Flight safetyFlight safety

Bird’s nest grounds international airport

Falcons set up home near runway at Ben Gurion airfield; all flights halted as birds removed in interest of safety

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Illustrative photo of a falcon with its young (photo credit: Haim Shohat/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of a falcon with its young (photo credit: Haim Shohat/Flash90)

Flights at Israel’s main international airport were brought to a halt for half an hour on Tuesday by a falcon’s nest, home to five baby birds, which set up camp in a control tower.

The nest was constructed on a navigational antenna at Ben Gurion Airport by a pair of falcons that successfully hatched five birds, Channel 2 reported.

Airport authorities launched an operation to remove the nest amid concerns the birds would disrupt flights. Officials clambered up the 15-meter-high tower where they discovered five nestlings in the makeshift twig home.

As the worried adult birds circled overhead, the baby falcons were carefully removed and taken to the nearby Ramat Gan Safari for a check-up at the veterinary clinic.

Each bird was fitted with a harmless metal tag ring on one of its legs, which can be used for future identification of the animal. The falcons, famous for their ability to dive at high speed to snatch their prey, are to be raised at the safari and then eventually returned to the wild once they can fend for themselves.

Since the young birds needed to be moved a considerable distance from the nest’s location, there was no way to ensure that the parents would be able to find them.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure:
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.