome/menu.htm.
The report can be obtained by calling: 1-800-305-2059 or
E-mail: http://www.tc.gc.ca/aviation
Perimeter fencing
Effective perimeter fencing is the most important component of successful
deer-control programs—especially when combined with habitat-management
techniques, such as vegetation removal.
Electric fencing
Electric fencing administers a rapidly pulsed charge of 4,000 to 5,000 VDC. Its
80-percent effectiveness rate declines rapidly when fences are poorly maintained;
weed growth and snow cover, for instance, can short-circuit electric fences.
Furthermore, the stresses of high populations, the fall rutting season, and the
Integrated Control Methods — Mammal Profiles - I.5
presence of hunters can motivate deer to
cross these fences regardless of the pain
these barriers inflict.
Airport fence with hole
Electro-Braid is a recent Canadian
product developed for both horse
ranching and deer control, ElectroBraid is essentially copper wire that
has been braided into polyester rope.
Placed 15 to 30 centimetres apart,
seven to nine strands of this rope are
strung horizontally between fiberglass
or wooden posts. The strands are then
attached to the positive post of a
grounded fence charger producing
4,000 to 5,000 VDC. Electro-Braid is
highly visible, ensuring fewer accidental
contacts by deer.
Non-electric fencing
Non-electric fencing must be at least three metres high to provide effective
physical barriers to deer. To remain effective, this fencing should be patrolled
regularly, and cleared of accumulated snow and underbrush. Non-electric
fencing must also be durable enough to resist damage by chewing or ripping.
Galvanized-steel chain-link fencing
Galvanized-steel chain-link fencing is described in detail in Transport Canada
Airport Fencing Manual (AK-70-21). Galvanized-steel chain-link fencing is
used at most international and regional airports in Canada and is recognized
as an effective, long-term measure for deer control at airports. This fencing is
comprised of 2.4 metre-high woven steel mesh supported by well-anchored
steel posts and topped by three strands of barbed wire. The height and strength
of this fencing combine to create an effective physical barrier to deer. The
relatively high initial cost, however—approximately $43,000 per kilometre—
may prove prohibitive for some airports.
High-tensile fixed-knot fencing
High-tensile fixed-knot fencing is effective in areas where galvanized-steel
chain-link fencing disrupts Instrument Landing Systems. Sold under several
brand names, including Solidlock® and Tightlock®, this fencing is made of
I.6 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
high-tensile horizontal wires. The spacing of the wire widens toward the top of
the fence, at which deer contact is less likely.
This fencing controls a variety of wildlife, including Moose, deer, Elk, wolves,
and Coyotes. The tightly locked wires resist distortion and prevent animals
from crawling beneath or squeezing through. To be effective, these fences
should be at least 3.7 metres in height (Whitetail Deer have been known to
jump three-metre fences).
Cattle gates
Cattle gates should be installed when fence openings must be maintained for
vehicle traffic. These barriers are essentially steel grates placed in the ground
between fence posts. Cattle are discouraged from crossing as they are unable
to gain footings on the open piping that comprises these grates, which are
nonetheless strong enough to support vehicle traffic.
Visual- and auditory-deterrent techniques
Deer will respond to visual and auditory removal techniques, such as pyrotechnics
and flags, on a short-term basis. Most deer, however, adapt to sound or visual
markers and learn to ignore them if they are not associated with real danger.
Visual and auditory deterrents, therefore, are not recommended for long-term
deer control at airports.
Pyrotechnics can provide short-term effectiveness when deployed by trained
personnel. As habituation occurs quickly, however, long-term solutions should
be implemented.
In areas where hunting is permitted, deer avoid the sound of gunfire. The
effectiveness of this auditory deterrent is likely due at least in part to the
seasonal nature of hunting activities, to which deer do not have the opportunity
to habituate.
Deer-removal methods
One-way gates
One-way gates are used in conjunction with perimeter fencing to allow deer to
exit fenced areas. As they permit deer to escape on their own, these gates
reduce the dangers to deer posed by trapping and handling procedures. Gates
Integrated Control Methods — Mammal Profiles - I.7
should be installed in areas of highest deer traffic. One-way gates require
regular maintenance.
Drive Netting
Through this practice, deer are directed into 15-metre long 17.8-centimetre
rectangular nylon mesh nets that are either extended from vehicles or quickly
raised by a number of people. The deer are then blindfolded and their feet
secured prior to relocation. Although expensive and labour intensive, drive
netting is recommended when many deer must be quickly removed from
airport properties.
Drive netting is often more effective in winter, when fresh tracks assist in
locating deer.
Live trapping
The live capture of deer for relocation is accomplished using corral and wirebox traps. Corral traps are 30- to 75-metre circles of 3-metre high wire mesh
that is secured against trees. A single door, hinged at the top to open inward,
is triggered to close when deer enter.
Wire-box traps are triggered to close when deer enter a wire enclosure while
seeking bait. Deer trapped by both devices are tranquilized and relocated by
trained wildlife managers.
Live traps are particularly effective during winter and early spring when deer
are susceptible to baiting. Accordingly, the effectiveness of live traps declines
as seasonal food sources become more abundant.
As the practice requires the expertise of professional wildlife biologists, live
trapping may not be affordable at airports with limited wildlife-control budgets.
In some circumstances, it is necessary to use firearms in the removal of deer
from airports. Baits such as shelled corn and alfalfa can be used to attract deer
to locations at which the animals are shot.
Population control
Several Canadian airport managers, in co-operation with Provincial
authorities, allow legal seasonal hunting to reduce local populations of deer. In
areas where deer populations are high—or population migration from other
I.8 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
areas is a source of concern—hunting specific deer populations near airports is
an effective control method.
Height: up to 1.5 m (5 ft)
Weight (males): up to 450 kg
(1,000 lbs)
Weight (females): up to 270 kg
(600 lbs)
• pale yellowish patches on their rump.
• brown bodies with small white tails.
• In fall, males have huge spreading
antlers, which they shed in spring.
Elk are active in the morning and evening in groups of 25 or more. Bulls
congregate in groups during summer. In spring, Elk move up mountains for
food and cover, returning when snow covers their feeding areas.
Food and attractants
Elk eat grass, herbs, twigs, and bark.
Similar species
Moose, deer
Height: up to 1.8 m (6 ft)
Weight (males): up to 500 kg
(1,100 lbs)
Weight (females): up to 360 kg
(800 lbs)
• Dark brown bodies with gray legs.
Integrated Control Methods — Mammal Profiles - I.9
• Large snouts with a hairy-looking bell on their throats.
• Antlers are flat with small prongs, and are shed early in the year.
Generally active at night, Moose are often seen feeding in ponds and other wetlands.
Food and attractants
Moose feed on marsh vegetation, twigs, and bark.
Similar species
Elk and caribou
Woodland Caribou
Height: up to 1.2 m (4 ft)
Weight (males): up to 270 kg (600 lbs)
Weight (females): up to 160 kg (350 lbs)
• heavy set, dark brown bodies.
• white rumps and necks.
• large feet with round hooves; above
each hoof is a white band.
• all males and some females have semipalmated antlers with a prominent
tine over the nose.
Woodland Caribou
Woodland Caribou move up and down mountains in small groups searching
for food.
Food and attractants
Woodland Caribou feed on all plant life.
Similar species
Mule Deer
Controls (all Ungulates)
• Install appropriate perimeter fencing.
• Remove tree, shrub, and ground cover.
• Mow grass areas regularly.
I.10 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
• Conduct controlled hunting and live-trapping programs.
• Monitor seasonal herd movements and implement control programs before
hazards to aircraft develop.
• To ensure Ungulates are not attracted to airport lands, encourage minimal
destruction of suitable habitat in surrounding areas.
Length: up to approximately 2.5 m (8 ft)
Weight: up to 680 kg (1,500 lbs)
• All bears have thick coats of hair and rounded ears.
• They generally have poor eyesight, but excellent senses of smell.
• Bears walk flat-footed on all four feet, which have five toes each.
• When not too heavy, most bears are able to climb trees.
Bears are the largest living carnivores—excellent swimmers who spend much
of their time catching spawning fish. These animals eat a variety of plants and
animals, depending on availability, and will roam great distances when food is
The females pick den sites, where they give birth to young. During winter, most
species hibernate in the dens, from which they will occasionally emerge.
Black Bear
Grizzly Bear
Integrated Control Methods — Mammal Profiles - I.11
Black Bear
Weight: up to 400 kg (900 lbs)
• Either black or cinnamon brown in colour.
