13 July 2009

Cuckoos Movement Shown by Omaha Building Strikes

The early season southward movement of Yellow-billed Cuckoos is being shown by instances of dead birds found in downtown Omaha in the past few days.

A carcass was found on the 9th on the north side of the First National Bank tower, on the sidewalk by the atrium. This atrium is glass-enclosed and has large obvious plants. The setting is a prime example of what not to do to provide a bird-safe setting.

Frazzled carcass of a Yellow-billed Cuckoo at the First National Bank tower.

Although there is usually someone picking up trash around this structure on a regular basis each morning - to keep the place clean - the bird carcass still remains, as it was just pushed into the space around a planted tree, where it would not be obvious. It is quite a mess of feathers and bones now!

On the 13th, the very fresh carcass of another cuckoo was found on the east side of the south tower at Central Park Plaza. The colors and characteristics of this bird were quite dramatic, though the situation was forlorn.

Carcass and scene of Yellow-billed Cuckoo killed by striking a hazardous building, the Central Park Plaza south tower. July 13, 2009.

Fall migration for this species is usually not thought to occur until a couple of weeks later this month. These two birds may not have had any success raising a brood, and left to return to other havens, and then in another tragedy, were killed by a building hazard in Omaha.

There are five known instances of building strikes occurrences by the Yellow-billed Cuckoo thus far this year in Omaha.

Each death is a violation of the taking clause of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Each instance was document with a photographs, which in these two cases are shown above.

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