People are more important than birds. That's the message the state is sending after dozens of dead fowl floated ashore near the Oakland International Airport.
Residents walking along the Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline reported seeing the dead birds, including sea gulls, ducks, cormorants and pelicans, prompting an investigation by the Department of Fish and Game.
The state determined the Dec. 23 incident violated no state laws. Wildlife experts assigned to the airport by the US. Department of Agriculture were acting within their limits when they shot the birds, the state found. It seems the birds weren't phased by loud noises or other means to scare them away from the runways.
"The nonlethal methods used to scare away birds are successful 90 percent of the time," airport spokesman Robert Bernardo told the Chronicle. "In this case experts made the determination that it (shooting) was essential for human safety."
Perhaps spending all that time at the airport has made the birds comfortable with the noise. Whatever the reason, the sitting ducks paid for it with their little lives. A small price to pay for human safety. After all, not all pilots can be as good as Captain Chesley Sullenberger.