25 October 2008

Disabled Warbler Uses Bicycle as Roost While Recovering

While bicycling about downtown Omaha on 25 October, to check for bird strikes, there were five birds found. There were only disabled, the other two were carcasses of former life.

An Orange-crowned Warbler and Dark-eyed Junco were found at the northeast corner of the Central Park Plaza, north tower. There were several passerby's - there is a coffee shop inside - while getting photos and getting ready to move the birds elsewhere so they could recover in safety.

One lady exiting the building was pulling a small suitcase on wheels, and before anything could be said, her foot was right on top of the warbler, and it seemed her show may have stepped on the bird. After a quick comment, she avoided the nearby junco.

The warbler, though obviously already suffering from having hit the building, seemed to miss having any further adverse affects.

After picking up the warbler so it could be taken elsewhere, the junco flew off.

A landscaped area a few blocks away, was where the warbled was taken. Upon being placed on a tree branch, it flew about 50 feet but landed on the grass lawn. It was then picked up again and after trying to put it back on the branch, it flew a few feet and precariously hung from a few leaves, until flying a few more feet and landing on the bicycle being used as transportation.

After being placed on the branch again, the bird remained in place.

The bicycle shown is a borrowed bike, since the front tire of my bicycle had been stolen earlier in the week, on Monday, October 20th, while at the Criss Library at UNO. This was a whole ordeal in itself. After leaving campus and partially carrying the one-wheeled bike, a campus security officer came up and said there had been a report of a stolen bicycle, and I was the match for the description of the so-called thief.

Within a minute there were two other security officers at the scene. The first one basically accused me of stealing the bike, since that was what had been reported by someone near the library. After a few minutes another security guy arrived.

The ordeal on Dodge Street at 62nd - which lasted at least fifteen minutes since they would not believe the bike was mine - was somewhat inane, since the security guys kept questioning whether the bike was actually mine, again and again. Rather than checking to see if a bicycle was really stolen, they wanted proof it was actually mine. Consider, 1) why would someone steal a bike without a front wheel; 2) the bike lock and cable were right there, and the cable had not been cut; 3) the security guys would not go to the rack to see the other tire that was hanging loose, having been removed but not taken (something to do with making sure they were all safe); and 4) they would not go the the scene to notice that there was no cut lock or cable at the supposed scene of the theft.

Consider also these points: 1) someone else stole the tire from my bicycle, and nothing was being done to find them; 2) someone makes an accusation of a bicycle theft, and the false report was believed; 3) the security guy said I had been at a bicycle rack west of the library looking at bikes there, when that was not the case, so this was a made-up detail since I did not even know where that rack was located; 4) the last security guy that arrived in a pickup, made an illegal left turn off Dodge street to reach the scene; and 5) once I was able to finally leave, the security guy that was haranguing me, made a comment that perhaps I should be banned from campus for being a trouble-maker. His reasoning: my id was not provided immediately upon request.

To summarize: my tire gets stolen and other people are in the wrong, and I get harassed. The situation and related events were discussed later in the week with a supervisor at the security office.

These details are provided since without a bicycle that provided my only transportation, it meant there was no means to get around to look for bird strikes. Riding the buss downtown and then walking about just was not adequate for a timely and more thorough search. No funds are available to purchase a new wheel.

On Thursday, Marjie Ducey let me borrow her unused bicycle. After figuring out how to get air into the tires, mobility returned. And because of having this bike, I was able to get around this morning, and to rescue three disabled birds. A special thanks to her for assistance by providing a bicycle for transportation.

Orange-crowned Warbler on bicycle in downtown Omaha.

It seemed somewhat special that this picture could get captured. It seems that perhaps the Orange-crowned Warbler appreciated the bike being available and useful it getting it taken to a safer place. This was shown by it also using the bike as a temporary spot to rest and catch some warm sun rays.

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