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Birds... and planes

March 7, 2009 |  4:14 pm


Worried about whether birds could down your airplane?

Nearly two months after a US Airways jetliner ditched in New York's Hudson River after an encounter with Canadian geese, California Sen. Dave Cox (R-Fair Oaks) has introduced a bill giving airports a green light to kill birds that pose a hazard.

Animal rights groups are taking aim at his proposal. Audubon California wants it to exempt endangered species and explicitly make the use of lethal force a last resort. And some activists don't want killing allowed at all.

"More people die per year from being struck by lightning than by birds interfering with planes," said Pamelyn Ferdin, co-president of the Animal Defense League. "Why don't we outlaw airplanes that kill geese? Weren't the geese here first?"  Read more from our Times reporters in Sacramento.

--Margot Roosevelt

Photo: The jet that ditched in the Hudson river in January after hitting birds. Credit: Steven Day/AP