Bird Strike Committee USA


Hot Topics

The FAA and USDA Wildlife Strikes to Civil Aircraft in the United States 1990-2022 is hot off the press. Click on the image to the left to access the report on the FAA website. 

Each year the report summarizes the latest statistics in wildlife strikes from the US. As usual, it is an excellent read with plenty of graphs and stats for the data geeks among us but is also approachable for people new to the industry or topic.

In 2022, 17,190 strikes were reported which is an increase from 2021 (attributed to increased air traffic). Both 139-certified and general aviation airports reported increased strikes. Waterfowl, raptors, and gulls are the species groups of birds with the most damaging strikes. One key take away from the report is that species body mass is a good predictor of relative hazard level among bird species. The annual cost of wildlife strikes to the USA civil aviation industry in 2022 was projected to be 67,848 hours of aircraft downtime and $385 million in direct and other monetary losses.

Another item to note is the Executive Summary – Part 2 that highlights the FAA’s continued multifaceted approach to mitigating wildlife strikes.

Some great stuff in the report. Excellent to see it released to the public!

Spring Migration

This is an incredible time of year. Birds manage to make it thousands of miles through challenging environments to get back to their breeding grounds. Spring migration has finally started. It’s a thrill to see thousands (sometimes hundreds of thousands) of birds fight their way north. If you have ever stood next to massive flocks of waterfowl, you know what we’re talking about. A thing to behold.

However, that’s a birder or biologist perspective. It’s a whole different feeling from an aviation safety perspective. Imagine that same flock of cranes from the cockpit of from an air traffic control tower.

That’s why as professionals in this industry, we have to be prepared (especially since climate change has effected the timing of bird movements). Lucky for us, there are all sorts of tools available. This post isn’t an endorsement for any one product, but instead an opportunity to point you down a path to click link to link to link to find information to help you manage wildlife.

Ebird is an excellent source with the ability to search by species, by region, by date, and more. The bar charts, graphs, maps, and migration forecasts are super valuable in assessing what is going on in your region and what may cross your critical airspace.
Barchart example
Species example

If you run across a species you don’t know cruising through your area, you can use all sorts of books or apps to help you identify it. One app with a bird ID wizard is Merlin (

Once you really get into migration, you can start to create maps for others to check out, such as this one from Humming Bird Central. The key is to get out there, enjoy the amazing spectacle, and get ready for the aviation risk associated with migration.


International Bird Strike Committees and Wildlife Organizations

Federal Regulations/Guidance

The Federal Aviation Administration provides both regulatory safety standards and guidance for mitigating wildlife hazards that relate to aviation safety.

FAA Advisory Circulars

FAA CertAlerts


Memorandum of Agreement Between the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to Address Aircraft-Wildlife

Research & Publications

Transportation Research Board Airport Cooperative Research Publications (ACRP)
The listed Airport Cooperative Research Publications (ACRP) contain the findings of individual research projects managed by Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) Cooperative Research Programs. More information about TRB and ACRP can be found on their home page, HERE.

Smithsonian Feather & DNA Lab

Identification of species involved in bird/aircraft strikes is an important part of the mitigation of wildlife hazards to aviation. Species identifications provide the baseline data needed to plan habitat management on airfields, allocate resources, build avoidance programs, and have even been used to assist engineers to design windscreens and engines that are more resilient to birdstrike events. 



Reporting every wildlife strike is crucial to the continuing effort of birdstrike prevention. Equally important is to assign an accurate species to each case so the overall data is complete and can be correctly interpreted. Although commercial aviation currently reports about 7,500 strikes per year, many of these cases are not associated with a specific identification of the wildlife involved. Go to the FAA Wildlife resources web page for the hotlinks to these documents listed below:

Accurate data collection is essential to wildlife hazard management programs. Be sure to rely on the Smithsonian Feather and DNA Lab for identifying species involved in strikes via Snarge and feathers collected from aircraft. For identification of wildlife seen during observations, online and printed field guides are a great resource. You might also contact: your state’s natural resources office or website, agricultural extension services, higher education programs, and local birding groups.

The below bird identification sites are recommended by our members for their ease of use. We will add others as we become aware of them. If you know of sites you would like to recommend that are not listed here, please contact us.

Bird Strike Committee USA