Human activity is indirectly adding large birds to skies near airports-

Don’t Blame Mother Nature for the Crash. The editors. 2 articles. New York Times

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

5 Responses to Don’t Blame Mother Nature for the airplane crash

  1. Salle says:

    I heard and read a few accounts that ended up blaming the birds for being in the way. What a convoluted perspective. Even in an NPR report, where they interviewed someone who analyzes the bird remains that are pulled from the engine at the Smithsonian. That person made it sound like the birds shouldn’t have been in the air near the airport. Ever been to Laguardia? It’s right across the river from NYC and the only open spaces anywhere near that, except Central Park, is either paved over or dusty dirt parking/barren lots. And the river itself which is plagued with heavy watercraft traffic. And the Meadowlands, to the south, are marshy, highly polluted and not very suitable for anything to inhabit.

  2. Jay says:

    Damn those pesky flying rats…how dare they take to the air and get in the way of our flying machines.

  3. I want to reiterate that the point of the New York Times article wasn’t about the pollution of the area or birds in general, but that suburban sprawl creates habitat for certain large birds that they get sucked into the jet engines — gulls, crows, Canada geese.

    The sprawl does that increasingly. Bird collisions are up.

    In the meantime, sprawl decimates birds like meadowlarks that are not a flight hazard.

  4. cobra says:

    Birds in the way or not, from what I’ve read the pilot did a remarkable job of bringing the plane down. It could of been a real disaster, we should all be thankful.

  5. Salle says:

    Indeed, the pilot(s) did a spectacular job given the few open places to put a fast moving and large object within a major metropolis. I don’t recall ever hearing about a plane crash of any kind where everyone survived and without critical injuries at that. I heard that the pilot is also a glider pilot. At least he was mentally prepared for it as soon as contact with the birds took place.


January 2009


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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