[Tweeters] Sea-Tac Bird Strike List

Bud Anderson bud at frg.org
Sun Jan 18 19:32:34 PST 2009

Hi Tweeters,
Perhaps I can answer the questions about the Sea-Tac list as I have worked on the raptor program there over the last 7 years. Steve Osmek, the Port biologist at Sea-Tac, does use the Smithsonian for the identification of bird remains and, I think, was one of the first airport biologists to do so. The problem is that Sea-Tac is also an aircraft maintenance center and many of the jets are serviced (and cleaned) there.
Many times bird remains are collected from the jets during this process, often as "snarge", a pretty awful term meaning the smeared remains of bird including blood, feathers and tissue. I have examined many of these myself and can say that it is nearly impossible to ID a bird from so little material. These samples are then collected, frozen and sent off the Smithsonian for identification, often by using the DNA from the bird remains.
So, although the bird is collected at Sea-Tac, it does not necessarily mean that it was struck there and in fact, could have come from just about anywhere. I just spoke with Steve about the Burrowing Owl report ( I was unaware of it) and he related that it was collected as snarge and was not struck at the airport.
I hope that helps to clear things up for everyone.

Bud Anderson
Falcon Research Group
Box 248
Bow, WA 98232 USA
(360) 757-1911 (office)
(206) 962-7838 (cell)
bud at frg.org

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