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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Bird Strike Testing

Bird strike testing is an important aspect of aviation these days. Bird strike is an aviation term for when there is a collision between a bird and an aircraft. It is a common threat to aircraft safety and has caused a number of fatal accidents. One of the safety concerns plaguing the aircraft industry since its inception has been bird strikes, or bird ingestion. Flocks of birds seem harmless enough when admiring them from the ground, but experiencing them from the cockpit of an aircraft can prove lethal. A 12 lb Canadian goose struck by an aircraft traveling 150mph at liftoff generates an impact force similar to that created by a 1000lb weight dropping from a height of 10ft. More than 300 people have been killed by bird strikes since the first fatality was recorded in 1912. Since 1960, aircraft-bird collisions destroyed 20 U.S. registered commercial aircraft and, since 1985, 23 U.S. military aircraft. The most common impact areas on the aircraft include the engine inlet, the nose, the canopy, and the wing U.S. Air Force (USAF) officials have reported more than 2500 strikes annually, not including strikes to commercial and U.S. civil aircraft. This became the main reason for carrying out bird strike testing on planes.

At present, all aircraft are required to pass a certification test to ensure safe aircraft flight and operation in the event of a bird strike testing. The current certification test for bird strike testing is performed by firing birds from gas cannon onto aircraft components such as windshields, windows, aircraft engines and leading edge structures. During the design and development stage of new aircraft, an artificial bird is often used in place of the real bird; this helps to improve the repeatability of the bird strike testing and reduce the biological hazard associated with the real birds.

Artificial birds used in bird strike testing are often manufactured from gelatine and formed into a simple primitive geometry (cylinder, hemispherical ended cylinder etc.) to represent the principal mass of the bird (torso). Although previous work has shown good agreement between artificial and real birds (impact pressure and impulse), there are certain situations where this is not the case.

In recent work, the influence of bird shape for large bird species such as the Canada Goose has been investigated using computer stimulation. To control the problem airports invest in bird strike testing management and control, changes to terrain around the airport to reduce its attractiveness as habitat to birds, using bird control personnel and frightening devices (sounds, lights or polytechnics) and sometimes the use of falcons or similar. Pilots use awareness of bird habits and should avoid migratory routes and they will not only ensure safety, this may even ease the load for bird strike testing.

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bird Roadrunner

The bird roadrunner is the state bird of New Mexico. It was officially adopted on March 16, 1949. It was adopted under the name “Chaparral bird”. In Spanish, it is called “El Correcaminos”. The comical roadrunner prefers running to flying and has been clocked at speeds of 15 miles per hour. They are approximately 22 inches in length and their diet consists of insects, lizards, centipedes, mice and snakes. Bird roadrunners are quick enough to catch and eat rattlesnakes.

The two species of bird Roadrunners include the Lesser Roadrunner (G. velox) a slightly smaller, buffier and less streaky bird, of Mexico and Central America, which grows to a length of 18 inches. The Roadrunner is a large, black-and-white, mottled ground bird with a distinctive head crest. It has strong feet, a long, white- tipped tail and an oversized bill. It ranges in length from 20 to 24 inches from the tip of its tail to the end of its beak. It is a member of Cuckoo Family (Cuculidae), characterized by feet with 2 forward toes and 2 behind.

The Roadrunner inhabits open, flat or rolling terrain with scattered cover of dry brush, chaparral or other desert scrub. The bird roadrunner feeds almost exclusively on other animals, including insects, scorpions, lizards, snakes, rodents and other birds. Upto 10% of its winter diet may consist of plant material due to scarcity of desert animals at that time of the year.

During spring time, the male bird roadrunner in addition to acquiring food for him, offers choice morsels to a female as an inducement to mating. He usually dances around her while she begs for food, and then gives her the morsel after breeding briefly.

Both parents collect the small sticks used for building a shallow, saucer-like nest, but the female actually constructs it in a bush, cactus or small tree. Female bird roadrunner then lays from 2 to 12 white eggs over a period of 3 days, which results in staggered hatching. Incubation is from 18-20 days and is done by either parent, though preferably the male, because the nocturnally incubating males maintain normal body temperature. The species of roadrunner prefers arid deserts and other regions with a mix of scattered brush for cover and open grassy areas for foraging. For breeding, bird roadrunners require coastal sage scrub or chaparral habitat. In the outer limits of their range they may be found in grasslands and at the edges of woodlands.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Bird Rid

Bird Problems have become a major issue off late and problems caused due to birds are being taken very seriously. Some of the major outbreaks of diseases in the recent times have been caused by birds. Be it the avian bird flue or other bird caused ailments, their effect is wide spread as birds are highly mobile in their general life pattern. Bird Rid thus is an area that assumes critical importance in the quest to reduce problems caused by birds.

Studies have proven the fact that bird disease outbreaks tend to spread much more quickly as compared to other occurrences. The reason for this is the fact that birds are often domesticated and otherwise are considered harmless and their access to human establishments is virtually unrestricted. Bird Rid is thus an area of extreme caution as it poses various kinds of threats.

