A flock of talon-ted contractors


The Air Force is looking to employ some live birds–falcons to be precise– to protect its metal ones, the Washington Post reported today. The enemy: other birds.

Apparently, small birds, like songbirds, pigeons or Magpies, fly in the vicinity of U.S. military aircraft at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, posing a hazard that they’ll be ingested in the planes’ engines and disable them. The Post reports 125 “bird strikes” in the last year, up from 78 the year before. So far, other traditional means of bird control, such as firing shotguns, have not worked.

If the military awards the contract, it won’t be the first time that a government agency has hired animals to help it solve a problem. In August, we reported about a herd of goats that the National Park Service employed to help with a poison ivy problem at a New York park.


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