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This is the saddest way to protect planes from birds

Published December 10, 2013 4:10 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

This is what we have come to: guys at the airport gunning down snowy owls so they don't get sucked into airplane engines.

That's what's going on in New York, where the Port Authority has issued "shot-to-kill" orders against the owls, according to the local ABC affiliate. The hit on the birds was taken out after several owls collided with planes. One even flew into the engine of a jet while it sat on the tarmac.

So far, at least two owls have been shot down. However, after the story began getting attention, the Port Authority agreed to trap the birds instead.

The problem stems from increased numbers of the birds migrating to the New York area. CBS in Boston reports that the owls are also flocking to Beantown, though authorities are trapping them there.

Naturally this is a serious issue; birds flying into engines can be a serious problem, though some in New York suggested they couldn't down an airplane like a flock of geese might. Still, it's sad that the skies apparently aren't friendly enough for all of us.

— Jim Dalrymple II