19 August 2009

Martin Mecca Midtown a Maelstrom for Media

About a dozen people were present at the midtown Omaha martin roost to enjoy the flight of the birds on the evening of August 18, 2009. Included in the bunch, was a reporter and videographer with KETV news.

And most importantly, there were more than 20,000 martins. The birds arrived before 8 p.m., whereas the night before, they were not present until about 8:15. After swirling above the gathered watchers, the birds eventually began entering the trees and "jetting" in from the west as dusk settled upon the scene.

It was the usual grand show by the birds.

A view of the roost site - note the skywalk in the lower center where the banners and decals have been installed to deter bird strikes - as taken from the west, on Farnam Street.

Emergency helicopter passing over the roost site just before a large number of birds began to gather.

Dennis Devine welcoming two martin watchers, and he also provided them further information about the birds. These two watchers were obviously ready for the show, and brought along the chairs to do so in comfort.

Two of the three martineers on the scene, with Justin Rink getting some video of Dennis Devine.

The KETV videographer getting a close up of the Purple Martin Man, after his shirt - appropriately colored - had been "martinized" by a bird dropping. The umbrella was also hit twice. It was interesting to note that these were the only known instances of droppings hits from the birds. The purple umbrella had been purchased just for the occasion. In the background, the news station reporter is taking a picture with his cell phone.

A view of the aerial realm, showing some of the myriad of gathered martins.

The group of people watching the martin activity, and also chatting.

An Omaha fire department truck stopped for a few minutes to inquire about the birds. Tom, shown on the right, is a retired fire-fighter.

The martins had all roosted by about 8:40 p.m., and while the skies were empty, the trees were full and the sounds of the birds was loudly obvious. It was another fine time of martin watching at the Martin Mecca Midtown!

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