by Alex A. Kecskes
Bird proofing government buildings, parks, military bases, and aircraft hangars has been a problem for quite some time.
At the dawn of aviation, the Wright brothers recorded a bird strike that interfered with their early flights. More recently, Hanscom Field in Bedford Massachusetts had roughly 5,000 starlings roosting in their hangar. Clinton Air Force Base in Oklahoma had six hangars with 200-300 house sparrows in each hangar. Lockbourne Air Base in Ohio had 2,000 to 3,000 house sparrows between three hangars with an additional 2,000-3,000 starlings. Wright-Patterson Field had pigeons in their propeller testing area. Selfridge Air Force Base in Michigan suffered from a sparrow invasion. The list goes on and on. Pest birds, it seems, love to hang out in hangers.
Birds entering various openings within aircraft hangars, roost in the I-beams high inside these structures. The Air Force says that the accumulation of droppings, feathers, and other matter poses a big problem. Bird droppings, accumulating on the aluminum skin of airplanes, can corrode the metal and eventually weaken the structure itself. Another concern is that if droppings, feathers, and other matter get into the engines, critically important parts must be cleaned as they could stall an engine during flight. Cleaning an aircraft engine is very expensive and time consuming.