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Harassment can be an effective tool, said Dolbeer, the bird strike expert. A last resort involves selective killing.
The birds most often struck were gulls, followed by mourning doves.
A look at other airports in the FAA report revealed that Chicago O'Hare, Detroit Metro, Minneapolis St. Paul and New York's John F. Kennedy all saw year over year declines in bird strikes in 2008. The agency had been under pressure to disclose such numbers since January, when a pilot landed a US Airways jet in the Hudson River after bird strikes knocked out both of the plane's engines. All 155 people on board survived.
To keep birds away, Cleveland airport officials have installed netting, replaced berry trees, planted new grass and removed standing water. The techniques are working, Mayo said.
animal collisions with planes have risen sharply
Nonbird strikes included coyotes, skunks, woodchucks, raccoons and foxes.
Burke Lakefront Airport near downtown Cleveland and Akron Canton Airport also showed increases in bird strikes over the last 19 years, though not as pronounced as at Hopkins.
Another possibility is that certain species common in Northeast Ohio, such as the Canada goose and red tailed hawk, are growing in numbers, Dolbeer noted.
The highest reported strike was at 12,000 feet.
The number of reported collisions between airplanes and birds or other wildlife more than doubled over the last three years at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
Richard Dolbeer, a Huron based Men Canada Goose Snow Mantra Parka Grey Nz expert on bird strikes, believes the increases at Burke and Hopkins can be largely attributed to better reporting. Department of Agriculture wildlife biologists who monitor bird populations at both city run airports.
They are "doing a very meticulous job documenting all of the strikes," said Dolbeer, an ornithologist who retired last year from the USDA's Wildlife Research Center in Sandusky.
Data released for the first time Friday also showed such strikes occurred 15 times more often at Hopkins in 2008 than in 1990, though only 13 of the 812 collisions were designated as substantial and none caused crashes.
Occasionally, more extreme measures must be taken. Several months ago, bald eagles were spotted at Hopkins. They had built a nest in the nearby Rocky River Reservation.
Combined data for Hopkins, Burke and Akron Canton showed that:
"It can be a very useful part of a mitigating program," Dolbeer said. "When you selectively shoot a few birds now and then, the other birds understand this is a dangerous place to be."
Daytime strikes occurred nearly four times as often as nighttime strikes.
Half the strikes occurred while the plane was on the ground.
But if the eagles return to the airfield, Hopkins has received the permit necessary to harass the eagles by shooing them away with strobe lights, firecrackers and sirens.
Takeoffs and landings at Hopkins have dropped, from 332,000 in 2000 to 235,975 in 2008.
The FAA's data included more than 89,000 incidents since 1990, including 28 cases since 2000 in which a collision was severe enough that the aircraft was considered destroyed, the Associated Press reported. airports.
Even so, Jackie Mayo, spokeswoman for the Cleveland Airport System, said officials have taken many steps in recent years to keep birds away from the airports. She said the spike in strikes between 2007 and 2008 results from more stringent reporting requirements. Pilots, she noted, are being told to notify wildlife staff of even the slightest smear on a plane.