31 July 2009

Efforts Undertaken to Address Martins Striking Sywalk Windows

After contacting officials of the Nebraska Medical Center (NMC) regarding the increase in Purple Martins using the midtown Omaha roost, the results were apparent on July 31st ... a few days later.

NMC officials had already contracted with Kiewit Building Group to put in place window decals, and the installation was underway on Friday, using construction workers which were already on campus.

The effort included:

  • A portable lift used to reach the windows so they could be cleaned and then place the butterfly decals
  • Five Kiewit workers; two to do the aerial work, and three to deal with diverting traffic around the work site
  • One supervisor from the NMC to oversee the effort; there was also a project engineer when work first got started, to check on the effort.

Obviously this work cost NMC a sum of money, but while they undoubtedly would rather not have had to deal with tens of thousands of birds on their medical campus, they did not hesitate to undertake suitable measures.

This effort is a dramatic difference from the response other Omaha building owners have made when informed of bird strikes occurring at their property. There has been no other building owner which has done anything in the Metro area to improve their structure in order to address known bird strike situations.

The current measures have been put in place to immediately address the situation, and there are plans in place to devise a more permanent solution that will not require effort each season, and which would be compatible with the location, according to what a NMC official mentioned.

The Nebraska Medical Center deserves some accolades for their quick response and ongoing efforts to provide a safe setting for the multitude of martins now at the roost site, and the thousands of others which have not yet arrived.

Installing decals on the skywalk glass; note the banners which have also been hung.

View of the scene as workers install the window decals. Officials with the Nebraska Medical Center can be seen at the lower right.

The work scene, showing how traffic had to be blocked to allow the decal installation to occur safely.

Discussing the best placement of the decals.

Kiewit Building Group employees carefully installing the butterfly decals.

A view of an installed butterfly decal.

Burly construction worker installing delicate butterfly decal.

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