If you have ever thought that Canada geese crapping all over the bike trails and chasing people around are annoying, they are creating an even bigger problem right now at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport.

Birds and airports don't mix. When a jetliner is bombing down the runway at 160 miles per hour, anything it hits is likely to do damage and create a dangerous situation. Perhaps worse is when those planes have just departed or are about to land, having a bird take out an engine is a scary situation.

The City of Sioux Falls announced today that Sioux Falls Animal Control, along with the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks, will be using sound cannons and other pyrotechnics to scare geese away from areas they are congregating near the airport.

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The Big Sioux River, quarry ponds near the fairgrounds, Elmwood Golf Course, as well as farm fields near the airport are all problem spots for geese. The cannons will be going off a few times per day and not at night.

The sound cannons are pretty neat. They run on a 20-pound propane tank and create a booming sound of between 110 and 130 dB. While that doesn't quite get to the volume of a rifle or shotgun blast of 150 dB or more, it is still plenty loud to scare off a gaggle of geese. (A gaggle is what they are called on the water or ground, a skein is when they are in the air.)

The sound cannons are humane and ecologically friendly. There are no projectiles flying around to endanger anyone. Shotgun blanks would do the trick too, creating a blast as loud as 150dB, but then someone has to be around to shoot them off. At least one sound cannon I found online, the Sonic Sentinel M-14-1, can be run on an electronic timer using a battery, a handy thing to have going off on a regular basis to keep the geese away from where you want them.


See Inside the Sioux Falls 'Castle on 22nd Street'

I don't know when I first saw the home, nor do I remember when I started lovingly referring to it as the "Castle on 22nd Street." I only know that I did and have referred to that Sioux Falls house as such for about 20 years now.

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