• They often have a white spot on their chest.
Black Bears are primarily nocturnal. They mate during July and August of
every second year; cubs are born between late December and February.
Food and attractants
Black bears feed on carrion, small animals, berries, fish, and garbage.
Similar species
Grizzly Bear (B.C., Yukon and Alberta)
• Discouraged berry crop production, beehive operations, and garbage disposal
at and near airports.
• Install adequate perimeter security fencing.
• Eliminate tree, shrub and broad-leaved plant cover—particularly plant
species that produce fruit and berries.
• Employ scare tactics such as pyrotechnics in peak periods.
• Conduct controlled hunting and live-trapping programs. Whenever possible,
bears should be relocated to distant locations. Qualified Provincial or
Federal government wildlife officers should be consulted prior to the
institution of any hunting or live-trapping programs.
Note: Having been assigned special status by the Committee on the Status of
Endangered Wildlife in Canada, Grizzly Bears may not be hunted except under
established Provincial hunting protocols.
I.12 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
All canids are dog-like in general appearance, with five toes on their front feet
and four on their back. These animals are primarily nocturnal, and often hunt
for large game in pairs or in packs. Canids are of concern as a strike hazard,
as they may be attracted to runways by the smell of rubber.
Grey Wolf
Weight: 32 to 55 kg (70 to 120 lbs)
Length: 1 to 1.2 m (43 to 48 inches)
Location: found throughout Canada in wilderness areas, forests, and tundra
• More dog-like than the Coyote.
• Usually dark grey or black in colour; Grey Wolves in the Arctic are nearly
all white.
• When running, Grey Wolves hold their fully fluffed dark-tipped tails high in
the air.
Food and attractants
Grey Wolves eat both plants and animals. When hunting large animals, such
as deer and caribou, Grey Wolves move in pairs or groups.
Similar species
Weight: 9 to 23 kg (20 to 50 lbs)
Length: 0.8 to 0.9 m (32 to 37 inches)
Location: found throughout Canada
except in the Atlantic provinces
• Coyotes are grey or reddish-grey
with rusty-coloured legs, feet and
ears, and a white throat and belly.
Integrated Control Methods — Mammal Profiles - I.13
Coyotes run with their tails hanging down between their legs and, in the evening,
call to one another using high-pitched yaps. Urban Coyote populations,
specifically in the Greater Toronto Area, are on the rise as these animals adapt to
human environments.
Food and attractants
Coyotes eat birds, vegetables, fruits, small rodents, and rabbits. In populated
areas, they will often raid vegetable gardens in search of food. The abundance
of small mammals and other prey animals, as well as the availability of shelter,
attracts Coyotes to airports.
Well-drained soils provided in gravel berms, for instance, make suitable sites
for Coyote dens. Airports located in urban or semi-urban settings also provide
habitats in which there is minimal human disturbance.
Controls (wolves and Coyotes)
• Remove accumulated gravel and sand that provide potential den sites
for Coyotes.
• Dismantle existing Coyote dens, a practice best undertaken in summer.
• Reduce the number of birds, small mammals and other sources of food
through habitat- and grass-management techniques.
• Protect cables from being chewed above and below ground through the use
of stainless-steel braid or BX-cable sheathing. Copper, bronze, and aluminum
cable sheathings are not suitable.
• Apply chemical repellent coatings to electrical cables above ground to
prevent damage from chewing.
• Install barbed-wire aprons around the base of fences to discourage digging.
• Fumigate Coyote dens. (See Section G)
• Remove persistent Coyotes through controlled hunting and trapping programs.
Similar species
Dogs and wolves
Red Fox
Weight: 5 to 7 kg (10 to 15 lbs)
Length: 0.5 to 0.6 m (22 to 25 inches)
Location: found throughout Canada in both forest and open country
I.14 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
• Roughly the size of small dogs.
• Generally reddish-yellow with darker
hair on their backs, and white bellies.
• Tails are dark, bushy and white-tipped.
• Legs and feet are black.
• Eyes are elliptical, while dogs’ eyes
are round.
Food and attractants
Red Foxes eat mice, rabbits, ground
squirrels, birds, eggs, insects, fruit, and
berries. They will eat some clay and
gravel in small quantities for the vital
minerals. Red Foxes also raid garbage
dumps in search of carrion.
Red Fox
Red Foxes often find airports attractive because of:
the abundance of small mammals and other prey;
well-drained den sites, such as those provided by gravel berms;
the absence of humans; and
shortages of suitable habitat in areas adjacent to airports.
Similar species
Grey Fox
• Destroy the dens of problem animals. Gravel and sand berms not associated
with essential roadways, runways, and taxiways should be eliminated to
reduce the number of potential den sites.
• Reduce the number of birds, small mammals, and other sources of food
through habitat- and grass-management techniques.
• Protect cables from being chewed above and below ground through the use
of stainless-steel braid or BX-cable sheathing. Copper, bronze, and aluminum
cable sheathings are not suitable.
• Apply chemical repellent coatings to electrical cables above ground to
prevent damage from chewing. Studies in the United States have shown that
quinine hydrochloride prevents foxes from gnawing on hoses and wire.
Integrated Control Methods — Mammal Profiles - I.15
• Remove foxes from airports using controlled hunting and live-trapping
programs. Note: the Grey Fox and Swift Fox are endangered species; nonlethal control methods must be employed against these species.
• Encourage minimal destruction of suitable fox habitats in areas near airports.
• Employ extermination programs using hydrogen-cyanide, sodium monofluoroacetate, or strychnine baits. Equally hazardous to humans, these chemicals
should be handled by properly trained personnel only.
Muskrat and Beavers
Weight: up to 2.2 kg (5 lbs)
Length: 0.2 to 0.25 m (8 to 11 inches)
Location: Found throughout Canada, except in northern areas of both Quebec
and Newfoundland
• Bodies are blackish brown, blending to reddish on the sides and lightcoloured bellies.
• Throats often feature a white flash.
• Eyes are small; ears are short and barely visible.
• Front feet have four clawed toes; each rear foot has five partially webbed toes.
• Tails are long, naked, black, and flattened on the sides.
Muskrats are mostly nocturnal, but they do appear at times during the
day. Although largely an aquatic species, Muskrats will move over land
between habitats.
Unlike Beavers, Muskrats build poorly-constructed shelters. First, they heap
available rushes and weeds until the pile rises above the waterline. They then
chew a cavity in the centre of the mound to create a nest chamber; each
chamber also has an underwater entrance. In constructing homes, Muskrats
often cause considerable damage by undermining streams and ditches.
As prey, Muskrats attract other mammals and raptors.
I.16 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Food and attractants
Muskrats feed on the roots and stems of water plants, corn and clover. In
summer, Muskrats eat aquatic vegetation; in winter, they eat clams and frogs.
If food is scarce, Muskrats will eat the inner walls of their den.
Similar species
Weight: up to 29 kg (65 lbs)
Length: 0.7 to 1 m (30 to 40 inches)
Location: Found throughout Canada,
except in northern areas of both Quebec
and Newfoundland
• Feet all have five toes; hind feet are
fully webbed.
• Tails are broad, flat and scaly.
• Underfur is brown and covered with
long stiff guard hairs.
• Belly and head are lighter in colour
than the rest of the body.
• Teeth are large; Beavers must gnaw
continually on wood to keep teeth at
proper length.
The largest rodent found in Canada, Beavers build dams to form artificial
ponds in areas where there is plentiful Poplar and aspen. Beavers may be seen
most often in the mornings or evenings but will work all night to build or
repair dams using twigs, mud and logs. Entrances into Beaver homes are
always underwater.
Beavers pose problems at airports through their dam-building activities, which
cause flooding and draw other species that are attracted to water. As prey,
Beavers attract larger mammals to airports. Finally, Beavers also burrow into
the banks of ditches, promoting erosion.
Integrated Control Methods — Mammal Profiles - I.17
Food and attractants
Beavers eat small twigs and the bark of aspen, poplar and birch trees.
Similar species
Mountain Beaver
Controls (Muskrat and Beaver)
• Install and maintain standard security fencing to prevent Beavers from entering
airport lands.
• Protect trees in areas around waterways by wrapping their bases with hardware
cloth, mesh wire or other metal barriers.
• Remove all cattails, trees and shrubs within 200 metres of all bodies of
water; replace them with a cover of low, sparse-growing grasses that have
small seed heads.
• Eliminate all unnecessary bodies of water. Remove aquatic vegetation from
areas that cannot be drained or filled.
