I saw the news yesterday and I bet like every other birder the first question on my mind was "wonder what species it was?" Go on admit it I bet you all thought that too. After a little digging today it seems that the US authorities think it was probably Canada Geese. This news probably means that there are several hundred thousand Americans that think the Canadians had something to do with it because they have always had a chip on their shoulder about the US.
I have come across some wonderful quotes whilst looking at this though so I thought I'd share one or two here:
"Any time you get an open field and grass, you’ve got birds,” said Robert W. Mann Jr., an aviation industry expert in Port Washington (obviously an expert). from NYT.
"As a last resort you have to do lethal control to convince the rest of the flock that we mean business,” said Russell DeFusco (last resort means after trying and failing to lure the birds to an offshore detention camp) from NYT
"The risk is real," Curtis says, "Birds are a threat every day." (absolutely, why only the other day I was harassed by a Mallard) from Time
"Abrams rode around the runways with a megaphone, a horn, a starter pistol, and a shotgun. " (unfortunately this article didn't detail what Abrams was riding but I bet he wore a stetson.)
from Huffington Post
"Birds are less able to hear or see modern aircraft." (mmm, must be the cloaking devices).
I'll leave you with two facts from CNN
Commercial aircraft are certified to be able to withstand engine strikes by single birds up to four pounds.
Thirty-six bird species in North America weigh more than four pounds -- many traveling in flocks.