Monday, March 26, 2012

Snarge

Yes, that's right. Snarge.

A reader sent this article to my email (talons of doom (one word) @ gmail . com) after it came up in conversation with a pilot. It ends up that raptors and airplanes encounter each other more often than I ever imagined!

Snarge is what remains after a bird-plane collision. Whenever such a collision occurs, the Humans in the plane send some of the snarge goo to the Smithsonian Institution, and they analyze it to see exactly what hit the airplane (or what exactly the plane hit?). They're hoping to use the information to decrease the amount of collisions in the future.

What's really interesting is that it's not just birds who hit planes! The Smithsonian scientists also find rabbits, fish and other prey items, presumably dropped by raptors, herons and the like.

The most damaging birds are, in this order, Turkey Vultures, Canada Geese, and White Pelicans. The most common are mourning doves and horned larks.

Who knew? I'll try to warn birds we release to keep an eye out for low-flying planes!

More detailed information can be found in this article.


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