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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Assessing Bird-Aircraft Strike Hazard (BASH) Risk Associated with Breeding and Migrating Osprey (Abstract only)

  • Author(s): Dorr, Brian S.
  • Washburn, Brian E.
  • Olexa, Thomas J.
  • et al.

The osprey (Pandion haliaetus) is one of the most widely distributed and well studied bird species of the Northern Hemisphere; however, little is known about their potential impacts to military flight operations. A Department of Defense Legacy Natural Resources Program-funded multi-agency research project examining the strike-risk posed by breeding and migrating osprey was initiated in 2006. During the 2006 nesting season, 6 adult osprey were live-captured, fitted with GPS-capable satellite transmitters, and released from selected nest locations near Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, in the Mid-Atlantic Chesapeake Bay Region. We monitored satellite-tagged osprey movement patterns of fitted osprey by tracking them during the breeding, migration, and wintering periods via the ARGOS satellite network. Movement information collected from breeding osprey was cross- referenced to Langley Air Force Base flying operations to assess the risk breeding osprey pose to military aircraft near the airfield. In addition, migratory patterns of osprey were evaluated to assess the risk migrating osprey to military aircraft operations along the Eastern seaboard. Incorporation and integration of osprey movement information (e.g., timing, travel routes) into military flight mission planning systems will increase pilot awareness of potential osprey-aircraft strikes during critical time periods and will allow for military flight operations to occur at times and locations that minimize the risk of osprey-aircraft collisions.

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