Faculty Publications

Title

Dispersal of Seagulls in an Airdrome Environment

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

June 1975

Abstract

Glaucous-winged Gulls (Larus Glaucescens) provide an acute bird/ aircraft hazard at Shemya Air Force Base, Shemya Island, Alaska. The problem was evaluated by making survey counts of aggregations of gulls on the island. At Ellington Air Force Base, TX, Ring-billed Gulls (Larus delawarensis) often aggregate in large groups on or near the active runways and are hazardous to aircraft. Recorded gull calls played to aggregations of Glaucous-winged Gulls at Shemya AFB showed that the Distress call resulted in fewer birds remaining following playback than any other call. Distress calls played back to aggregations of Ring-billed Gulls near Ellington AFB were also effective in dispersal. The effectiveness of sound and artificial model gulls was evaluated in a breeding colony and a non-breeding colony. A number of bird species other than those specifically studied should be considered small-potential hazards to aircraft at the bases.

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