BSAC Seminar 5: Advances in Technology for Airport Wildlife Management

Date(s) - 20/05/2021
12 h 00 min - 13 h 00 min


Bird Strike Canada Seminar 5: Advances in Technology for Airport Wildlife Management

This event was recorded on 20 May 2021.

**Event attendees: seminar recording are password protected. Password provided upon registration. Or, you can purchase access to this and all other recordings via this form.

Using a Sonic Net to displace birds from target areas: applications to reduce bird-strike

Presenter: Dr. John Swaddle, William and Mary University

Birds are inherently vocal animals. They use calls and sounds to communicate about social interactions, mating, finding food, and avoiding predators. A Sonic Net produces a sound that masks all of this important information for birds, by delivering a loud noise over the same frequency ranges that birds communicate. When given the opportunity to move to an area where the Sonic Net is not present, I will talk through several field examples where this technology has been deployed and reduced the presence of birds by 80-90%–including in an airfield environment. The Sonic Net does not harm birds. Rather, it greatly increase the birds’ perception of predatory threat and renders a target environment uninhabitable while the sound is deployed. There are no indications of habituation as the change in perception of risk is real and does not diminish over time. Hence, the Sonic Net could be a long-term solution that can help with reducing bird-strike at airfields.


Professor John Swaddle is the Faculty Director of the Institute for Integrative Conservation at William & Mary. He received his BSc and PhD from the University of Bristol, UK. His research program focuses on designing practical solutions that help to harmonize wildlife conservation with the enhancement of livelihoods and wellbeing of people. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and received over $25m in external funding. John has been awarded several prizes by his international academic societies and is past-President of the Animal Behavior Society. At W&M he has served as the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, was the Director of the Environmental Science & Policy program, and is co-Chair of the university’s Committee on Sustainability and Climate Action Plan Committee. He has consulted for Fortune 500 companies and regularly works with industry partners to reduce the risk of collisions for birds.


Avian radar use for wildlife control at two Canadian airports, YVR and YYZ

Presenter: Dr. Tim Nohara, Accipiter Radar

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) have begun to use avian radar to better understand bird activity and automatically alert wildlife control personnel day and night to areas on and off the airport with significant bird congestion that increases the risk of bird strikes.  The seminar will present real avian radar data to illustrate bird activity situational awareness, risk alerts, control actions in response to risk alerts, and their effectiveness on dispersing hazardous birds.

 Dr. Tim Nohara is the President and CEO of Accipiter Radar, pioneers of affordable avian radars now in use at civil and military airports around the world to help aviation stakeholders reduce the risk of bird strikes.  He received a Bachelor, Masters and Ph.D in Electrical & Computer Engineering from McMaster University in 1985, 1987 and 1991 respectively, is a licensed professional engineer and a senior member of the IEEE.  He is the author of a number of peer-reviewed technical publications and patents on avian radar.  Tim is a director of BSAC Inc. and has been an active member of Bird Strike Committee Canada.

Presenter: Sara Handrigan, Accipiter Radar

Sara Handrigan is an avian analyst with Accipiter Radar Technologies Inc. Since 2016, she has supported Accipiter’s aviation safety and environmental protection customers by helping them understand and operationalize avian radar and information systems to address wildlife management concerns. She received her B.Sc in animal behaviour from Western University where her honours thesis and subsequent publication involved the study of bird migration and range expansion. Her current research interests are in radar ornithology, and the application of avian radar as a tool for wildlife management. She has worked for various government, non-government, and private organizations in the field of wildlife management, conservation, and habitat restoration. She volunteers her time for several conservation organizations by assisting with species surveys, bird banding and tagging, student education, public outreach, research initiatives, and habitat restoration.

All sessions will be presented on Zoom. Seminar time is given in Pacific Daylight Time. Please adjust for your time zone. Note that Pacific Daylight Time is 7:00 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time.

Back to Seminar Series main page