• Remove problem animals using live-trapping and kill programs. Destroy all
lodges and dams after Beavers have been removed.
• Grade banks of drainage ditches and bodies of water to 4-to-1 slopes.
Rabbits and hares pose significant
indirect threats at airports, as they
attract predatory birds—such as hawks
and eagles—and such mammals as
wolves, Coyotes, and foxes.
Whitetail Jackrabbit
Differences between hares and rabbits
• Jackrabbits and hares belong to the
genus Lepus, while rabbits belong to
the genus Sylvilagus.
• Hares are larger than rabbits in
every way; hares have longer ears,
hind legs and feet than rabbits.
• The fur on the soles of hares’ feet is
much denser than that of rabbits.
• Hares have a divided upper lip.
I.18 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
• Rabbits nest in burrows or in well-defined nests in depressions, while hares
nest above ground.
• Rabbits are born naked and sightless, whereas hares are born with fur and
good vision.
• Newborn rabbits remain in their burrows, while hares are ready to move
about in a few hours.
Food and attractants
Leporids are attracted to broad-leaved plant cover and forbs, such as legumes,
clover, and alfalfa.
• Discourage Eastern Cottontail Rabbits and Snowshoe Hares by removing all
trees and shrub cover.
• Eliminate broad-leaved plant cover, such as weeds, clover, and alfalfa, to
ensure airport lands are less attractive to Whitetail Jackrabbits and
European Hares.
Snowshoe Hare (also known as the Varying Hare)
Weight: 1 to 2 kg (2 to 4 lbs)
Length: 0.3 to 0.5 m (13 to 18 inches)
Location: found in swamps, forests and thickets throughout the southern
regions of both Ontario and Quebec
• Ears are small, but feet are extremely large.
• Coats are yellow in colour; the tips of the fur turn white in winter.
Food and attractants
Snowshoe Hares eat vegetation in summer and twigs and bark in winter. They find
these foods in fencerows and shrub areas, where they also hide from predators.
Similar species
Whitetail Jackrabbit, Prairie Hare, European Hare (an introduced species), and
Eastern Cottontail
Integrated Control Methods — Mammal Profiles - I.19
Moles are virtually blind and have no external ears. These animals are found
mostly in wet, loose soil in which they dig tunnels in search of food. The
tunnels act as food traps for worms and burrowing insects. Additional tunnels,
dug one to two feet below ground, serve as their living spaces.
Moles dig tunnels with their front feet, which are usually turned outward.
They push dirt behind them and through an outlet hole to mounds on the
surface, which often interfere with grass-cutting operations.
Moles rarely leave their tunnels, and are therefore more attractive prey to
mammals than birds. When moles do venture above ground—usually to collect
grass for nests—they quickly close openings on their return.
Starnose Mole
Length: up to 20 cm including 7 cm tails
(8 inches, including three-inch tails)
• Coats are dark brown or black.
• Noses are tipped with a naked fringe
of 22 rose-coloured feelers used for
detecting food in their tunnels.
Townsend Mole
Food and attractants
Starnose Moles eat worms and insects.
Similar Species
Townsend Mole (Western Canada) and
Hairy-tail Mole (Eastern Canada)
Woodchucks, prairie dogs, ground squirrels, and tree squirrels are all members
of the squirrel family. Primarily active during the day, they have four toes on
their front feet and five toes on their back feet. The tails of squirrel species are
always covered with hair.
I.20 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Some squirrels create intricate underground burrow and tunnel systems that
feature living quarters and several entrance holes. These burrows have only
one escape route, used for quick getaways in times of immediate danger. The
entrances to these escape routes, which are kept clear of dirt, drop straight
down for two feet or more. In inclement weather, squirrels are able to remain
underground for extended periods of time.
Red Squirrel
Weight: 225 grams (0.5 lb)
Length: 20 cm plus 15 cm tail
(8 inches plus 6 inch tail)
Location: found across Canada, primarily
in areas containing evergreen or mixedhardwood trees in which they build
their nests
Red Squirrel
• Coats are predominantly red.
• Bellies are white; a black line runs
along their side in summer.
• Backs become paler in winter.
Raptors are attracted by the presence of these squirrels.
Food and attractants
Red Squirrels eat cones, seeds, nuts, and fungi. They store their food in tree
cavities and under loose bark, or bury it in the ground. They locate hidden
food not through memory, but their acute sense of smell.
Similar species
Grey Squirrel, Fox Squirrel, and Ground Squirrels
Integrated Control Methods — Mammal Profiles - I.21
Ground Squirrels
Length: 17 to 50 cm (7 to 20 inches)
Location: found in western Canada
• Coats are smoke grey, and are either mottled, speckled, or striped.
• Eyes are large.
• Ears are set low on their heads.
Each year ground squirrels burrow underground networks of tunnels that feature
many entrance holes. All dirt excavated from tunnels is carried out in their cheek
pouches. At night, all entrances are plugged with grass or sod. On cloudy and
dark days, ground squirrels are likely not to venture from their burrows.
Unlike many other small mammals, ground squirrels are true winter hibernators.
During hibernation, their body temperatures and heartbeats drop to minimum
levels; by spring, these animals will have lost nearly one-half of their body weight.
As attractive prey to many carnivorous mammals and raptors, ground squirrels
should be eliminated from airport lands.
Richardson Ground Squirrel
Location: found primarily on the Prairie plains
• Coats are drab smoke-gray washed with cinnamon buff.
• Backs may feature a variety of colours, including red, brown, and black.
• Bellies are pale or white.
• Underside of their tails are clay coloured to light brown, with white buff borders.
• Front feet have long claws, used for digging.
In spring and summer, Richardson Ground Squirrels eat green vegetation; in
fall, they eat seeds.
I.22 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Similar species
Columbian Ground Squirrels are larger with dark red feet and legs, and a
mottled gray underbelly. This species is a mountain- and Arctic-tundra dweller
that does not hibernate.
Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel
Weight: 150 to 340 grams (5 to 9 oz)
Length: 11 to 15 cm plus 6 to 12 cm tail
(4.5 to 6 inches, plus 2.5 to 5 inch tail)
Location: found primarily on the Prairie plains
• Bodies are brown and feature 13 to 15 whitish stripes on the sides and backs
Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels are a small, solitary species named for the
stripes described above. The openings of their burrows—built in short-grass
areas—are carefully concealed.
Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels eat seeds, insects and, occasionally, other
small mammals.
Similar species
Chipmunk (which is smaller and striped differently)
Weight: up to 4 kg (9 lbs)
Length: 40 to 50 cm (16 to 20 inches)
Location: found in open woods, fields, and rocky ravines across Canada—but
in greatest abundance in the east.
• Coats range in colour from yellowish to darker brown.
• Bellies are lighter.
• Noses are white tipped.
Integrated Control Methods — Mammal Profiles - I.23
Woodchucks are large, heavy-bodied
marmots with short legs. They are diurnal
and hibernate from October to February
in dens that contain many tunnels, which
they stock with green fodder.
As attractive prey to carnivorous mammals and raptors, Woodchucks should be
eliminated from airport lands. Woodchuck
burrows also can undermine pavements
and building foundations and interfere
with mowing operations.
Woodchucks eat grass, roots, tubers, and garden crops.
Similar species
Hoary Marmot and Ground Squirrels
Pocket Gophers
Pocket gophers are small to medium-sized mammals found in the four western
provinces. They have enlarged front claws, short naked tails and small ears and
eyes—all well suited to their underground environment. Although predominantly
brown in colour, some pocket gophers are also black or white—making
identification of individual species difficult.
External, fur-lined, reversible cheek pouches in which they carry food are easily
visible—when filled—as slits on either side of their mouths. Their large, yellow
incisor teeth are always visible, as their lips close behind them.
All species in this family are burrowers and are seldom seen above ground. When
pocket gophers do exit their burrows, they rarely roam more than a few feet from
the openings. They are loners and will kill any other pocket gopher entering their
burrows—except in breeding season, when males enter females’ burrows.
One pocket gopher—its den up to six feet underground—is able to construct a
maze of tunnels covering an entire acre of land. Although the openings are
immediately plugged after use, pocket-gopher burrows can be located by seeking
out fan-shaped mounds of soil.
I.24 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Pocket gophers are able to run backwards as quickly as forwards, their tails
being endowed with tactile organs that enable them to feel their way through
tunnels. Pocket gophers maintain underground stores of food for winter, but
do not hibernate.
