Environment: Bustards at 12 O'Clock High

As U.S. jet fighters shattered the Spanish noon last week, a Medieval-looking man patrolled the runway of the joint U.S.-Spanish airbase at Torrejón near Madrid. On his outstretched hand perched a hooded peregrine falcon. A strange place to practice the ancient art of falconry? Not quite: the U.S. Air Force has drafted the regal birds of prey to chase flocks of little bustards that endanger aircraft.

The danger began when hordes of bustards collided with jets darting off the runway. In 1967, they caused a loss of $1,500,000 in damaged aircraft. The Air Force...

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