70,000 geese killed since ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ plane crash

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NEW YORK — Birds took the blame for bringing down the jetliner that “Sully” Sullenberger landed on the Hudson River eight years ago this weekend, and they have been paying for it with their lives ever since.

An Associated Press analysis of bird-killing programs put in place around New York City-area airports in response to the 2009 accident found that nearly 70,000 geese and other birds have been slaughtered.

But it is unclear whether the killings have made the skies over the city any safer.

Federal data show the number of strikes at LaGuardia and Newark actually went up in the years following the Sullenberger landing.

The number of reported strikes at Kennedy Airport has ticked up too, though fewer birds have been killed there in recent years.