13 April 2009

Irony of a Dead Flicker on Easter Morning at Creighton

It is ironic that the first dead bird found for the 2009 season was found Easter morning at Creighton University. The carcass was noted on the south side of the Mike and Josie Harper Center.

The Mike and Josie Harper Center for Student Life and Learning, according to website information, "Serves as Front Door" on the east side of the campus.

The irony is that University personnel profess that - as a religious institution - campus faculty and staff should, according to the message for this Easter:

He said that we would be judged by how we care for, or fail to care for, the least among us. ... Together, we can address systemic and global issues with faith-inspired hope. ... take greater care with the environment — Rev. Andy Alexander, S. J.

Northern Flicker carcass at the Harper Center, Creighton University, early on Easter morning. The dead bird remained upon my departure, to languish for some time until it would get unceremoniously thrown into the trash!

Millions of bird dying from striking buildings and getting killed is certainly a national and international issue. Although the comment of the Jesuit were focused on people, there should be no less attention to the plight of our natural neighbors.

It is doubtful that letting birds get killed on campus, and pursuing campus development that removes the homes for chimney swifts - which has a declining population - shows a greater care for the environment.

The flicker — with its unique and to use religious terminology "God-given life and beauty" — had been killed a day or two previous to Sunday morning. There was no glory of an holy resurrection for it on the third day. Its life was ended by men building dangerous architecture to glorify people, without any concern for what it may wrought on migratory birds.

There were a couple of interesting causes that lead to the finding of this dead bird, including an expectation the previous evening of finding a dead bird on the morning, and a flat-tire on the bicycle that meant being at the right place.

This bird is the eighth known bird death at this building. There have been three on the south side, three on the northwest side and one on the east side. Another died at the entryway. Strikes also occur elsewhere on campus, especially at a walkway on the west edge of campus where dried up and aged carcasses have been noted. There have probably been occurrences elsewhere.

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