Remember in 2009 when a U.S. Airways passenger jet crash-landed into the Hudson River off of midtown Manhattan? You'd definitely remember if you were on that flight.
The captain, Capt. "Sully" Sullenberger, had to down the jet soon after it slammed into a flock of Canadian geese. Both of Sully's engines failed. So he had to belly flop the plane on the river. No word on the total number of bird fatalities but fortunately all 155 crew and passengers survived.
Sure, the airline could blame Canada. But instead, airports point their fingers at the feathered terrorists (both domestic and foreign) for causing dangerous 'bird strikes', also known as 'BASH', which is short for Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard.
Birds swarm Pope Benedict's plane (they almost killed Benny!) AP Photo/Gero Breloer 2011
Bird strikes are serious business, and not just for the poor birds. A 2001 joint U.S./Canadian study found that the annual cost of bird strikes to worldwide commercial aviation is $1.28 billion (USD) in damages and flight delays. That's a lot of ruffled feathers.
Airports use a variety of methods to scare birds away from flight paths. At my local airport, YVR in Vancouver, the wildlife technicians drive off and harass between 800,000 and a million birds each year. They also use dogs and falcons to spook the birds. Here's a video that explains how they do it.
Now South Korean engineers are scaring birds with Laser Robot Scarecrow Tanks. That's right: Laser Robot Scarecrow Tanks. Man, even just thinking a phrase like that strikes terror in my heart, and I'm not even one of their targets.