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Boeing’s Factory Faces Problems With The Falcons Calling It Home

The speedy birds that live in an airplane factory


What's going on?

Peregrine falcons are marvels of nature, being the fastest members of the animal kingdom. These magnificent birds can reach up to 389km/h as they hunt prey, nearly three times the speed limit on highways and a third of the speed of a 737 Max, which can fly at a speed of 975km/h. Falcons usually fly home to their natural habitat on cliffs, but there is one unusual place they have made their home: inside Boeing’s Renton assembly plant. This site has gained notoriety in the media after the crashes of several 737 MAX planes leading to a temporary shutdown.


Now, it appears that a new threat has emerged for the factory’s newest winged occupants. The factory has been the falcons’ breeding ground for the past four years, with the birds of prey zooming past the iron birds being assembled there and ever so often leaving behind bird droppings that a cleaning company scoops up to prevent a health hazard. Furthermore, the falcons have trained themselves to recognize the sound of the siren marking the opening of the factory doors, which allows them to fly out and in whenever the doors of the plant open. With the premises temporarily shut down following several crashes involving 737 MAX planes, birds are trapped inside as doors open less frequently.


Additionally, baby birds have also fallen onto the assembly line from their nest several times. With the plant shutdown and starvation threatening the falcons, Boeing employees are coordinating with the US Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services to remove the birds safely without harming them. According to experts, peregrine falcons are particularly difficult to trap, and the birds will likely fly back to their nest, no matter how far they are moved.


Boeing’s assembly plant is shuttered amid 737 MAX crisis. Now the company has a falcon problem.