OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 30 (UPI) -- About 60 birds shot last week near a San Francisco-area airport are believed to have been killed by a contractor clearing birds away from the runways.
The dead birds included pelicans, cormorants, ducks and gulls, The Oakland Review reported. The California Department of Fish and Game is investigating the bird kill.
Lt. Sheree Christensen of Fish and Game described the number of dead birds Tuesday as "unusual" for airport clearance.
Robert Bernardo, a spokesman for the Oakland International Airport, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture has a contract to clear birds from the area. He said usually contractors use non-lethal methods.
One of the airport's runways extends into San Francisco Bay.
Birds can be a major hazard to aircraft. Early this year, a pilot made a forced landing in the Hudson River after a bird strike on takeoff from LaGuardia Airport in New York, which is also on the water, disabled his engines.