Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Duck, Duck, Duck, Goose!

Today's news of Flight 1549 is now all over the Internet. The plane lost its engines shortly after take-off from LaGuardia, and landed in the Hudson River. All passengers and crew were rescued, thanks to the flight's accomplished and valiant pilot, and, of course, to the FDNY and the other boats that made the emergency response.

I join all in expressing gratitude for the miraculous rescue.

It seems that the cause of the engine failure was bird ingestion. Specifically, a flock of Branta canadensis, commonly known as Canada Geese, crossed paths with the aircraft.

The Canada Geese are protected birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The problem is that most of the Branta canadensis in the New York area are no longer migratory, but have, for many generations, lived all of their lives here.

And, quite frankly, their numbers are too great for the health of the human population. There is, for example, a flock that congregates at the Courthouse of the New York Supreme Court of Nassau County, and they leave lots of their droppings there. And, within the past 10 years, a flock has taken up residence near the local school, pooping all over the soccer field.

I am not a sport hunter, and those who are would know more about this than I, but one needs all kinds of Federal and State licenses and permits to hunt Branta Canadensis.

According to a New York Daily News sidebar article to the Flight 1549 story,

" For years, Port Authority officials have tangled with animal activists about efforts to cut down the number of geese that live on Rikers Island near LaGuardia. Back in 2004, more than 400 geese were killed. By 2006, the number netted and gassed had dropped to 165. Animal activists have fought the effort, urging officials to find non-lethal methods to manage the population."

Rikers Island, for the untraveled and unread, is a land mass in the East River where the City of New York has located its major prison facilities. Amidst the current great budget deficit, why not use the Rikers Island flock of Branta canadensis to feed the inmates? Surely the culinary-minded can come up with some Canada Goose recipes.

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