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Bird strikes: Which critters are getting mashed by Colorado planes?

A horned lark that managed to avoid being hit by a plane.
A horned lark that managed to avoid being hit by a plane.

The Federal Aviation Administration has opened its database about birds and other animals struck by planes -- a hot topic following the January landing in the Hudson River of a US Airways flight that tangled with a flock of geese. And guess what? Our own Denver International Airport has the most reported bird strikes of any facility this decade: 2,090.

What kind of creatures are losing battles with planes in Colorado most often? A search of the database returned 110 species involved in incidents since 1990. Granted, several variations on the category "Unknown Bird" pop up. But there are also plenty of specifics about horned larks, at least 366 of which have met an unfortunate end in the state during an eighteen-year span, as well as some non-flying creatures -- among them the only two badgers on the FAA list. The enormous numbers make it seem as if every DIA flight is cutting a swath through a nature preserve. Look out for the feathers.

Check out the roster after the jump.

From: JAN 1990 to NOV 2008

Species: ALL

State: CO

Number of Species Returned: 110

Species -- State -- Strikes -- US Strikes

AMERICAN CROW -- CO -- 2 -- 248

AMERICAN KESTREL -- CO -- 25 -- 1,864

AMERICAN ROBIN -- CO -- 2 -- 375

AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN -- CO -- 1 -- 6

AMERICAN WIGEON -- CO -- 1 -- 29

BADGER -- CO -- 2 -- 2

BALTIMORE ORIOLE -- CO -- 1 -- 9

BARN OWL -- CO -- 3 -- 507

BARN SWALLOW -- CO -- 4 -- 934

BATS -- CO -- 6 -- 248

BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE -- CO -- 2 -- 8

BLACK-TAILED JACKRABBIT -- CO -- 6 -- 82

BLACKBIRDS -- CO -- 6 -- 1,070

BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD -- CO -- 2 -- 80

BULLOCKS ORIOLE -- CO -- 1 -- 1

BURROWING OWL -- CO -- 11 -- 70

CANADA GOOSE -- CO -- 16 -- 1,184

CARDINALS,BUNTINGS,SPARROWS -- CO -- 6 -- 50

CHIMNEY SWIFT -- CO -- 1 -- 195

CHIPPING SPARROW -- CO -- 1 -- 15

CLIFF SWALLOW -- CO -- 66 -- 341

COMMON GRACKLE -- CO -- 1 -- 68

COMMON MERGANSER -- CO -- 1 -- 1

COMMON NIGHTHAWK -- CO -- 2 -- 190

COMMON POORWILL -- CO -- 2 -- 6

COYOTE -- CO -- 38 -- 283

CROWS -- CO -- 1 -- 218

DARK-EYED JUNCO -- CO -- 1 -- 26

DOMESTIC DOG -- CO -- 1 -- 29

DOVES -- CO -- 3 -- 833

DUCKS -- CO -- 10 -- 662

DUCKS, GEESE, SWANS -- CO -- 1 -- 140

DUNLIN -- CO -- 1 -- 18

EAGLES -- CO -- 1 -- 6

EASTERN COTTONTAIL -- CO -- 18 -- 43

EASTERN KINGBIRD -- CO -- 1 -- 11

EASTERN MEADOWLARK -- CO -- 2 -- 579

EUROPEAN STARLING -- CO -- 21 -- 2,070

FALCONS -- CO -- 1 -- 37

FERRUGINOUS HAWK -- CO -- 4 -- 9

FINCHES -- CO -- 2 -- 52

FOXES -- CO -- 7 -- 64

FRANKLINS GULL -- CO -- 1 -- 40

GEESE -- CO -- 4 -- 306

GREAT BLUE HERON -- CO -- 2 -- 222

GREAT HORNED OWL -- CO -- 17 -- 94

GULLS CO -- 4 -- 5,386

GULLS,TERNS -- CO -- 1 -- 28

HAWKS -- CO -- 28 -- 974

HAWKS, EAGLES, VULTURES -- CO -- 2 -- 35

HORNED LARK -- CO -- 366 -- 1,204

HOUSE FINCH -- CO -- 1 -- 38

HOUSE SPARROW -- CO -- 3 -- 64

INCA DOVE -- CO -- 1 -- 16

KILLDEER -- CO -- 8 -- 1,579

LARK BUNTING -- CO -- 18 -- 24

LARK SPARROW -- CO -- 1 -- 9

LITTLE BROWN BAT -- CO -- 3 -- 15

LONG-BILLED CURLEW -- CO -- 2 -- 4

MALLARD -- CO -- 5 -- 491

MEADOWLARKS -- CO -- 1 -- 207

MOURNING DOVE -- CO -- 79 -- 3,113

MULE DEER -- CO -- 3 -- 37

NORTHERN HARRIER -- CO -- 5 -- 64

OWLS -- CO -- 6 -- 261

PERCHING BIRDS (y) -- CO -- 4 -- 317

PERCHING BIRDS (z) -- CO -- 2 -- 57

PEREGRINE FALCON -- CO -- 3 -- 139

PIGEONS -- CO -- 1 -- 31

PINE SISKIN -- CO -- 1 -- 3

PLOVERS, LAPWINGS -- CO -- 1 -- 12

PRAIRIE DOG -- CO -- 5 -- 20

PRAIRIE FALCON -- CO -- 2 -- 9

PRONGHORN -- CO -- 2 -- 7

RABBITS -- CO -- 17 -- 83

RED-TAILED HAWK -- CO -- 24 -- 1,026

RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD -- CO -- 7 -- 112

RING-NECKED PHEASANT -- CO -- 1 -- 57

ROCK PIGEON -- CO -- 67 -- 1,622

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK -- CO -- 1 -- 34

RUDDY DUCK -- CO -- 1 -- 15

SAGE SPARROW -- CO -- 1 -- 3

SANDERLING -- CO -- 1 -- 15

SANDHILL CRANE -- CO -- 2 -- 79

SAVANNAH SPARROW -- CO -- 1 -- 133

SCOPS, SCREECH OWLS -- CO -- 1 -- 1

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK -- CO -- 1 -- 15

SHORT-EARED OWL -- CO -- 6 -- 183

SPARROWS -- CO -- 88 -- 2,145

SPRAGUES PIPIT -- CO -- 1 -- 1

SWAINSONS HAWK -- CO -- 10 -- 55

SWALLOWS -- CO -- 10 -- 560

THRASHERS,MOCKINGBIRDS, CATBIRDS -- CO -- 1 -- 10

THRUSHES -- CO -- 1 -- 61

TREE SWALLOW -- CO -- 1 -- 177

TYRANT FLYCATCHERS -- CO -- 1 -- 9

UNKNOWN BIRD -- CO -- 1,004 -- 24,036

UNKNOWN BIRD, LARGE -- CO -- 36 -- 1,880

UNKNOWN BIRD, MEDIUM -- CO -- 96 -- 6,477

UNKNOWN BIRD, SMALL -- CO -- 716 -- 17,808

UNKNOWN BIRD OR BAT -- CO -- 89 -- 4,082

UPLAND SANDPIPER -- CO -- 2 -- 113

WESTERN KINGBIRD -- CO -- 5 -- 57

WESTERN MEADOWLARK -- CO -- 74 -- 314

WHITE-TAILED DEER -- CO -- 1 -- 737

WHITE-TAILED JACKRABBIT -- CO -- 6 -- 18

WHITE-THROATED SPARROW -- CO -- 1 -- 27

WHITE-THROATED SWIFT -- CO -- 1 -- 15

YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD -- CO -- 1 -- 6

YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER -- CO -- 1 -- 31


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