Blue Turf Strikes Controversy over Potential Bird Strikes


Concerns have arisen about the possibility that birds will die from our new blue track. People ask, “How is that even possible?” What many do not know is that the blue of the track looks like a body of water to birds, causing them to confuse the two and dive down. To ornithologists and environmentalists, this is a huge concern, as it could potentially harm birds. 

At Boise State University in Idaho, birds, especially geese, have confused the blue turf for water and dove down–dying from the impact. 18,000 birds have died as a result of this. Whether these incidents were based solely on the color of the turf is still being debated. Many believe it has nothing to do with the color of the turf and that it is because the turf is near a lake. 

Scituate High School’s new blue track has caused fear that the same incidents at Boise State will occur here. Many students argue that because it’s a track and not turf, birds will not confuse it. Others say that because there are white lines that divide up the running lanes, birds will not confuse it for water. While others still say otherwise. 

SHS senior Tom Connor, a dedicated birder, touched upon his concerns in an interview. When asked if he believes birds will dive down upon SHS track he said, “There’s a chance.” SHS ornithology teacher Steve Maguire also talked about the subject during class. He mentioned his own concerns and the possibility that what happened at Boise State could potentially occur here. 

However, these are all possibilities and generalizations. Although no one can prove whether or not birds will dive toward the blue track of SHS, controversy is still in the air. I guess we will have to wait and see.