BALTIMORE (WUSA9) -- A snowy owl was caught after it wasspotted on the airfield of the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport recently, according to airport officials.
The snowy owl was seen near Runway 4-22 on Dec. 29, say officials. A U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services wildlife technician set a trap for the bird. It was captured that night, banded and relocated the next day at a location faraway from the airport, according to officials.
Officials tell us that more snowy owls have been seen in Maryland and the eastern United States recently. They add thattheypose a threat toplanes, saying that theFederal Aviation Administration data ranks Snowy Owls among the bird species most likely to cause damage when struck by aircraft.
BWI officials say they have a "comprehensive, integrated program in place to help minimize conflict between birds and aircraft." Two USDA Wildlife Services employees are stationed at the airport to help with that effort, mostly trying to take "proactive measures to deter birds from the airport." Examples of these measures include storm-water management facilities, vegetation and landscaping designed to not appeal to birds. In addition to these measures, there are methods used to drive birds away from the airport operating areas. Twelve propane cannons at different points around the airfield can be fired remotely to produce a loud noise to frighten birds away. USDA Wildlife Services employees can also use hand-held devices which produce loud noises or bright flashes to deter birds.