Air Boat Ballet

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Hunter Dupre drives an airboat through a bed of giant cut grass, as he flattens the blades to discourage redwing blackbirds from roosting at the wetlands of Phinizy Swamp park in Augusta, Georgia on Tuesday, October 16, 2012. Sara Caldwellstaff
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Hunter Dupre (left) speaks with Jason Moak (right) during a short break from flattening the giant cut grass that grows at the wetlands of Phinizy Swamp park in Augusta, Georgia on Tuesday, October 16, 2012. Sara Caldwellstaff
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A flap on the back of an airboat engine is seen at the wetlands of Phinizy Swamp park in Augusta, Georgia on Tuesday, October 16, 2012. Sara Caldwellstaff
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The grass blades clog and wear the engine of the airboats that are being used to flatten the tall, sharp blades where the redwing blackbirds choose to roost at the wetlands of Phinizy Swamp park in Augusta, Georgia on Tuesday, October 16, 2012. Sara Caldwellstaff
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Joseph Dupre talks with his son Hunter Dupre and senior scientist-- with the sciences academy out of the Phinizy Swamp Nature Park-- Jason Moak during his short break from working cells at the wetlands of Phinizy Swamp park in Augusta, Georgia on Tuesday, October 16, 2012. Sara Caldwellstaff
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Hunter Dupre stands near the edge of one of the cells where he is flattening giant cut grass at the wetlands of Phinizy Swamp park in Augusta, Georgia on Tuesday, October 16, 2012. The grass is sharp, with ragged edges that can tear skin. Sara Caldwellstaff
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Hunter Dupre (back, center) and Joseph Dupre (left) drive airboats through a bed of giant cut grass, as they flatten the blades to discourage redwing blackbirds from roosting at the wetlands of Phinizy Swamp park in Augusta, Georgia on Tuesday, October 16, 2012. Sara Caldwellstaff
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As part of a program to remove the redwing blackbirds, the Augusta Utilities Department hires crews with airboats to smash and destroy those grasses in the fall to prevent the vertical blades from becoming attractive roosting sites for birds. The two men working said it would take a week to finish the cells, and shown here, the grasses lay flat at the wetlands of Phinizy Swamp park in Augusta, Georgia on Tuesday, October 16, 2012. Sara Caldwellstaff
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Hunter Dupre drives an airboat through a bed of giant cut grass, as he flattens the blades to discourage redwing blackbirds from roosting at the wetlands of Phinizy Swamp park in Augusta, Georgia on Tuesday, October 16, 2012. Sara Caldwellstaff
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Joseph Dupre sits on the edge of his airboat as he takes a short break while working one of the cells at the wetlands of Phinizy Swamp park in Augusta, Georgia on Tuesday, October 16, 2012. Sara Caldwellstaff
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Hunter Dupre, an operator with Stan's Air Boat and Marsh Excavator Service, which is based out of Lake Charles, Louisiana, drives an airboat across giant cut grass at the wetlands of Phinizy Swamp park in Augusta, Georgia on Tuesday, October 16, 2012. The grassy marshes and vegetation attract millions of redwing blackbirds each year. Sara Caldwellstaff
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Hunter Dupre drives an airboat through a bed of giant cut grass, as he flattens the blades to discourage redwing blackbirds from roosting at the wetlands of Phinizy Swamp park in Augusta, Georgia on Tuesday, October 16, 2012. Sara Caldwellstaff
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Hunter Dupre drives an airboat through a bed of giant cut grass, as he flattens the blades to discourage redwing blackbirds from roosting at the wetlands of Phinizy Swamp park in Augusta, Georgia on Tuesday, October 16, 2012. Sara Caldwellstaff
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Hunter Dupre drives an airboat through a bed of giant cut grass, as he flattens the blades to discourage redwing blackbirds from roosting at the wetlands of Phinizy Swamp park in Augusta, Georgia on Tuesday, October 16, 2012. Sara Caldwellstaff
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Hunter Dupre drives an airboat through a bed of giant cut grass, as he flattens the blades to discourage redwing blackbirds from roosting at the wetlands of Phinizy Swamp park in Augusta, Georgia on Tuesday, October 16, 2012. Sara Caldwellstaff
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A heron flies away at the wetlands of Phinizy Swamp park in Augusta, Georgia on Tuesday, October 16, 2012. Sara Caldwellstaff

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