Navy plans a war on 'hazardous' wildlife

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


Like this comment
Posted by Whoooo
a resident of The Crossings
on May 21, 2012 at 1:48 pm

The article mentions burrowing owls. Are those really a problem in Hangar One since they build their nests in burrows? Mountain View goes to great lengths to save those owls.

Like this comment
Posted by curious
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 22, 2012 at 10:20 am

Hey that's a great idea to join the enviro-wackos and the Hanger One freaks. Someone should put a burrowing owl nest into the hanger. The Mountain View politicos will spare no expense for the little critters so they will mortgage city hall to buy the hanger and preserve it for them. That's called killing two birds with one stone. Errr. Maybe I better re-phrase that ;-)

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