A northern wheatear is one of many types of birds that calls Balad Air Base, Iraq, home. Even small birds can pose a threat to flying aircraft because they can be sucked into engines and render them useless. To reduce the number of collisions between birds and aircraft, members of the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing Safety Office depredate the birds on the base through the Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard program. On May 3, the remains of whole, depredated birds were shipped from the base to the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Feather Identification Laboratory in Washington, D.C., for the birds to be analyzed by scientists. This marks the first shipment of whole bird remains to be sent from Iraq to the Smithsonian.
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Julianne Showalter
October 19, 2012
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