Northern Pocket Gopher
Weight: 78 to 130 grams (2.75 to 4.5 oz)
Length: 13 to 15 cm (5 to 6 inches)
Location: found across central Canada in grassy plains and meadows
• Males are larger than females.
• Coats are grayish in colour, often with a brown wash.
• The backs of their ears have black patches.
Northern Pocket Gophers eat roots, tubers, and plants.
Similar species
Townsend Pocket Gopher and Plains Pocket Gopher
The common House Mouse arrived in
North America from Europe with early
settlers during the 1700’s. They then
spread across the continent. Mice
destroy property, endlessly gnawing
and burrowing in search of food and
safe places to live. House Mice have
tails with little hair, a yellow underbelly
and protruding eyes.
As attractive prey to most carnivorous
mammals and raptors, mice should be
eliminated from airport lands.
Integrated Control Methods — Mammal Profiles - I.25
Meadow Vole
Weight: 28 to 70 grams (1 to 2.5 oz)
Length: 8 to 13 cm including 4 to 6 cm tail
(3 to 5 inches including 1.5- to 2.5-inch tails)
Location: found in low, moist areas or high grasslands across Canada.
• Coats vary in colour from gray-brown to dark brown, and feature long, soft fur.
• Bellies are a silvery colour.
Meadow Voles nest above ground and breed throughout the year; females bear
young up to eight times annually.
As attractive prey to most carnivorous mammals and raptors, Meadow Voles
should be eliminated from airport lands.
Food and attractants
Meadow Voles eat grass, sedges, seeds, bark, and grain.
Similar species
Mountain Vole and Tundra Vole
Norway Rats arrived on ships from Europe in the mid-1700’s and spread
rapidly through much of North America.
Norway Rat
Weight: 200 to 283 grams (7 to 10 oz)
Length: 18 to 20 cm plus 20 to 25 cm tail (7 to 8 inches, plus 8 to 10 inch tail)
Location: found across Canada
• Coats are brown.
• Bellies are pale.
• Tails are long and scaly.
I.26 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Norway Rats are medium-sized rodents that produce as many as 12 litters each
year. Active control is required to prevent rapid population increases.
Norway Rats are omnivorous, eating anything they can digest. They tend to
feed in garbage dumps and live in buildings, junkyards, burrows, or in riprap
along shorelines.
Similar species
Black Rat
Other Problem Mammals
Weight: 5.5 to 16 kg (12 to 35 lbs)
Length: 45 to 70 cm (18 to 28 inches)
Location: found in southern regions
throughout Canada
• Coats are salt-and-pepper coloured.
• Tails are long and bushy with alternating rings of yellow, white, and black.
• Eyes feature a black mask of fur.
• Feet each have five toes with nonretractable claws.
Raccoons do not hibernate, dwelling year-round in hollow trees, warm rock
caverns, and buildings. In addition to creating havoc around airport buildings,
Raccoons are attractive prey to large raptors and such mammals as wolves,
foxes, and Coyotes, and should be eliminated from airport lands.
Extreme care should be exercised when handling Raccoons, as they may be
infected with a new strain of rabies that has moved north from the United States.
Integrated Control Methods — Mammal Profiles - I.27
Food and attractants
When not feeding on garbage or refuse around buildings, Raccoons hunt at
night, mostly around water. Good swimmers, Raccoons catch fish, crayfish,
frogs, and other water creatures. They raid cornfields and nests, consuming
eggs and young birds. Raccoons also eat mice and berries.
Similar species
Weight: 6 to 11 kg (13 to 25 lbs)
Length: up to 0.5 m (up to 22 inches)
Location: found from the Great Lakes
region to British Columbia in open habitat
• Coats feature a white stripe running
from their noses over the tops of
their heads.
• Ears have single black spots in front.
• Cheeks are white.
• Bellies and tails are yellow.
• Feet are black.
Badgers are strong, heavy-bodied, short-legged, short-tailed animals. When
hunting for gophers or ground squirrels, Badgers will dig holes straight into
rodent lairs faster than their prey can vacate them. When attacked by larger
animals, Badgers retreat through long tunnels to lairs deep beneath the ground.
Badger den holes interfere with airport grass-cutting operations. They also
present hazards to taxiing aircraft at small airports.
Badgers eat small rodents, rabbits, and birds.
Similar species
I.28 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Skunks have long, slender bodies and short legs. They are predominantly
nocturnal. In winter, female skunks den together during gestation.
When skunks are disturbed, they will stamp their foot and raise their tail with
the tip hanging down. If disturbances continue, skunks will raise the tips of their
tails and spray from two large musk glands at the bases of their tails. Skunks
can spray as many as six times per encounter, each to a distance of 3 metres.
Striped Skunk
Weight: 3 to 6 kg (6 to 14 lbs)
Length: 33 to 45 cm (13 to 18 inches)
Location: found throughout Canada,
except in Newfoundland and the Yukon
• Bodies are black.
• Coats feature a narrow white stripe
that runs up the middle of the forehead, broadens at the nape, divides
into a V at the shoulder and continues
to the tail, which often has a white tip.
Skunks prefer semi-open country and areas on the perimeters of human habitat.
In addition to their distasteful odour and the havoc they cause around airport
buildings, skunks are attractive prey to large raptors such as Great-Horned
Owls and such mammals as wolves, foxes, and Coyotes. All skunks should be
eliminated from airport lands.
Food and attractants
Skunks eat small mammals, eggs, carrion, insects, grubs, and garbage.
Similar species
Integrated Control Methods — Mammal Profiles - I.29
Other Small Mammals
Small mammals are attracted to airport lands by:
• the availability of food;
• the absence of humans; and
• the shortage of suitable habitat near airports.
• Ensure existing plant cover minimizes the attractants to small mammals. Use
chemical poisons to eliminate attractant plant species. Reduce or eliminate
broad-leaved plant cover, such as trees and shrubs. Mow grassy areas regularly.
Use low, sparse-growing, small seed-head grasses.
• Eliminate attractive burrow sites, such as well-drained berms preferred by
ground squirrels.
• Reduce damage to above- and below-ground electrical cables through the
use of armoured sheathing. Stainless-steel or BX-metal sheathing should be
used to protect cables from mice, pocket gophers, ground squirrels, and
other small mammals.
• Apply chemical repellent coatings to above-ground electrical cables to reduce
chewing damage caused by ground squirrels, pocket gophers, moles, and mice.
Coatings should be re-applied every two years, or sooner, as rain and sunlight
reduces effectiveness. See below for descriptions of suitable chemicals.
• Reduce the number of small rodents through poisoning programs conducted
soon after spring thaws. The arrival of new rodents to previously treated
areas may necessitate one or two additional applications. See below for
descriptions of suitable chemicals.
The following chemical repellent coatings may be applied to above-ground
electrical cables to reduce chewing damage:
Repellent coating, moderately effective against small rodents and leporids
Thiram (Skoot)
Repellent applied as a paint-based mix, moderately effective against small
rodents and leporids.
I.30 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
The following chemicals are recommended for use in poisoning programs
against small mammals and rodents:
Anticoagulant poison, moderately to highly effective against all small mammals.
Anticoagulant poison, moderately to highly effective against all small mammals.
Anticoagulant poison, moderately to highly effective against all small mammals.
Most commonly used anticoagulant poison, highly effective against all
small mammals.
Sodium monofluoro-acetate
Highly effective acute poison, toxic to all mammals and humans.
A restricted product, highly lethal to all mammals; its effectiveness is considered low due to poor bait acceptance.
Zinc phosphide
Acute poison, highly effective against all small mammals.
Aluminum phosphide
A restricted acute poison highly hazardous to humans; comes in tablet form
that releases phosphine gas; moderately effective on ground squirrels and
pocket gophers.
Hydrogen cyanide
A restricted, highly effective acute poison applied as dust and pumped into
ground-squirrel and pocket-gopher burrows.
Section J
Improving Awareness of
Wildlife-management Issues
Roles and responsibilities
Budgetary considerations
Reporting procedures
Transport Canada Wildlife-management Resources
Research papers
Improving Awareness of Wildlife-management Issues - J.1
Roles and responsibilities
Effective, comprehensive wildlife-management programs depend on the
participation and co-operation of all airport personnel. While airport field
personnel require precise operational awareness of specific measures at their
airports, relevant working knowledge of wildlife-management policies and
procedures should also extend to air-traffic service providers (ATS), airportmaintenance, planning, finance, marketing, and airline personnel. Authorities
should ensure that awareness programs are in place to properly inform all
airport workers.
