Hawks reduce risks at Paraguayan airport

After just over a year a commercial aircraft had a dangerous accident when suck a couple of birds with one of its turbines, the Paraguayan capital’s airport was able to reduce these risks: several hawks hunt intrusive and alienates others, said authorities and the coach of hawks.


The administrator Rubén Aguilar reported that the terminal often receive visits from migratory birds and other types that reside on surrounding forests. In 2012, he recalled a TAM airline plane had to return to ground after takeoff because one of its turbines sucked a couple of birds.

“But currently the airport is very safe because we have the service of the eagles, natural hawks and a robot coming out to hunt the birds that disturb the aircraft,” he said.

Raul Palacios, vet and trainer, presented in a television program, the Baraka and Gandal hawks. The first is known as “poised” for the color of its plumage and the second is a male of the peregrine species and was brought from Tierra del Fuego, at the southern end of the continent.

Baraka is a female and works “full time hunting intruders at the airport. She’s our star. She has one year and a half ” he said.

Gandal, meanwhile, came to us being a pigeon arrived two months ago and still has not gotten used to the Paraguayan climate over 40 degrees Celsius in summer, so most of the day he is under air conditioning. It can reach speeds up to 300 kilometers per hour when chasing prey, said the coach.

Palacios said that a couple of weeks ago he was using a robot hawk, but birds quickly adapted to their noise and ceased to fear. So, Baraka is much more effective.

Also use other raptors like an eagle currently recovering from a minor accident in one of his legs, he said.

The National Directorate of Civil Aviation also managed that the cattle slaughterhouses located in the nearby villages to the airport not to place the waste in their yards outdoors to avoid the presence of vultures.

“Years ago, mid-size airplanes and some small clashed with the vultures, with its 700 grams on average, produced serious damage. Today, there are no crows flying around the air station,” said Aguilar.

To collaborate with the Hawks, with permission from the Ministry of Environment were removed some woods at the end points of the track because hundreds of birds nested there , he said.

By Pedro Pervin | Associated Press