AUSTIN (KXAN) — The City of Austin got an update on the number of bird strikes at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on Thursday.
A bird strike is anytime a bird hits a plane while in flight.
According to the city’s Aviation Department, 161 birds have hit an airplane within a five-mile radius of ABIA so far this year — already more than 2018 and with at least one full month left of the year.
This year’s total, however, is still a relatively small number since roughly 575 flights come and go at ABIA every day.
According to city data, the mourning dove is the most common bird to hit planes near ABIA. So far this year, pilots in Austin report hitting 37 mourning doves. That’s 30 more than the next identifiable birds which are the barn swallow and cave swallow.
In February, the Federal Aviation Administration released a report finding there are more than 40 bird strikes every single day nationwide.
Bird strikes took on added importance after a massive bird strike in January 2009 led to the “Miracle on the Hudson” when pilot Sully Sullenberger landed his incapacitated jet on water, saving every life on board.
Since that 2009 crash, the FAA has worked to increase voluntary bird strike reporting.