The critical minute-to-minute operational communication between ATS providers
and airport field personnel should also include co-ordination in planning efforts.
Not only should ATS providers be involved in the development of wildlife-control
programs, but also they should be consulted and informed regarding any changes
to these initiatives.
Measures should be in place to ensure that airport-development practices are
obliged to carefully consider the ramifications for wildlife control. Such wildlife
hazard reviews ask key questions aimed at ensuring a safe environment.
Are new hazards being created?
Will existing hazards be compounded?
Will existing wildlife-control programs be affected?
What are the budgetary considerations for wildlife control?
Indeed, the operating costs of new wildlife-management programs—as well as
initiatives upgraded to accommodate development—should be factored into
the budgets of all construction projects.
The negotiation of airport agricultural leases should also respect the safety
concerns of wildlife-management programs. All agreements should not only ban
crops known to attract birds, but also they should allow for the immediate
removal of crops that are found to draw new problem species to airports.
J.2 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Budgetary considerations
Airport wildlife-management programs are not luxury items—they are critical
expenditures that, in the long run, save money. Wildlife dispersal activities, for
instance, ensure that taxiways and runways remain clear, ensuring airline
schedules—and revenues—are unaffected. Habitat-management efforts reduce
the numbers of hazardous birds—and the number of wildlife strikes. Fewer
aircraft airframes and engines are damaged, saving literally millions of dollars
in expensive maintenance. Finally—and in addition to the direct financial
savings enjoyed through effective wildlife management—safer skies mean a
confident fare-paying public, and demonstrate that wildlife control is, in fact,
an investment.
Airlines should be considered active partners in the development and day-today implementation of wildlife-management programs. Airlines possess unique
expertise and may be helpful in advising airport field personnel in effective
control methods.
Reporting procedures
According to estimates, only 14 to 30 percent of all bird strikes are reported.
As successful wildlife-management programs are derived in part from the
critical information acquired through strike reports, it is imperative that
the aviation industry ensures accurate and complete data are made available.
Airlines should be encouraged to notify airport ATS providers of all strikes,
near misses and unusual bird activity. Transport Canada’s Bird/Wildlife Strike
Report can be used to note aircraft-wildlife interactions that occur in this country.
While most strikes involve commercial carriers, airports should not overlook
the effects of bird strikes on general aviation, which accounts for the majority
of aircraft movements at many airports.
Improving Awareness of Wildlife-management Issues - J.3
Transport Canada Wildlife-management Resources
Transport Canada offers a wealth of resources to assist airports in developing and implementing effective wildlife-management programs. These
materials—described below—may be viewed and ordered online at
Sharing the Skies (TP 13549E)
A strategic guide to airport wildlife management—the first book to deliver a
comprehensive, system-safety approach to wildlife management in the aviation
community. The first seven chapters of the book provide background
information on problems associated with wildlife at airports; the final chapters
offer a range of solutions.
Airport Wildlife Management Bulletins (TP 8240)
Published semi-annually, Transport Canada’s wildlife management bulletins
provide the aviation community with updated information and research on
wildlife control and flight safety. The bulletins contain information concerning
bird and wildlife strikes, as well as more extensive information on topics
ranging from liability issues to wildlife-control technologies.
Pilot Brochure (TP 12422)
Designed for pilots, this brochure—Bird Avoidance—provides an overview of
the bird-hazard problem, as well as best practices for preventing bird strikes.
Bird Strike Summary Report
The annual Bird Strike Summary Report provides brief, easy-to-read statistics and
analysis on all bird- and wildlife-strike incidents reported at Canadian airports.
Bird/Wildlife Strike Report Form
These forms are used by airport personnel and pilots to report bird and mammal
strikes to Transport Canada. This critical strike information is entered into the
department’s database, analyzed annually and compiled in the Bird Strike Summary
Report. A copy of this form is attached in Appendix 3. Bird strikes may also be
reported online at http://www.tc.gc.ca/Aviation/aerodrme/birdstke/strikes/index-f.htm
J.4 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Crossed Paths
Offers a general overview of the hazards birds pose to aircraft. Also describes
a number of measures that can be taken by airport operators to minimize the
hazards, including habitat modifications and active bird-dispersal techniques.
There’s Something Out There
Designed to compliment the wildlife-control training seminar developed by
Transport Canada. This video provides specific instructions to those involved in
the management of wildlife at airports and describes techniques currently being
used in Canada, including habitat modification, falconry, and pyrotechnics.
Not In My Backyard
Designed for airport operators and municipal officials involved in establishing
waste disposal facilities. This video examines the hazards posed by landfill sites
adjacent to airports, and suggests a range of solutions.
Research papers
Evaluation of the Efficacy of Products and Techniques for Airport Bird Control
(TP 13029)
This is an LGL Limited research paper that rates the effectiveness of products
currently used in wildlife control at airports.
Evaluation of the Efficacy of Various Deer Exclusion Devices and Deterrent
Techniques for Use at Airports
This is an LGL Limited research paper that examines the range of fencing and
trapping methods available to keep deer off airfields.
Section K
Evaluating Wildlife-management
Record keeping
Daily recording forms
A preliminary checklist
Sources for record-keeping software
Evaluating Wildlife-management Programs - K.1
Record keeping
As all wildlife-management programs should be closely monitored and evaluated
on an on-going basis, maintaining complete and accurate records is critically
important. Record keeping can be conducted using traditional paper records,
but this approach limits the ability to effectively analyze data. Software is now
available which permits not only the recording and analysis of airport wildlifemanagement data, but also the efficient development of risk assessments and
management plans. Canadian suppliers of wildlife-management software are
listed at the end of this section.
At a minimum, records should include:
• wildlife species and numbers both prior to and during the implementation of
control programs; and
• details of wildlife-control methods, such as types of control and frequency
of application.
Long-term record keeping assists airport authorities by:
providing complete histories of wildlife movements and preferred habitats;
measuring the overall effectiveness of wildlife-control initiatives;
predicting the arrival times of major migrant species;
determining major wildlife trends at airports; and
estimating the costs of wildlife control programs.
Daily recording forms
Completed on-site by airport personnel directly involved in wildlife-control
activities, daily recording forms contain information on:
dates and times of animal observations,
details of animal actions,
species identification,
estimated numbers of observed animals,
locations where observations took place,
control methods implemented, and
immediate effects, if any.
K.2 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
A sample recording form—Wildlife Control Activities—is provided in Appendix 4.
This standardized form provides entries under the following headings:
Recording the dates of wildlife observations assists in identifying seasonal
trends, and allows follow-up investigations on factors such as weather patterns.
Time Start:
When used in combination with “Time Finish”, this information accurately
indicates the time devoted to particular control methods, as well as personhours required to employ them.
Numbers and Type:
Using field guides for reference, information concerning the types and numbers
of bird or mammal species should be entered as accurately as possible.
Control Method:
Recording the control methods used to counter problem species assists in the
evaluation of the effectiveness of wildlife-control programs.
Result/Effects and Comments:
Allows for concise observations of the immediate effects delivered through the
applied control method.
This should be habitat-specific, identifying such areas as short or long grass,
ponds or runways. The accurate identification of problem locations allows
airport personnel to target specific attractants.
Weather conditions should be limited to one or two descriptive terms, such as
cloudy/rain or sunny/windy.
This section identifies the airport personnel who recorded the data.
A preliminary checklist
As critical a task as it may be, developing an effective airport wildlife-control
program is also a monumental challenge. Authorities will face a number of
questions throughout the process, and perhaps the following list should be
among them. Far from exhaustive, this list may nonetheless provide important
Evaluating Wildlife-management Programs - K.3
preliminary indications about an airport’s level of preparedness. (Appendix 5
of this manual contains a detailed civil-airport, wildlife-control program
assessment system.)
If the answer to any one of these questions is “no,” then the work of preparing
an airport to counter the many hazards posed by wildlife may be far from over:
Has an airport-specific wildlife risk assessment been conducted?
Has a wildlife-management plan been developed?
If so, has the plan been implemented?
Has an on-site wildlife-control officer been appointed and assigned responsibilities?
Has a program been developed to train those involved in wildlife control?
Has a wildlife-control coordinating committee been established and provided
with well-defined responsibilities and terms of reference?
Has a memorandum of understanding been signed by all concerned
parties, including ATS providers, wildlife-control officers, and airport
operations managers?
Has a reporting procedure been developed to cover all aspects of the
wildlife-control program?
