Bird control being used to keep airways free of obstruction

Phil Mailloux fires a noise maker in the air at the Windsor Airport in Windsor on Friday, September 21, 2012. Mailoux is part of the team that keeps the airport free of potentially deadly pests. (TYLER BROWNBRIDGE / The Windsor Star)

To discover a vast varmint-free oasis in this city, go no further than the Windsor International Airport. It’s legal to hunt, trap, chase, haze and harass any bird or animal that shows its unwanted face within YQG’s 2,000 acres of fenced-off territory.

Trap cages containing pigeons as live lures are just one of the devices deployed to keep down the numbers of raptors, including American kestrels, red-tailed and Cooper’s hawks, snowy and great-horned owls and even peregrine falcons. Such birds are kept in cages for 24 hours and then transported elsewhere, including Holiday Beach.

Chicken wire edging and even glued-on golf tees keep birds off landing lights and other runway fixtures. Airfield directional signs are now encased in gravel piles to keep skunks from digging down and creating nesting burrows.

“We use the biology of the critter to let them know this is not a safe place to be,” said Roberts. Wildlife control trucks that can be quickly deployed come equipped with noise-making sirens and distress callers, and staff have firearms and an array of “pyrotech” devices at the ready, including bangers and screamers and screeching “wizards.”


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