Animal lovers and armchair activists alike shouted at their computer screens in fury yesterday, outraged at news that Port Authority had, over the weekend, taken to killing a handful of snowy owls that were at risk of interfering with flights at JFK.

Not to worry, though. The agency has reworked its strategy and decided to relocate the creatures instead:

“The Port Authority is working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to move immediately toward implementing a program to trap and relocate snowy owls that pose a threat to aircraft at JFK and LaGuardia airports," reads a statement from the agency released last night. "The Port Authority’s goal is to strike a balance in humanely controlling bird populations at and around the agency’s airports to safeguard passengers on thousands of aircrafts each day.”

Over the past two weeks, snowy owls have collided with five planes at JFK, Newark and La Guardia airports, officials said, prompting the agency to add the birds to a growing list of winged creatures deemed a menace to human air travel. Snowy owls, however, enjoy a certain celebrity not accessible to the no-fly list's less glamorous occupants, after one was featured as Harry Potter's loyal companion, Hedwig. Had Harry employed a rock pigeon to deliver his Howlers, maybe the same fuss would be raised over protecting them, too. Where is Forest Whitaker when you need him?