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TUESDAY February 1, 2022: 'CHEDDAR: The ANGRY BIRDS Assassin' is by ZUMA Press Newspaper Tampa Bay Times award winning staff photographer DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD. CHEDDAR, is a juvenile hawk who craves the kill. This bird of prey, also called a raptor, patrols the Tampa International Airport relentlessly. First used to drive nuisance birds away from planes in 40s at a Scottish airfield. Success lead to similar programs around the globe. Cheddar and falconer Jackie Hurd, been hired to deal with unwanted birds, threatening to damage or bring down planes. Flock of large birds on takeoff is airports biggest fear. It’s a bloody business, guarding planes from bird strikes. Cheddar is on the job. Come and Meet 'CHEDDAR: The ANGRY BIRDS Assassin'
© zReportage.com Story of the Week #824: TUESDAY February 1, 2022: 'CHEDDAR: The ANGRY BIRDS Assassin' is by ZUMA Press Newspaper Tampa Bay Times award winning staff photographer DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD. CHEDDAR, is a juvenile hawk who craves the kill. This bird of prey, also called a raptor, patrols the Tampa International Airport relentlessly. First used to drive nuisance birds away from planes in 40s at a Scottish airfield. Success lead to similar programs around the globe. Cheddar and falconer Jackie Hurd, been hired to deal with unwanted birds, threatening to damage or bring down planes. Flock of large birds on takeoff is airports biggest fear. It’s a bloody business, guarding planes from bird strikes. Cheddar is on the job. Come and Meet 'CHEDDAR: The ANGRY BIRDS Assassin'
Cheddar, a trained Harris's Hawk, scans a grassy at Tampa International Airport (TIA), while searching for cattle egrets which are often found in flocks and forage in the dry fields adjacent to the airports runways in Tampa.
© Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
JACKIE HURD, director of operations with Predator Bird Services Inc., of Orlando, prepares Cheddar, a trained Harris's Hawk, for a wildlife mitigation session where she is used to scare and capture cattle egrets from the runway and taxiway systems at Tampa International Airport (TIA). Hurd uses trained raptors to clear airports, landfills and agricultural sites of avian pests, which in the case of airports puts airplanes at risk of bird strikes during takeoffs and landings.
© Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
A group of egrets congregate near a runway at Tampa International Airport (TIA), after being flushed from the area by a siren deployed by Brett Bell, airfield compliance manager.
© Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
JACKIE HURD, director of operations with Predator Bird Services Inc., of Orlando, launches Cheddar, a trained Harris's Hawk, after spotting a congregation of cattle egrets near a runway at Tampa International Airport (TIA). Hurd uses trained raptors to clear airports, landfills and agricultural sites of avian pests, which in the case of airports puts airplanes at risk of bird strikes during takeoffs and landings.
© Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
Cheddar, a trained Harris's Hawk, dives while attacking a Muscovy duck, after it was discovered roaming a grassy area by airport officials near a runway. The large ducks, which are wild and are often found in feral breeding populations, are considered by airport officials as a risk to airplanes.
© Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
JACKIE HURD, director of operations with Predator Bird Services Inc., of Orlando, works to capture a Muscovy duck with the assistance of Cheddar, a trained Harris's Hawk, at left, after the duck was discovered roaming a grassy area by airport officials near a runway. The large ducks, which are wild and are often found in feral breeding populations, are considered by airport officials as a risk to airplanes at the airport.
© Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
BRETT BELL, airfield compliance manager at Tampa International Airport (TIA), uses a shotgun to euthanize a Muscovy duck moments after the duck was discovered roaming a grassy area, near a runway at Tampa International Airport (TIA).
© Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
Cheddar, a trained Harrisâ's Hawk, returns to her handler, JACKIE HURD, director of operations with Predator Bird Services Inc., of Orlando, moments after pursuing a Muscovy duck at Tampa International Airport (TIA).
© Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
Raptor handler JACKIE HURD prepares to place Cheddar, a trained Harris's Hawk, into a holding cage moments after capturing a Muscovy duck at Tampa International Airport (TIA).
© Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
JACKIE HURD, director of operations with Predator Bird Services Inc., of Orlando, works to separate Cheddar, a trained Harris's Hawk, after she captured and killed a cattle egret near a runway at Tampa International Airport (TIA). Hurd uses trained raptors to clear airports, landfills and agricultural sites of avian pests, which in the case of airports puts airplanes at risk of bird strikes during takeoffs and landings.
© Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
Cheddar, a trained Harris's Hawk, plucks feathers from a cattle egret, after the raptor captured and killed the heron which is often found foraging and flocking in the dry fields adjacent to the runways at Tampa International Airport (TIA).
© Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
JACKIE HURD, director of operations with Predator Bird Services Inc., of Orlando, prepares to place Cheddar, a trained Harris's Hawk, into a holding cage, at left, moments after capturing a Muscovy duck with a towel, at Tampa International Airport (TIA).
© Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
An American kestrel perches on a sign as a Spirit Airlines passenger jet taxis on a runway at Tampa International Airport (TIA). The bird, which often hovers over its prey for long periods of time while hunting, is perceived by airport officials as a threat to airplanes during takeoffs and landings.
© Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
A group of egrets move from a grassy area adjacent to a runway at Tampa International Airport (TIA), after being flushed from the area by a siren deployed by airfield compliance manager Brett Bell.
© Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
JACKIE HURD, director of operations with Predator Bird Services Inc., of Orlando, collects her trained Harris's Hawk, Cheddar, at left, moments after she captured and killed a cattle egret, near a runway at Tampa Airport while BRETT BELL, an airfield compliance manager collects the remains of the dead bird.
© Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
JACKIE HURD, director of operations with Predator Bird Services Inc., of Orlando, center, retrieves Cheddar, a trained Harris's Hawk, after the raptor captured and killed a cattle egret near a runway at Tampa International Airport.
© Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
BRETT BELL, airfield compliance manager at Tampa International Airport (TIA), works to set a trap used to capture red-tailed hawks near the runway and taxiway systems. The airport also contracts with trained raptor handlers who use hawks to clear the airport of avian pests which officials say put airplanes at risk of bird strikes during takeoffs and landings.
© Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
Cheddar, a trained Harris's Hawk, skirts the wing of a Sprit Airlines passenger plane moments after flushing a group of cattle egrets from an adjacent taxiway at Tampa International Airport (TIA).
© Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
Douglas R. Clifford

Douglas R. Clifford is based in St. Petersburg, Florida and is a staff photojournalist for the Tampa Bay Times newspaper, which is represented by ZUMA Press. (Credit Image: © Douglas Clifford/Tampa Bay Times/ZUMAPRESS.com):824



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