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Boy Scouts Go For 'Trap Goshawks Safely' Badge At LAX

Northern Goshawk (Photo by Rodrigo Garrido/Shutterstock)
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Boy Scouts from Palos Verdes Estates set up their newly built Goshawk traps at Los Angeles International Airport today; the goal is to safely capture and relocate the birds of prey.

The members of Boy Scout Troop 257 built the traps to assist LAX in relocating birds of prey, like goshawks, red-tailed hawks and barn owls, Marshall Lowe of the airport's public relations department told KNX.

The eight semi-permanent traps were placed around 10 a.m. at a restricted airfield site.

"The top 'A' frame portion of the trap contains spring-powered doors, a hinge-mounted perch trigger, nylon netting, and bait cage. The perch collapses once a bird lands on it, which causes it to safely drop inside the trap as the doors shut," Lowe said in a statement. "Once the bird is removed from the trap, it can be banded and placed into a carrier until it is dropped off at the local rehab center for relocation."

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To further discourage birds from nesting at the airport, LAX removes wildlife-attracting vegetation, and puts up fencing and noise repellants such as sound cannons and sirens.

The largest numbers of bird strikes occur in the fall when birds migrate south for the winter, so this seems an ideal time to set up the traps.

A few bird strike facts, courtesy of the Bird Strike Committee:

  • Over 250 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, 1990-2012.
  • About 4,800 bird strikes were reported by the U.S. Air Force in 2012.
  • About 10,900 bird and other wildlife strikes were reported for USA civil aircraft in 2012.
  • 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.
  • About 90% of all bird strikes in the U.S. are by species federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
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