Éditoriaux Défense Sécurité Terrorisme Zones de conflits Logistique Livres de référence Liens
Terre Air Mer Gendarmerie Renseignement Infoguerre Cyber Recherche

Keeping an Eye on Ospreys

Keeping an Eye on Ospreys

Langley Air Force Base, Virginia -- April 11, 2001 (ACCNS) -- Last July, a U.S. Agriculture Department wildlife biologist conducting a survey as part of Langley's Bird-Aircraft Strike Hazard monitoring program radioed the air-traffic-control tower to warn about bird activity over the runway.

An osprey flies to his nest on top of a building at Langley Air Force Base, Va. Government biologists are working with the Air Force to prevent collisions between birds and Langley's F-15 fighters.

Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jack Braden

"I was watching an F-15. As it reached the midfield, I heard a tremendous crash and saw flames erupt from the right engine," said Steve Kendrot, wildlife biologist.

The plane slowly climbed, circled around and landed with no other problems. Kendrot suspected the plane had hit a bird.

After an inspection, the extent of the damage became apparent. The engine smelled like charred meat. When a crew chief opened one of the engine panels, broken fan blades clattered to the ground and a broken fuel line leaked onto the pavement. A single talon from an osprey was found wedged behind a torn panel of sheet metal near the engine's intake. Damage estimates have exceeded $750,000.

Today, ospreys regularly forage in the nearby Back River, fly through the approach and departure zones of the runway and frequently land on the airfield to consume their catch. As many as five ospreys have been spotted over the runway at once. At least eight pairs nest on buildings and utility poles on base and navigational aids in the Back River, which surrounds one end of Langley's runway.

"It's a challenging situation," said Kendrot. "We want to protect the pilots and aircraft as well as the birds."

The osprey is protected by federal and state migratory bird regulations. The Agriculture Department's Wildlife Services is contracted by the base to solve this and other wildlife-related problems.

Typically, ospreys show little reaction to standard bird-dispersal tools like noise and scarecrows, so wildlife officials are considering innovative non-lethal ways, such as remote-controlled model airplanes to chase soaring raptors.

Langley has acquired all the permits needed to implement an integrated osprey-management plan that combines experimental techniques with nest and chick relocation, harassment with pyrotechnics, habitat alteration and adjustment of Air Force flight patterns.

"We believe that protecting aviators from the potentially tragic outcome of an osprey strike while contributing to the conservation of the species is a win-win situation," said Lt. Col. Jerry Gandy, chief of safety for the 1st Fighter Wing here.

Biologists hope to entice the birds away from high-threat areas around the base by removing nests and making traditional nesting sites unattractive while building platforms at Plum Tree National Wildlife Refuge, which is on the river five miles away.

According to officials from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it's out of harm's way, but currently has few suitable osprey nest sites. The base hopes to change that.

The College of William and Mary is participating in an effort to expand osprey populations which should help if ospreys do hatch young on base. People from the school capture 45-day-old chicks from nests and release them in suitable habitats in Pennsylvania and Ohio. The chicks return there to breed rather than their hatch sites.

Efforts to protect both osprey and aircraft from harm will require the same level of persistence demonstrated by the bird itself, Kendrot said. A successful resolution to the problem will require the combined efforts of many people and agencies, including raptor advocates, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Coast Guard, the Agriculture Department's Wildlife Services and the Air Force.


Derniers articles

Verdun 2016 : La légende de la « tranchée des baïonnettes »
Eyes in the Dark: Navy Dive Helmet Display Emerges as Game-Changer
OIR Official: Captured Info Describes ISIL Operations in Manbij
Cyber, Space, Middle East Join Nuclear Triad Topics at Deterrence Meeting
Carter Opens Second DoD Innovation Hub in Boston
Triomphe de St-Cyr : le Vietnam sur les rangs
Dwight D. Eisenhower Conducts First OIR Missions from Arabian Gulf
L’amiral Prazuck prend la manœuvre de la Marine
Airmen Practice Rescuing Downed Pilots in Pacific Thunder 16-2
On ne lutte pas contre les moustiques avec une Kalachnikov...
Enemy Mine: Underwater Drones Hunt Buried Targets, Save Lives
Daesh Publications Are Translated Into Eleven Languages
Opération Chammal : 10 000 heures de vol en opération pour les Mirage 2000 basés en Jordanie
Le Drian : Daech : une réponse à plusieurs niveaux
Carter: Defense Ministers Agree on Next Steps in Counter-ISIL Fight
Carter Convenes Counter-ISIL Coalition Meeting at Andrews
Carter Welcomes France’s Increased Counter-ISIL Support
100-Plus Aircraft Fly in for Exercise Red Flag 16-3
Growlers Soar With B-1s Around Ellsworth AFB
A-10s Deploy to Slovakia for Cross-Border Training
We Don’t Fight Against Mosquitoes With a Kalashnikov
Bug-Hunting Computers to Compete in DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge
Chiefs of US and Chinese Navies Agree on Need for Cooperation
DoD Cyber Strategy Defines How Officials Discern Cyber Incidents from Armed Attacks
Vice Adm. Tighe Takes Charge of Information Warfare, Naval Intelligence
Truman Strike Group Completes Eight-Month Deployment
KC-46 Completes Milestone by Refueling Fighter Jet, Cargo Plane
Air Dominance and the Critical Role of Fifth Generation Fighters
Une nation est une âme
The Challenges of Ungoverned Spaces
Carter Salutes Iraqi Forces, Announces 560 U.S. Troops to Deploy to Iraq
Obama: U.S. Commitment to European Security is Unwavering in Pivotal Time for NATO
International Court to Decide Sovereignty Issue in South China Sea
La SPA 75 est centenaire !
U.S. to Deploy THAAD Missile Battery to South Korea
Maintien en condition des matériels : reprendre l’initiative
La veste « léopard », premier uniforme militaire de camouflage
Océan Indien 2016 : Opérations & Coopération
Truman Transits Strait of Gibraltar
Navy Unveils National Museum of the American Sailor
New Navy, Old Tar
Marcel Dassault parrain de la nouvelle promotion d’officiers de l’École de l’Air
RIMPAC 2016 : Ravitaillement à la mer pour le Prairial avant l’arrivée à Hawaii
Bataille de la Somme, l’oubliée
U.S., Iceland Sign Security Cooperation Agreement
Cléopatra : la frégate Jean Bart entre dans l’histoire du BPC Gamal Abdel Nasser
Surveiller l’espace maritime français aussi par satellite
America's Navy-Marine Corps Team Fuse for RIMPAC 2016
Stratégie France : Plaidoyer pour une véritable coopération franco-allemande
La lumière du Droit rayonne au bout du chemin

Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).