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Understanding and reducing bird and other wildlife hazards to aircraft



Updated 17 Oct 2014


2014 meeting. Atlanta, GA, 11-14 August

Call for papers, Atlanta-deadline 14 April 2014

Photo & Poster contests, Atlanta-deadline 25 July 2014

2013 meeting, Milwaukee, WI, 12-15 August

FAA-USDA report “Wildlife Strikes to Civil Aircraft in USA, 1990-2013”

Training courses/ workshops

BSC-USA Bylaws

Significant strike events in USA

Report a Strike

Papers published in Human-Wildlife Conflicts Journal:
2008 meeting
2010 meeting

Bruce MacKinnon Memorial Scholarship Fund

PDF files of Technical Program, 2006 meeting

Abstracts from meetings, 1999-2007

Best Management Practices for airports

Lifetime Achievement Awards

Steering Committee


News and Information

Top Ten Bird Strike Myths

Key Issues to Reduce Strikes

Bird Strike Risk Assessment

Contact Us



Bird and other wildlife strikes to aircraft annually cause well over $700 million in damage to U.S. civil and military aviation. Furthermore, these strikes put the lives of aircraft crew members and their passengers at risk: over 250 people have been killed worldwide as a result of wildlife strikes since 1988. Within the United States there was no one forum where information or concerns dealing with this problem could be addressed. Bird Strike Committee USA was formed in 1991 to facilitate the exchange of information, promote the collection and analysis of accurate wildlife strike data, promote the development of new technologies for reducing wildlife hazards, promote professionalism in wildlife management programs on airports through training and advocacy of high standards of conduct for airport biologists and bird patrol personnel, and be a liaison to similar organizations in other countries.

Bird Strike Committee USA is a volunteer organization directed by a 24-person steering committee consisting of 2-3 members each from the Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, aerospace industry, airports, airlines, and private-sector services.


The organization meets annually in conjunction with the Bird Strike Association of Canada.

·   The 2008 meeting was 18-21 August in Orlando, Florida USA.

·   The 2009 meeting was 14-17 September in Victoria, BC Canada

·   The 2010 meeting was 21-24 June in Salt Lake City, Utah USA.

·   The 2011 meeting was 12-15 September in Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada.

·   The 2012 meeting was 13-16 August in Memphis, Tennessee USA.

·   The 2013 meeting was 12-16 August in Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA.

·   The 2014 meeting was 11-14 August in Atlanta, Georgia USA.

·   The 2015 meeting will be hosted by the Bird Strike Association of Canada in Montreal, tentatively in September.


There typically are four parts to a Bird Strike Committee USA meeting over 3 ½ days. Part 1 is practical classroom and field training sessions on wildlife control at airports which cover both civil and military aviation. Part 2 consists of the presentation of technical papers and posters. Part 3 is exhibits and demonstrations with vendors. Part 4 is a field trip which generally covers the host airport or a wildlife management area to observe management programs and habitat issues related to wildlife and aviation safety.


· wildlife strike reporting/statistics in relation to safety management systems
· bird management and control techniques
· research on new technologies to reduce wildlife hazards
· training in wildlife management on airports
· military concerns of wildlife hazards
· aircraft engines/components performance and standards related to wildlife hazards
· policies/ standards for airports and aircraft operations related to wildlife hazards
· land use and environmental issues concerning airports
· avian migration, behavior and sensory capabilities related to aviation
· remote sensing/modeling to detect and predict bird numbers and movements


Attendees of the annual meetings receive abstracts of the technical papers presented and a list of all attendees and addresses. Click here to locate abstracts from past meetings.  PDF files of many of the presentations at the 2006 meeting are available by clicking here.  Technical presentations from the 2008 and 2010 meeting have been published in the science journal, Human-Wildlife Conflicts (Third issues of 2009 and 2011 Volumes).  Click here for presentations at the 2012 meeting in Memphis.


Participation in the annual meetings is open to any person interested in reducing wildlife hazards to aviation and in wildlife and environmental management at airports. As examples, people from the following organizations have attended recent meetings:

· Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association
· Aircraft and Aircraft Engine Manufacturers
· Air Line Pilots Association
· American Association of Airport Executives
  Airports Council International-NA
· Airport management and operations personnel
· Air Transport Association
· Engineering/Environmental Consulting Firms
· FAA Regional Airport Certification Personnel
· Flight Safety Foundation
  Humane Society of the United States
· National Bird Strike Committees from over 20 countries
· International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
· National Transportation Safety Board
  State Wildlife Agencies
· University and Private Research Facilities
· US Department of Agriculture, Wildlife Services
· US Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service
· US Department of Defense (Air Force, Navy, Army)
· Wildlife Management Companies


·         Over 255 people have been killed world-wide as a result of bird strikes since 1988.

·         Bird and other wildlife strikes cost USA civil aviation over $700 million/year, 1990-2013.

·         About 4,300 bird strikes were reported by the U.S. Air Force in 2013.

·         About 11,300 bird and other wildlife strikes were reported for USA civil aircraft in 2013.

·         From 1990-2013, USA airlines reported 49 incidents in which pilots had to dump fuel to lighten load during a precautionary or emergency landing after striking birds on takeoff or climb.  An average of 13,000 gallons of jet fuel was released in each of these dumps. 

·         Waterfowl (30%), gulls (22%), raptors (20%), and pigeons/doves (7%) represented 79% of the reported bird strikes causing damage to USA civil aircraft, 1990-2012.

·         Over 1,070 civil aircraft collisions with deer and 440 collisions with coyotes were reported in the USA, 1990-2013.

·         In 1890, about 60 European starlings were released in Central Park, New York City.  Starlings are now the second most abundant bird in North America with a late-summer population of over 150 million birds.  Starlings are "feathered bullets", having a body density 27% higher than herring gulls.

·         The North American non-migratory Canada goose population increased about 4 fold from 1 million birds in 1990 to over 3.5 million in 2013.  About 1,470 Canada geese strikes with civil aircraft have been reported in USA, 1990-2013; 42% of these strike events involved multiple birds.

·         A 12-lb Canada goose struck by a150-mph aircraft at lift-off generates the kinetic energy of a 1,000-lb weight dropped from a height of 10 feet.

·         The North American population of greater snow geese increased from about 90,000 birds in 1970 to over 1,000,000 birds in 2012.

·         The nesting population of bald eagles in the contiguous USA increased from fewer than 400 pairs in 1970 (2 years before DDT and similar chlorinated-hydrocarbon insecticides were banned) to over 14,000 pairs in 2013.  From 1990-2013, 175 bald eagle strikes with civil aircraft were reported in USA.  Mean body mass of bald eagles = 9.1 lbs (male); 11.8 lbs (female).

·         The Great Lakes cormorant population increased from only about 200 nesting adults in 1970 to over 200,000 nesting adults in 2013, a 1,000-fold increase.

·         The North American white pelican populations increased 6-fold from 1966-2012.

·         Several species of gulls have adapted to urban environments. At least 15,000 gulls were counted nesting on roofs in USA cities on the Great Lakes during a survey in 1994.

·         About 90% of all bird strikes in the U.S. are by species federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

·         From 1990-2013, 503 different species of birds and 42 species of terrestrial mammals were involved in strikes with civil aircraft in USA that were reported to the FAA.

Meeting Information


Useful Links

For further information contact:

John Ostrom, Chair, BSC-USA
Metropolitan Airports Commission
Minneapolis-St. Paul Int’l Airport
St. Paul, MN 55111-3010
612-726-5780; 612-726-5074 (fax)