Alert about migratory bird season from North to South America

The Tocumen International Airport informed the aeronautical industry about the start of the season for migratory birds from North to South America to pass through the national territory.

On the occasion of the start of the migratory bird season, the Tocumen International Airport Fauna Control Department issued an alert to the members of the Early Warning Network, Control Tower, Operations Management Center, Airlines, Handlers Airlines on the ground), and aviation schools, in order to prevent the occurrence of impacts with aircraft and other risk incidents for air transport. This year the bird migration season is expected to last from September to mid-December.

Melissa Hinds, head of Fauna Control at the Tocumen International Airport, explained that, with the arrival of autumn in the northern hemisphere, millions of migratory birds from North America make their migratory journey from Canada, the United States and Mexico, passing through Panama. to the countries of the South, to avoid the hostile conditions of winter.

“Panama’s geographic location serves as a biological bridge for birds during their migration. The natural phenomenon is monitored by experts from the Tocumen International Airport in conjunction with other institutions, groups of bird watchers and Non-Governmental Organizations that keep a record of the quantities, dates, times and species of birds that fly over the airport approaches, in order to mitigate in a timely manner the possible effects on air operations”, Hinds highlighted.

According to data from the Tocumen International Airport, in the 2021 bird migration season, the first sightings were recorded on September 5, while the last report on December 2 at heights ranging from 15 to 3,500 feet. The cycles of greatest mobilization of birds of prey occur between 08:00 am and 5:00 pm local time, depending on weather conditions.

Among the most representative migratory birds by size and behavior that fly over the isthmus are the peregrine falcon, the Swainson’s hawk, broad-winged eagles, the Mississippi eagle and the red-headed turkey vulture, the latter being the one with the greatest risk for operations, for be the largest and most abundant group.

The migration of these and other families of birds is a natural event that cannot be avoided. To mitigate the risk of collision with aircraft, pyrotechnic elements are used during migration to clear the operating spaces without causing physical damage to the birds.

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