Has a land-use strategy been established regarding lands on and near
the airport?
Has an ecological survey been conducted?
Has a list of all on-site attractants been completed?
Has a list of all attractants in the surrounding area been completed?
Have control methods been researched and implemented at the airport?
Additional information regarding the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARS)
requirements and standards for wildlife management and planning at
Canadian airports is included in Appendix 1.
Sources for record-keeping software
Winfield Solutions
Phone: (613) 398-1221
Website: www.winfieldsolutions.com
E mail: [email protected]
Intercept Technologies Inc.
Phone: (905) 936-5469
E mail: [email protected]
Further Reading (Bibliography)
Appendix 1
Common Bird Zoonoses
Appendix 2
Bird/Wildlife Strike Report Form
Appendix 3
Wildlife Control Activities
Appendix 4
Wildlife Hazard Management Assessment
Appendix 5
Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARS)
Wildlife Management and Planning
Appendix 6
Appendix 1
Further Reading (Bibliography)
Appendices - 1.1
Air Canada. “Potential For Bird Strikes is Growing, An Agenda for Action.”
Flightline, Air Canada’s Flight Operations Safety Review (November 1998).
Reprinted from Air Safety Week.
Alge, Thomas L., GE Aircraft Engines. Canada. Transport Canada.
Commercial Transport Engine Bird-Ingestion Design Considerations. Minutes
of the Twenty-Fourth Meeting of Bird Strike Committee Canada, April 1996.
Richmond, B.C. Canada: Transport Canada, 1996.
Alge, Thomas L. and John T. Moehring. The Worldwide Bird Problem—Effects
on Aircraft, Status of the Problem and Control of the Hazard. Paper. Joint
Meeting of the Flight Safety Foundation 49th Annual International Seminar,
the International Federation of Airworthiness 26th International Conference
and the International Air Transport Association. Dubai, United Arab Emirates,
14 November 1996.
Ashford, Norman, Clifton A. Moore, and H.P. Martin Stanton. Airport
Operations. New York: McGraw-Hill Inc., 1997.
Aviation Week & Space Technology Aerospace Source Book. New York: The
McGraw Hill Companies, 2000.
---. The Engine Birdstrike Hazard as Influenced by the Global Environment of
Current Regional Airlines and Corporate Jet Operations. Paper. 9th Annual
European Aviation Safety Seminar (EASS) of the Flight Safety Foundation,
Amsterdam, The Netherlands: 4 March 1997.
Banilower, Howard. Bird Ingestion Into Large Turbofan Engines, Final Report.
United States. Department of Transportation. Federal Aviation Administration
Report CT-93-14. Washington, D.C.: Federal Aviation Administration, 1995.
Banfield, A.W.F. The Mammals of Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto
Press, 1974.
Banilower, H. and C. Goodall. Bird Ingestion Into Large Turbofan Engines.
United States. Department of Transportation. Federal Aviation Administration
Report CT-93/14. Technical Center, Atlantic City International Airport, New
Jersey. Washington, D.C.: Federal Aviation Administration, 1995.
Bird Strike Committee Europe. Proceedings. May 13-16, 1996. London, U.K.:
International Bird Strike Committee, 1996.
1.2 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Bird Strike Committee USA. Understanding and Reducing Hazards to Aircraft.
A presentation to Bird Strike Committee U.S.A. 1998.
Brooke, M and T. Birkhead. The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Ornithology.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.
Business Aviation Fact Book. National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).
Washington, D.C.: NBAA, 1999.
Burt, W. H., and R. P. Grossenheider. A Field Guide to the Mammals of North
America, Second Edition. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin Company, 1964.
Blokpoel, H. Bird Hazards to Aircraft. Toronto: Irwin Clark, 1976.
Cadma, M.D., P.F.J. Eagles and F.M. Helleiner. Atlas of the Breeding Birds of
Ontario. Waterloo, Ontario: University of Waterloo Press, 1987.
Canada. Transportation Safety Board of Canada. Aviation Occurrence Report:
Bird Strike to Canadian Airlines International Boeing 737-275, C-GIPW,
Calgary International Airport, Alberta, 17 June 1993, Report Number
A93W0082. Ottawa: Transportation Safety Board of Canada. 1994.
Canada. Transport Canada. Aerodrome Standards & Recommended Practices
TP 312. Ottawa: Transport Canada, 1993.
Canada. Transport Canada. Aeronautics Act, current amendment. Ottawa:
Transport Canada.
Canada. Transport Canada. A.I.P. Canada (TP2300E). Ottawa: Transport Canada.
Canada. Transport Canada. Airport Wildlife Management Bulletin TP8240
No. 1-22. Ottawa: Transport Canada, 1987-1998.
Canada. Transport Canada. Annual. Bird Strikes to Canadian Aircraft: 1999
(and previous years) Summary Report. Transport Canada, Aerodrome Safety
Branch. Ottawa: Transport Canada, 1999.
Canada. Transport Canada. Aviation Forecasts 2000 – 2013. Ottawa:
Transport Canada, June 2000.
Canada. Transport Canada. Bird Avoidance (TP12422). Ottawa: Transport Canada.
Appendices - 1.3
Canada. Transport Canada. Bird Hazard Management: Turning Awareness
into Prevention TP 13200. Transport Canada Safety & Security. Ottawa:
Transport Canada, 1995.
Canada. Transport Canada. “Land Use Adjacent to Airports.” Airport Wildlife
Management. Bulletin No. 14. Ottawa: Transport Canada, 1994.
Canada. Transport Canada. Land Use in the Vicinity of Airports TP 1247.
Ottawa: Transport Canada, 1989.
Canada. Transport Canada. Sharing the Skies TP13549E. Ottawa: Transport
Canada, 2001.
Canada. Transport Canada. Summary of Canadian Bird Strike Statistics for
1997. Ottawa: Transport Canada, 1998.
Canada. Transport Canada. System Safety Directorate. Report of a Post-occurrence
Safety Review of a Birdstrike Occurrence to B-737, CDN Flight 661, at Calgary
International Airport, June 17, 1993. Ottawa: Transport Canada, 1993.
Canada. Transport Canada. To current amendment. Canadian Aviation
Regulations, Part VI—General Operating and Flight Rules (TP12604E),
current amendment. Ottawa: Transport Canada.
Canada. Transport Canada. Transportation Development Centre. Initial
Estimates of the Costs of Bird-Aircraft Strikes to Canadian Civil Aviation.
Montreal: Transport Canada, 1997.
Carlson, Janice E. “Moves to Reduce Bird-Aircraft Accidents.” US Air Force
News. United States. United States Air Force. AMC (Air Mobility Command),
Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. February 1996.
Cleary, E. and R. Dolbeer. Wildlife Hazard Management at Airports. United
States. Department of Transportation. Federal Aviation Administration. U.S.
Department of Agriculture, Wildlife Services. Washington, D.C.: Federal
Aviation Administration/U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1999.
1.4 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Cleary, E.C., S.E. Wright and R.A. Dolbeer. Wildlife Strikes to Civil Aircraft in
the United States, 1992-1999. United States. Department of Transportation.
Federal Aviation Administration. Office of Airport Safety and Standards
(Wildlife Aircraft Strike Database, Serial Report Number 5). Washington,
D.C.: Federal Aviation Administration, 2000.
Curtis, Todd. Assessment of Bird Strike Accident Risk Using Event Sequence
Analysis. Bird Strike Committee Europe meeting no. 23. London, U.K.:
International Bird Strike Committee (IBSC), 1996.
Curtis, Todd. North American Bird Hazard Reduction Efforts Since the 707
AWACS Accident at Elmendorf AFB. Proceedings, The International Society of
Air Safety Investigators. Seattle: Boeing Commercial Airplane Group, 1997.
Current Market Outlook. Seattle: The Boeing Company, 1999.
Diamond, A.W., and F.L. Filion. The Value of Birds. International Council for
Bird Preservation (ICBP) Technical Publication No. 6 (conference proceedings).
Kingston, Ontario: ICBP, 1987.
Deacon, N. Airfield Bird Control—Applying the Principles. Proceedings and
Papers, International Bird Strike Committee (IBSC) meeting no.23, May 1996.
London, U.K.: IBSC, 1996. 319-325
Dobbyn, J. S. Atlas of the Mammals of Ontario. Don Mills: Federation of
Ontario Naturalists, 1994.
Donalds, T. “ORM for Airfield Wildlife Hazard.” The Combat Edge. 20-22
December, 1997.
