The Red-wing Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) is the most abundant bird in North America today. It is often joined in roosting assemblages by Common Grackles (Quiscalus quiscula), Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater), and Starling Sturnus vulgaris). The combined populations of these 4 species exceed 500 million birds during the winter roosting season and increase to over 1 billion birds after the young are fledged in summer. In spite of their abundance, they are involved in only about 6% of the bird strikes to aircraft, less than 1/7 the number of strikes caused by the less abundant gulls (Larus spp.). However, the rather infrequent collisions between aircraft and blackbirds or Starlings can be catastrophic, even though these species have less than 10% the weight of most gull species. Because blackbirds and Starlings are prolific and well adapated to modern land-use practices, attempts to eradicate populations at airports through killing will provide only temporary relief. The key to reducing blackbird and Starling activity in the vicinity of airports lies in the elimination of preferred roost sites through habitat modifications and in the reduction of food supplies through changes in agriculture. (Author)

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Paper from the Proceeding of the Conference and Training Workshop on Wildlife Hazards to Aircraft, Held at Charleston, South Carolina on 22-25 May 1984, pp 149-159.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Peer Consultants

    1160 Rockville Pike
    Rockville, MD  United States  20852

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591
  • Authors:
    • Dolbeer, R A
  • Publication Date: 1984-5

Media Info

  • Pagination: 11 p.

Subject/Index Terms

  • TRT Terms: Aircraft; Airports; Birds; Countermeasures; Crashes; Prevention
  • Subject Areas: Aviation; Design; Environment; Highways; Planning and Forecasting; Safety and Human Factors; Security and Emergencies; Terminals and Facilities; Vehicles and Equipment; I21: Planning of Transport Infrastructure;

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00394868
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT-FAA-AAS-84-1, AD-A148 330
  • Contract Numbers: DTFA01-83-R-11287
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Oct 31 1985 12:00AM