It's amazing how quickly something can return to nature once neglected by humans. Just as preservationists had predicted, birds have begun taking up residence on the many surfaces of Hangar One's bare frame, potentially causing a hazard to planes on the adjacent airfield if left unchecked.
To combat the birds, the Navy has come up with plans to shoo them away using pyrotechnics, radio-controlled airplanes and "bioacoustics," or amplified noise. Shooting, trapping and poisoning rodents is also part of the plan, removing a source of food that attracts eagles and burrowing owls.
Workers have noticed "incipient nest building," inside the 200-foot-tall hangar since it became a mostly bare frame, Navy project manager Bryce Bartelma said at a Moffett Field Restoration Advisory Board meeting last week. "We understand it's a very attractive perching area."
The Navy calls the problem "bird air strike hazards," or BASH for short, as birds can and have caused planes to crash by getting stuck inside the engines.
The nests are being made with "twine, sticks, wire, anything they can bring in," Bartelma said. "And as they bring it in and we take it out. There hasn't been any active nests or eggs or anything like that because that is something we'd have to be sensitive to. So as long as we're discouraging nest building we're able to move ahead with the work" in removing the siding.
But once the Navy and its contractors are gone, animals and birds will be dealt with according to a plan created by the Navy, which can be found at bit.ly/K2Y6oG.