Erskine, A.J. Atlas of the Breeding Birds of the Maritime Provinces. Halifax,
Nova Scotia: Nimbus Publishing Ltd. and Nova Scotia Museum, 1992.
Eschenfelder, Captain P. Wildlife Hazards to Aviation. Shannon, Ireland:
International Society of Air Safety Investigators, October 2000.
Friend, M., ed. Field Guide to Wildlife Diseases: Volume 1. General Field
Procedures and Diseases of Migratory Birds. United States Department of the
Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service Resource Publication 167. Washington,
D.C.: Department of the Interior, 1987.
Appendices - 1.5
GAMA Statistics. Washington, D.C.: General Aviation Manufacturers
Association (GAMA), 9 February 2000.
Gauthier, J., and Y. Aubry, eds. The Breeding Birds Of Quebec: Atlas of the
Breeding Birds of Southern Quebec. Canada. Environment Canada. Canadian
Wildlife Service. Association Quebecoise des Groupes D’ornithologues
(Province of Quebec Society for the Protection of Birds). Montreal:
Environment Canada, 1996.
General Aviation Statistics. United Kingdom: General Aviation Manufacturers
and Traders Association (GAMTA), September 1999.
General Electric. “Engine Successful in Bird Strike Test.” News Release.
Evendale, Ohio: General Electric, 10 July 1995.
Global Market Forecast 1999 – 2018. Blagnac, France: Airbus Industrie, 1999.
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1.6 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
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Joseph, R. J., Jr. and N.K. Johnson. A Century of Avifaunal Change In Western
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Lovell, C.D. and R.A. Dolbeer. Validation of the United States Air Force Bird
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MacKinnon, B. The Role and Value of Awareness Programs in Reducing Bird
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Appendices - 1.7
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1.8 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
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Appendices - 1.9
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1.10 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Welty, J.C. and L. Baptista. The Life Of Birds, Fourth Edition. Toronto,
Ontario: Saunders College Publishing, 1988.
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Services, Inc., 2000.
Appendix 2
Common Bird Zoonoses
Appendices - 2.1
Common Bird Zoonoses
Birds Involved
Arboviral encephalitis
Inflammation of the
brain caused by
Arboviral infection.
Many species such as
waterfowl and wild birds.
Infection by the
pathogenic fungus
Histoplasma capsulatum.
No birds directly involved
as the fungus, H.
capsulatum, does not
infect birds.
Acquired through
inhalation of spores from
fungus in soils
contaminated by bird
Source or mode
of infection
Transferred to birds from
blood-sucking insects
(such as mosquitoes and
ticks). Humans acquire it
from infected
Clinical signs of
infection in people
First symptoms: fever,
chills and headache.
More serious symptoms:
drowsiness, nausea,
coma, confusion, rigidity
and convulsions; may
cause death.
Different indications of
symptoms depending on
severity: ranging from
asymptomatic to
permanent pulmonary
calcification and
permanent lesions.
Precautions and
Prevent mosquito bites
by wearing protective
clothing; use repellents,
scare tactics and
mosquito netting and
screening; modify
Clean up bird droppings
regularly; moisten
droppings to prevent
spores from becoming
airborne; wear face
masks, disposable
coveralls, gloves, boots,
surgical caps and
goggles during clean-up.
Infection by the
bacterium Chlamydia
Found in both wild and
domesticated birds but
is more commonly found
in the latter.
Transmitted to host
through inhalation of
aerosolised particles or
by ingesting contaminated
food; also acquired
through direct contact
with infected bird tissues,
feces and secreta.
Mostly asymptomatic or
mild. Mild symptoms:
similar to flu.
Severe symptoms: fever,
chills, malaise, myalgia,
loss of appetite,
headache, cough and
chest pain.
Wear gloves to prevent
bird bites and direct
contact with feces; wear
facemasks, protective
clothing and surgical
caps; moisten and spray
a 1% solution of
household disinfectant
on the dropping to
prevent the bacteria from
becoming airborne.
Appendix 3
Bird/Wildlife Strike Report Form
Appendices - 3.1
Transport Canada Bird/Wildlife Strike Report Form.
3.2 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Transport Canada Bird/Wildlife Strike Report Form. (back)
Appendices - 3.3
U.S. Department of Transportation Bird/Wildlife Strike Report Form.
Appendix 4
Wildlife Control Activities
Appendices - 4.1
Wildlife Control Activities
Daily Log
Date: _______________________________W.C.O.: ________________________________
Time Start/Finish:
Type (Species):
Control Method:
Result/Effects and Comments:
Time Start/Finish:
Type (Species):
Control Method:
Result/Effects and Comments:
Time Start/Finish:
Type (Species):
Control Method:
Result/Effects and Comments:
Time Start/Finish:
Type (Species):
Control Method:
Result/Effects and Comments:
Time Start/Finish:
Type (Species):
Control Method:
Result/Effects and Comments:
Time Start/Finish:
Type (Species):
Control Method:
Result/Effects and Comments:
Time Start/Finish:
Type (Species):
Control Method:
Result/Effects and Comments:
Time Start/Finish:
Type (Species):
Control Method:
Result/Effects and Comments:
Sightings: (A - Airfield, V - Vicinity)
Appendix 5
Wildlife Hazard
Management Assessment
Appendices - 5.1
Bird Strike Committee Europe
Vienna, 29 August to 2 September 1994
Assessing The Implementation Of Wildlife Hazard
Management Programs At Civil Airports
John L. Seubert
This paper describes a proposed system for assessing the implementation of
wildlife hazard management programs at civil airports. Important management
functions and control techniques for controlling wildlife hazards are listed; and
habitats, land uses, and food sources are identified that are attractive to wildlife
on or in the vicinity of airports.
(Keywords: Wildlife Hazards, Civil Airports)
5.2 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Wildlife often cause hazards to aviation and many airports have developed
wildlife management programs to alleviate these hazards. For example, in
recognition of this problem at certified civil airports in the United States,
Federal Aviation Administration regulations require the development of
wildlife hazard management plans if ecological studies show that wildlife cause
safety problems (FAA 1987). The purpose of this paper is to propose a system
for assessing the implementation of existing wildlife hazard management
programs at either certified or uncertified civil airports. The only papers found
describe various methods for evaluating bird management on military
aerodromes (Lucid and Slack 1980, Rosseleer 1981, Kull 1984). This paper
concerns civil airports and employs different methods.
As the result of a review of pertinent literature, personal knowledge, and
discussions with individuals directly involved in controlling wildlife hazards to
aviation, I have identified key elements of wildlife hazard management
programs. (For the purpose of this paper, domestic animals are included under
wildlife.) Management functions and control techniques for mitigating wildlife
hazards are listed; and habitats, land uses, and food sources are identified that
are attractive to wildlife on or in the vicinity of airports. In this system, the
elements described in Tables 1-4 are assessed as to the degree that management
programs are being implemented. Assessments should be periodic, at least
twice a year, so that shortcomings and improvements can be detected (Exhibit
A). The table listings are not intended to cover every possibility – the lists can
be changed to meet differing situations.
The proposed system would provide a rapid means of assessing civil airport
programs to control wildlife hazards. This would provide benefits to airport
administration/management, government agencies responsible for aviation
safety, or other organizations that assist in programs to enhance safety, such as
aviation insurance underwriters, or consultants.
Four assessment categories are used to indicate how well airport wildlife
hazard management plans are being implemented. If an assessor finds that an
airport has initiated action to reduce a wildlife hazards according to plan and
is on schedule, the action would be considered satisfactory, and the assessment
symbol (AS) checked (") would be “S”. If no measures have been taken, the
assessment would be unsatisfactory – “U”. If implementation of a control
measure was behind schedule or only partially accomplished, the assessment
could be either needs improvement “NI”, or unsatisfactory “U”, depending on
the seriousness of the hazard. If it is apparent that certain listed techniques or
items are not applicable, the assessment would be “NA”. If an assessment
Appendices - 5.3
is either “NI” or “U”, a comment by an assessor is required (Exhibit A).
Examples of assessments requiring comments are as follows:
Management functions related to wildlife hazards on or in the vicinity of
airports (Table 1).
If permits have not been obtained (Code 1.1) for shooting or trapping
birds and/or mammals the AS would be “U”.
If animal remains found on runways are being counted to document
bird strikes, but are not being identified by species (Code 1.9) the AS
would be “NI”.
Bird control on or in the vicinity of airports (Table 2).
