ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Birds are returning to Alaska by the millions and a non-stop effort is now underway to keep them from getting close to aircraft.
A team from USDA Wildlife Services will tell you it’s a constant challenge -- trying to outsmart flocks of geese and seagulls.
They’re now working around-the-clock, patrolling the major airports in Alaska, harassing birds and other wildlife that might get in the way.
“We’ve harassed probably 1,200 animals so far this year and 500 were last week,” said Quinton Fiscus, the USDA wildlife specialist responsible for Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, “they’ve gotten the picture that they’re not supposed to be around here.”
Pyrotechnics called “bangers” and “screamers” shot from a pistol appear to be the most effective deterrent.
Fiscus also frequently repositions a decoy coyote, meant to fool birds into thinking a predator is nearby.
But he says he cannot let his guard down.