Thousands of starlings to be killed after airport scare

BENNER TOWNSHIP — More than three years after an airliner taking off from University Park Airport struck a flock of European starlings, federal officials plan to poison perhaps 15,000 of the birds in the State College area in the days ahead to reduce the threat.

University Park Airport Director Bryan Rodgers said the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s plan to use a pesticide on the starlings results from an Aug. 19, 2006, incident when a commercial airliner ran into a flock after takeoff.

"They did sustain engine damage and the aircraft did return back to University Park Airport," Rodgers said. "It was those starlings back in ’06 that are an issue here today."

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