PDX Wildlife Hazard Management is Year-Round Effort

Each season brings new feathered and furry visitors to Portland International Airport. Over the course of a year different types of animals show up at PDX and staff wildlife biologists adapt their management approach to keep PDX safe and operational and to protect native species.

During the spring and fall migration, the six-person PDX Wildlife Hazard Management team is busy with red tailed hawks, which sometimes are relocated to areas outside of the city. Summer brings great blue herons and critters that birds eat, like grasshoppers. Winter is all about managing waterfowl like Canada geese and ducks as well as gulls and starlings. They keep their eyes out for occasional visits from deer and coyotes.

The PDX team relies on non-lethal methods for managing native species. The low-light days of December and January are the best time to use a laser, which emits a green light used to scare away birds hanging around taxiways and runways. Human visitors to the airport may also notice loud sounds coming from the airfield. Pyrotechnics emit a firecracker-like "pop!", while remote-controlled, solar-powered sound cannons help haze birds away from aircraft.

Nick Atwell, Aviation Wildlife Hazard Manager, 503.415.4179

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PDX Wildlife Management