The slaughter was triggered by the accident eight years ago that forced hero pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger to land in the Hudson River after his plane engines sucked up several geese.
According to statistics compiled by The Associated Press, after the killings, bird strikes by planes taking off or landing at New York’s LaGuardia and New Jersey’s Newark airports actually increased. The airports tallied 158 strikes per year in the five years before the Hudson River accident and an average of 299 per year in the six years after it — even though tens of thousands of gulls, starlings, geese and other birds were killed after the emergency river landing. At Kennedy Airport, which routinely killed birds before Sullenberger’s crash because it’s on a major migration route, the number of reported strikes has also increased — though the number of birds killed has dropped slightly.
The killings — and statistics — are disheartening to bird lovers. “There has to be a long-term solution that doesn’t rely so extensively on killing birds and also keeps us safe in the sky,” said Jeffrey Kramer, of GooseWatch NYC.
There has to be a better way…. but it is the habit of our culture to kill first.