The feather identification lab at the Smithsonian Institution, Museum
of Natural History is working
closely with the FAA and USDA, Wildlife Services to improve the
understanding and prevention of bird strike hazards. Below are guidelines
for collecting and submitting feather remains for species identification.
These suggestions will improve ID accuracy, reduce turn around time, and
enhance the usefulness of the FAA Wildlife Strike Database.
Collect and submit remains as soon as possible.
Provide complete report information regarding the incident
Fill out form FAA 5200-7
Mail report with feather material
Provide your contact information if you wish to be informed of ID
Collect as much material as possible. (Please, do not send
Pluck/pick a variety of feathers from the wings, tail and body
Include any feathers with distinct colors or patterns
Include any downy "fluff" you might find
Include beaks, feet, talons if possible
Even if only a small amount of material is available…send all of it
Do NOT cut off feathers. This removes the downy region we may need to aid
Do NOT use any sticky substance such as tape or post-it notes to attach
Place material in clean plastic/zip-lock bags
Mail the report and material to Dr. Carla Dove at the
Smithsonian. She will forward the report with identified species to Ed
Cleary, FAA, Office of Airport Safety and Standards.
Institution, NMNHConstitution Ave. NW
E-610, MRC 116
Washington, DC 20560
Attn: Carla Dove
The ID turn around time is usually 24 hours from receipt. The reports
and ID information are then sent to the USDA, NWRC in Sandusky,
Ohio to be entered into the National
Database. If you wish to be notified of the identification, please provide
us with your contact information (email, phone, etc.) on the report.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.