20 October 2008

Mortality of Migratory Birds Continues at UNL Hazards

Recent bird strike. Carcass of a Brown Creeper at the UNL city campus.

A visit the UNL campus to view the measures that were put in place to address bird strikes indicates that bird mortality continues at place where some effort was made to reduce the extent of the hazards.

The first thing found was a dead Brown Creeper at the Cather-Pound-Neihardt walkway. Obviously the markers put on the glass at this site did nothing to help this bird. In looking closer at the south side of the walkway, there were several smears on the glass from bird droppings indicating other strikes. And it seems that one of the markers was also beginning to fall off. There were some feathers at a second place under the walkway. Additional carcasses were expected, but since there are many feral cats on campus, they probably got eaten, or thrown away.

The markers placed on the glass are not enough to adequately address the bird strikes at this building hazard. There are not enough, and they obviously do not sufficiently make the glass opaque to significantly reduce the extent of impacts. Whether they are making any difference is not known.

Glass of the CPN walkway with obvious smears from bird droppings that occur at a bird strike. Click on the image for a better view.

View of the CPN walkway on October 19, 2008.

The same situation applies at the Hamilton Hall walkways. No carcasses here either, and for the same reason. The extent of markers here is also pretty sparse, and do not appear to be sufficient enough to make a significant impact.

Obviously the Fish and Wildlife Service did not followup on this effort to evaluate whether it was a substantive effort that would seriously address the very significant bird strike issue on city campus. This reflects an ongoing "whatever" attitude by this agency on the bird strike problem.

View of the markers placed on the north walkway at Hamilton Hall.

The grade for the effort by UNL is a D since at least some effort was taken, but it was a measly effort and not enough to get a passing grade. There was not enough preparation made to find a solution that would be immediately effective and with lasting impact. The decals were put up later than expected. The most simplistic and cheap option was selected. There has also been no followup evaluation to see what the actual results are. Also the dead creeper is a significant negative on any grade. Facilities needs to try again, and this time try to at least get a passing grade...

The grade for the FWS is a C, since they made some effort to address the problem, but did not provide specific suggestions for measures that would be most effective (providing a copy of suggested guidelines is not enough), there was no followup on what was done, and they have not made any effort to continue to work with UNL to ensure the extent of bird strikes is significantly reduced at the earliest possible time.

The wild birds continue to die from bird strikes at the UNL City Campus.

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