DURANGO, Colo. (AP) – The Federal Aviation Administration wants Durango to study whether golden eagles nesting near the airport could bring down a plane.

The city council has accepted a $150,000 grant from the FAA to pay for the year-long study.

The FAA has been requiring such wildlife studies since a US Air plane was forced to land on the Hudson River after geese were sucked into its engine.

Golden eagles, which are bigger than bald eagles, fly at speeds up to 150 mph and swoop down to capture prairie dogs.

City manager Ron LeBlanc tells the Durango Herald that studying their potential threat will be much easier than trying to figure out what to do about the eagles. The birds’ enormous nests are legally protected and they hunt for food over a 60 square mile area.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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