The Associated Press today is reporting that reports of airplanes hitting birds and other
wildlife surged last year, “including serious accidents such as birds crashing through cockpits and crippling engines in flight.” The report focused on bird migration routes, including one from Minnesota to Texas.
It’s unclear, however, whether the increasing number means there are more birds around airports, or just greater attention to reporting bird strikes, especially after the US Airways Flight 1549 “miracle on the Hudson,” which occurred a year ago Friday.
The statistics for Minnesota also show a growing threat, according to the data. Through July 2009, the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport recorded 50 bird strikes. From 1990, it’s averaged 32 bird strike reports a year.
The airport with the second-most bird-strike reports — Rochester — did not show much difference from previous years (8 strikes were reported). Neither did Duluth, which had only one report of a bird strike.