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When Birds and Planes Collide

Event Date: 
December 19, 2018 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Anne Arundel Bird Club Meeting-- public welcome, refreshments served!

AABC hosts a monthly speaker on bird-related topics. The club's frequent field trips, also open to the public, are announced at the meetings. More info on under "Chapters"

“Identifying Aviation Bird Strikes at the Smithsonian” with Jim Whatton

Wednesday, December 19, 7-9 PM, Kinder Farm Park Visitor Center

Collisions between birds and aircraft are a BIG problem. Sully Sullenberger's "Miracle on the Hudson" US Airways flight was disabled by a flock of Canada Geese! Jim Whatton will discuss his lab's role in helping prevent such catastrophes.

The Smithsonian Institution’s Feather Identification Lab is located in the Division of Birds and is responsible for the identification of bird 'snarge' or minute evidence such as tissue and feathers from bird aircraft collisions, bird strikes. The Feather Lab has interagency agreements with the US Air Force, US Navy, and FAA to identify bird strikes and processes over 9,000 cases a year using DNA barcoding and the comprehensive bird collections at the National Museum of Natural History. Jim will discuss the birdstrike identification process, highlighting examples using whole feathers, DNA barcoding, and feather microstructure.

Speaker Bio: Jim Whatton began working in the Feather Identification Lab at the Natural Museum of Natural History in 2008. He holds a B.Sc in Wildlife Biology from Ball State University. Jim started working at the Smithsonian in 2007 as a research assistant in the Division of Mammals. He joined the Feather lab when the US Navy providing funding for a position to conduct bird strike identifications. Jim specializes in whole feather identification and specimen preparation. He is also a co-author of Squirrels of the World.


Kinder Farm Park Visitor Center
1001 Kinder Farm Park Road Millersville, MD 21108
United States