Bird Rid is now a fully scientifically developed technique. Gone are those days when normal scare crows were the only ways for us to implement non lethal Bird Rid. Now various non lethal scientific technologies have been developed that make the use of ultrasound waves and other more developed visual aids to get rids of birds. Sonic Bird Rid devices are perhaps the most recent and advanced in this realm of Bird Rid. These devices were basically developed to cater to the area of airports where bird hits to airplanes have been causing a serious hazard. Various Sonic Bird Rid devices have been developed. These devices basically used high pitched sonic waves to scare the birds away. Ultrasonic waves emanated by high tech electronic circuitry keep the bird flocks away from the area. Coupled with very low electric consumption, his device has proved to be one of the most efficient and effective means of Bird Rid. Various other variations of sonic devices are available in the market these days and each has different advantages and efficiencies.

Other traditional methods have been developed and have been more effective. Scare crows have been replaced by 3 D visual devices called as terror eyes that seem to follow the bird flocks and scare them away. Bird Rid has been implemented using various types of technologies but still prevention is better than cure and the onus is on us to avoid the creations of circumstances that help breed birds in the region. This is the single most effective way of implementing Bird Rid and has proved to be successful in the long run.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Bird Problems Residential

Bird problems residential is a serious problem which we are facing today lets have a deeper introspective into it. Birds are among the most frustrating and pesky pests that a person may encounter. They are cute and loved by most people who see them, but they can create a plethora of problems. Birds seem to be harmless intruders, but they can be a dangerous public health threat and can create other problems. The general public's affection toward birds translates into a serious underestimation of the health risks associated with pest birds. Especially in residential areas, where little children, while playing in open grounds come in contact with the faeces of birds which causes them to suffer from an assortment of diseases. Also, in many residential colonies birds have attacked many people, at times leaving them blind. It’s under such circumstances when once realises that birds too have an innate Mr. Hyde in them and we realise the bird problems residential.

Serious consequences and problems may be arising when birds roost on a ledge of a window, when woodpeckers peck on the sides of a house, when starlings destroy plants or crops. Flocks of ducks and geese have been known to chew and destroy turf and grass. Flocks of birds congregating on electric wires or trees make an absolute and unhygienic mess with their droppings. Those birds that have found a home in local residential areas put immense stress on local plants and food supplies. These are just a few of the bird problems residential.

Leaving aside residential areas, we hear so much of the bird menace as modern aviation’s nightmare which is another consequence of bird problems residential. The collision of airplanes with birds has been a big problem; it only arose as a result of man’s short-sightedness in dealing with nature. This is a more delicate problem, which needs to be tackled. It will be inhumane to kill the birds, which happen to come in the way of an aircraft, however, killing birds by shooting has been and is a practice, at civil and military aerodromes the world over. As usual man is caught between a torment sea and a cliff, because there have been lots of cases in residential areas where not just children but also adults have suffered serious infections and diseases caused due to the droppings of birds, then again just for our survival how can we kill a fellow member of the animal kingdom? So I think we had an immense insight into the bird problems residential.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Bird Egg Identification

3-d oval shaped may or may not be white, with or without spots, varying in their external appearance - there are so many types of eggs. Here, we talk of only birds’ eggs. All birds lay eggs. These exhibit a great diversity of shape, colour and patterns. Despite their fragility, the calcium carbonate shells provide protection and a self-enclosed environment for the developing chicks. Bird egg identification is complicated because there are so many species of birds and they lay eggs that are externally different. It has taken scientists years to learn the art of and formulising methods on how to recognise and identify the eggs of different birds. It is quite an art, and because it is done through scientific means it’s a scientific art. Therefore, bird egg identification is by all means a scientific art.

Most eggs that are laid in sheltered nests or holes in the ground are white and those laid in uncovered nests have protective colouring. Birds’ eggs differ greatly in size making bird egg identification quite scientific. Hummingbirds lay the smallest eggs and ostriches the largest, making identification of these birds’ eggs easier. The eggs of most birds are shaped like domestic chicken eggs. However, the eggs of cliff-nesting species are sharply pointed at one end. The shape of these eggs prevents them from rolling off the cliff. Many birds have plain-coloured eggs. The eggs of ground nesters are heavily camouflaged with speckles and other markings. Birds' eggs are unique in their diverse pigmentation.

This diversity is greatest amongst perching birds, also called passerines, which make up almost 60% of all bird species. This category includes many familiar species including tits and warblers. Most passerines lay eggs speckled with reddish protoporphyrin spots forming a ring around the egg's blunt end, on an otherwise un-pigmented shell. Scientists and ecologists suggest that rather than giving a visual signal, protoporphyrins strengthen the eggshell by compensating for reduced eggshell-thickness caused by calcium deficiency. Pigment spots on great tit eggs specifically marked thinner areas of shell, with darker spots marking yet thinner shell than paler spots, and females nesting on low-calcium soils, laid thinner-shelled, more-spotted eggs than those on high-calcium soils nearby. Pigmentation may offer a way to assess eggshell quality and aids in bird egg identification.

Bird egg identification of South American game birds is the most intriguing because they have solid metallic colors and a finish like that of a new automobile. Most birds that nest in dark holes, like the kingfisher and the woodpeckers, lay plain white eggs; whereas those of the kill deer and terns laid in exposed places with no protecting nest are colored like the soil or gravel and are very difficult to find. The majority of birds that build protective nests lay eggs having a ground color of some delicate tint with spots, streaks or scrawls of darker pigment such as purple, brown or black and, often, this forms a kind of wreathe around the larger end. Robins and bluebirds have blue eggs but those of some other thrushes are spotted with darker color. These formulae and methods formulated by scientists have made the whole process of bird egg identification, so much simpler.

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