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Birds of prey, base falconer keep skies clear

Jens Fleer, 52nd Fighter Wing base falconer, swings a lure to retrieve his hawk at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Jan. 16, 2019. Fleer uses birds of prey to catch pests, such as crows, to keep air space clear so aircraft can safely fly. The lure is made with a crow wing to help attract and train with the hawk. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valerie Seelye)

Jens Fleer, 52nd Fighter Wing base falconer, swings a lure to retrieve his hawk at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Jan. 16, 2019. Fleer uses birds of prey to catch pests, such as crows, to keep air space clear so aircraft can safely fly. The lure is made with a crow wing to help attract and train with the hawk. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valerie Seelye)

Jens Fleer, 52nd Fighter Wing base falconer, launches his male hawk at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 14, 2019. Fleer trains hawks to keep the sky clear of birds that could damage aircraft. Spangdahlem also employs a base hunter who eliminates larger pests. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valerie Seelye)

Jens Fleer, 52nd Fighter Wing base falconer, launches his male hawk at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 14, 2019. Fleer trains hawks to keep the sky clear of birds that could damage aircraft. Spangdahlem also employs a base hunter who eliminates larger pests. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valerie Seelye)

A male hawk perches on his trainer's arm at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 14, 2019. The bird of prey is trained to hunt on base to eliminate the chance of aircraft bird strikes, which can damage aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valerie Seelye)

A male hawk perches on his trainer's arm at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 14, 2019. The bird of prey is trained to hunt on base to eliminate the chance of aircraft bird strikes, which can damage aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valerie Seelye)

A male hawk hunts at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 14, 2019. Hawks, and other birds of prey, are trained to eliminate smaller birds and pests that could get caught in aircraft intakes and cause damage. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valerie Seelye)

A male hawk hunts at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 14, 2019. Hawks, and other birds of prey, are trained to eliminate smaller birds and pests that could get caught in aircraft intakes and cause damage. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valerie Seelye)

Jens Fleer, 52nd Fighter Wing base falconer, watches his hawk at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 14, 2019. Fleer hunts with his birds on base several times per week. Despite their title, falconers train many types of birds of prey. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valerie Seelye)

Jens Fleer, 52nd Fighter Wing base falconer, watches his hawk at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 14, 2019. Fleer hunts with his birds on base several times per week. Despite their title, falconers train many types of birds of prey. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valerie Seelye)

A female hawk, trained by Jens Fleer, 52nd Fighter Wing base falconer, feeds on a crow at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Jan. 16, 2019. Trained birds of prey reduce the number of pests that could get caught in, and damage aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valerie Seelye)

A female hawk, trained by Jens Fleer, 52nd Fighter Wing base falconer, feeds on a crow at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Jan. 16, 2019. Trained birds of prey reduce the number of pests that could get caught in, and damage aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valerie Seelye)

Jens Fleer, 52nd Fighter Wing base falconer, lets his female hawk feed on a crow at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Jan. 16, 2019. Wildlife can cause foreign object damage to aircraft. Fleer uses hawks to keep the sky and flightline clear of pests. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valerie Seelye)

Jens Fleer, 52nd Fighter Wing base falconer, lets his female hawk feed on a crow at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Jan. 16, 2019. Wildlife can cause foreign object damage to aircraft. Fleer uses hawks to keep the sky and flightline clear of pests. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valerie Seelye)

A male hawk perches on his trainer's arm  at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 14, 2019. The bird is used to control the population of pests that could potentially cause aircraft damage. The hawk targets grounded birds and pests, rather than birds that are already airborne. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valerie Seelye)

A male hawk perches on his trainer's arm at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 14, 2019. The bird is used to control the population of pests that could potentially cause aircraft damage. The hawk targets grounded birds and pests, rather than birds that are already airborne. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valerie Seelye)

Jens Fleer, 52nd Fighter Wing base falconer, prepares to hunt with a female hawk at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Jan. 16, 2019. Hawks are trained to catch pests that could potentially get caught in, and damage aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valerie Seelye)

Jens Fleer, 52nd Fighter Wing base falconer, prepares to hunt with a female hawk at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Jan. 16, 2019. Hawks are trained to catch pests that could potentially get caught in, and damage aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valerie Seelye)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany --