Owls a concern for Logan Airport officials

Feb. 2, 2009 at 1:04 PM
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BOSTON, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Officials at Boston's Logan International Airport say a growing number of snowy owls have begun to treat the transport site as their home.

Airport Director of Aviation Operations David Ishihara said the owls, along with more than 50 other types of birds in the area, are slowly turning Logan Airport into a "wildlife habitat," The Boston Globe said Monday.

"We don't want Logan to become a wildlife habitat," Ishihara said. "We know we can't eliminate the wildlife here, but our goal is to manage it."

The birds, which live and hunt at the airport, are a threat to all area aircraft due to potential midair collisions.

The airport has been using owl specialist Norm Smith since 1981 to remove owls from its property to fight the rising wildlife population numbers.

Smith told the Globe that despite being released far away from Logan Airport, a percentage of the owls tend to find their way back to their former airport home.

"Occasionally, they'll fly right back to Logan after I release them, but most seem to go on their way," Smith said. "We've had birds return to the airport the next season, or five or 13 years after we tagged them."

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