Its that time of the year. Happy birds are in the midst of their annual mating ritual. We see them all over REI as we are in a known avian flyway. All aircraft owners, especially those that tiedown outdoors, need to be vigilant for birds nesting in our engine compartments, air inlets, vent openings and any where in the aircraft where bird can gain access. Hangared aircraft are also subject to this activity too. Please see the photo below of the second bird nest found in two weeks among aircraft being serviced by Blue Raven Aviation.
The NTSB has a few reports of aircraft accidents from fires resulting from nests made on top of cylinders. Nests can clog engine inlets, interfere with control movement. Bird poop can cause corrosion and paint damage. Please be vigilant during your preflight for evidence of bird nests. Keep all openings in your aircraft covered or plugged while it is parked.