If bioacoustics were not being used (Code 2.4) the AS would be “U”.
If the installation of plastic or steel wires (Code 2.11) over two airport
ponds was behind schedule the AS could be “NI” or “U”, depending on
the degree of potential hazard.
If the raptors were not being trapped and relocated (Code 2.24), the AS
would be “U”.
Mammal control on or in the vicinity of airports (Table 3).
If fencing (Code 3.3) was in need of repair the AS would be “NI”.
If rodenticides (Code 3.12) were not being used to control a rodent
population attracting raptors, the AS would be “U”.
D. Airport habitat and food sources related to wildlife hazards (Table 4).
If airport litter control was inadequate (Code 4.17), the AS would be “NI”.
If vegetation used as a roost site (Code 4.29) was not being eliminated or
made unattractive, the AS would be “U”.
Examples of off-airport land uses and food sources are listed in Table 5. Wildlife
hazards to airports frequently are attributable to these attractants, but airport
managers have no authority over the use of private property. On rare occasions,
relief might be obtained if a business or a landowner has not complied with zoning,
health, or safety regulations (e.g. garbage dumps). Airport managers should initiate
programs to reduce/eliminate the hazards of off-airport wildlife attractants (e.g.,
garbage dumps, certain agricultural activities), by informing local jurisdictions and
landowners of the hazards, and suggesting ways of alleviating them (Code 1.8).
5.4 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Table 1. Management Functions Related To Wildlife Hazards On Or In The Vicinity
Of Airports
Acquiring wildlife control permits from federal, state, and local
Arranging for ecological assessments, studies, and monitoring, as
needed, to evaluate the hazard potential of wildlife attracted by
habitats, land uses, and food sources located on or in the vicinity
of airports.
Delegating authority and responsibility.
Ensuring that airport habitats are managed to reduce or eliminate
wildlife attractions.
Ensuring that airport policy prohibits the feeding of wildlife and the
exposure of food wastes.
Establishing a communication capability between wildlife control
and ATC personnel.
Evaluating wildlife hazard management programs – at least twice
a year.
Interacting with local jurisdictions and land owners about zoning,
land use, and the resolution of wildlife hazard problems in the
vicinity of airports.
Maintaining wildlife control log books that would be a daily record
of wildlife control activities, environmental changes, wildlife interactions, and animal remains identified by species.
Maintaining a system for warning pilots about wildlife hazards
(NOTAMs, ATC, BIRDTAMs, RADAR observations, etc.).
Monitoring bird concentrations (e.g. local movements).
Operating a wildlife patrol system with a trained field staff (wildlife
specialists, control officers, etc.), conducting surveillance/inspections of critical airport areas (runways, etc.), and effecting wildlife
control when needed or requested.
Reporting all aircraft wildlife interactions to aviation authorities
(e.g. bird strikes).
Supervising, implementing, and coordinating airport wildlife hazard
management programs.
Training personnel responsible for implementing airport wildlife
hazard management programs, especially the field personnel.
Appendices - 5.5
Table 2. Bird Control On Or In The Vicinity Of Airports
Disperse, Deter, Exclude, Repel
Arm waving (24/min.)
Balloons suspended above ponds
Chemical repellents
Electronically generated noise (e.g. Av-Alarm)
Tall grass/short grass
Nixalite (stainless steel needles placed on ledges)
Plastic or steel wires
Propane cannons
Pruning vegetation
Radio-controlled small aircraft
Shooting to scare
Stuffed birds, gull models, raptor decoys
Nest and egg destruction, oiling eggs
Predators (dogs, foxes, coyotes, pigs, etc.)
Trapping and relocation (e.g. raptors, geese)
5.6 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Table 3. Mammal Control On Or In The Vicinity Of Airports
Disperse, Deter, Exclude, Repel
Cattle guards
Chemical repellants sprayed on vegetation
Rodent resistant sheathing on electrical and
communication cables
Controlled hunting (e.g. deer, canines)
Den destruction (e.g. foxes, coyotes)
Fumigants/gas cartridges (woodchucks, etc.)
Kill trapping (e.g. beavers, muskrats)
Live trapping and relocation or euthanasia (dogs, etc.)
Rodenticides (mice, ground squirrels, etc.)
Shooting (woodchucks, badgers, rabbits, hares)
Tranquilizing and relocation (e.g. deer)
Table 4. Airport Habitat And Food Sources Related To Wildlife Hazards
Agricultural crops (grains, forage, legumes, etc.)
Animal remains
Aquatic vegetation
Canals, creeks
Commissaries, aircraft waste
Culverts (open)
Drainage ditches
Feeding birds and mammals (by people)
Flat roofs (gull nesting sites)
Appendices - 5.7
Table 4. (continued)
Fishing from shore (bait, fish)
Garbage dumps
Landfills containing organic matter
Low areas (puddles)
Marshes, swamps
Mud flats
Nesting sites (gulls, egrets, raptors, etc.)
Oxidation ponds (sewage)
Pastures, grassland (livestock, ungulates, rodents,
raptors, etc.)
Plowing, cultivation, haying, harvesting, etc.
(rodents, insects, worms)
Reptiles, amphibians, fish
Reservoirs, lakes, natural ponds
Retention ponds (water, de-icing fluid)
Rodents, beavers, muskrats, rabbits, hares,
raccoons, skunks, badgers, etc.
Roosting vegetation (starlings, crows, egrets, etc.)
Sand and gravel quarries, borrow pits
Seed producing vegetation
Sewage lagoons
Sewage outfalls
Sewage sludge
Structures (buildings, hangers, lights, towers, signs,
poles, etc.)
Trees, brush, shrubs, woodlots (cover, browse, etc.)
Water fountains
5.8 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Table 5. Off-Airport Land Uses And Food Sources Related To Wildlife Hazards
Agricultural crops (grains, forage, legumes, etc.)
Bird-feeding stations
Canals, creeks
Coastal commercial fish-processing plants
Drive-in theatres
Fishing from shore (bait, fish)
Flat roofs (gull nesting sites)
Garbage barges
Garbage dumps
Garbage transfer stations
Landfills containing organic waste
Livestock feedlots, piggeries
Lure/decoy sites (roosting, nesting, etc.)
Marshes, swamps
Mud flats
Nesting sites (gulls, egrets, raptors, etc.)
Orchards, berry farms
Oxidation ponds (sewage, feedlots, etc.)
Pastures, grassland (livestock, ungulates, rodents, raptors, etc.)
Picnic areas
Ploughing, cultivation, haying, harvesting (rodents, insects, worms)
Reservoirs, lakes, natural ponds
Restaurants/cafes (outdoors)
Retention ponds (water, feedlots, etc.)
Roosting vegetation (starlings, crows, egrets, etc.)
Sand and gravel quarries, borrow pits
Seed producing vegetation
Sewage lagoons
Sewage outfalls
Sewage sludge
Trees, brush, shrubs, woodlots (cover, browse, etc.)
Waterfowl refuges, wintering areas
Appendices - 5.9
The following form would be used by an assessor to record visits to airports
and comments when necessary:
Airport Assessment Summary Form
Assessors Name and Affiliation
Assessors Comments re implementation of applicable Coded Items
(Note: Use extra sheets for comments as needed.)
5.10 - Transport Canada, Safety and Security, Aerodrome Safety Branch
Federal Register (U.S.). 1987. Vol. 52. Airport Certification, Revision, and
Reorganization. Page 44292.
Kull, R.C. 1984. Staff assistance to bases for bird hazards. Pages 301-308 in Proc.
Wildlife Hazards to Aircraft Conference and Training Workshop. Sponsored by
the Federal Aviation Adm. Rep. No. DOT/FAA/AAS/84-1. 22-25 May.
Charleston, S.C.
Lucid, V.J. and R.S. Slack. 1980. Handbook on bird management and control.
Rep. No. AFESC-TR-80-1 prepared for U.S. Air Force Eng. Ser. Cent., Tyndall
Air Force Base, Fla. By Terrestrial Environ. Specialist Inc., Phoenix N.Y. 176 pp.
Rosseleer, G. 1981. A checklist for birdstrike prevention on airfields. Proc. Bird
Strike Committee Europe (BSCE). 15:237-255. 4-8 May. Brussels.
Appendix 6
Canadian Aviation Regulation (CARS)
Wildlife Management and Planning
A change in priorities related to the events of September 11 has delayed the
development of the Canadian Aviation Regulation, Wildlife Management and
Planning. The appendix containing the regulatory package will be distributed
upon completion of the development process.
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