In the first-light of a late October night, a particular waterbird made its way southward on its seasonal migration, along a route followed for many millennia unknown as its past relatives flew along the great muddy river of the central plains. The route was regular, though the conditions experienced have dramatically changed as alterations were placed - again and again - upon the landscape.
During the night of a lesser moon, this bird flew onward, until the time when the sun would soon poke above the eastern horizon, a time for nocturnal migrants to return to the land.
For the snipe, its situation would be dramatically influenced. This species realized, based on biological dictates that it was time to get down to the ground, as would other migrants.
The results would vary.
Situation of a misplaced snipe in downtown Omaha.
Partially eaten carcass of a snipe on the south side of the First National Bank tower, downtown Omaha. This image has been digitally altered.
For a bird which prefers wetlands, its fate was less drastic as it flew among the buildings of the city, looking for a safe haven. Its final position was at the entry to a downtown condominium, where it sat on the sidewalk under city lights, oblivious to anything other than its condition which had been dramatically changed.
There were no options for this Wilson's Snipe to pursue, when it discovered in the urban environment during some human's early morning survey to determine where other migratory wild birds had struck a building, as they regularly do along the misery river.
For this waterbird, its position dramatically changed once some documentary pictures were taken.
The snipe was grabbed by some perp - and despite a profound yet momentary chirp - was placed into a small bag where a soft cloth bag was already in place to cushion the ride as the man on a bicycle continued for a short time around downtown to determine if there might be some other causalities to denote in the morning.
One of its cohorts was soon noticed to have struck a well-lit, towering skyscraper just west of the Missouri River, and tumbled down, ending up on a sidewalk, where it died. The carcass was partially eaten upon by some unknown predator about in the river city.
Especially dramatic for the alive, wild, migratory bird, was a short ride along as a passenger on a bicycle. The destination was a bus-stop, since travel to a suitable haven would be less disruptive via motorized travel.
Hidden snipe's don't have to pay any fare to ride on public transit.
The perp responsible for its predicament at least took the pouch containing the bird off of the bike placed on the rack on the front of the bus, in order to make the birds' ride somewhat less bumpy and disruptive.
For the Wilson's Snipe, it was probably the first time ever that it or others of its same ilk, unknowingly experienced a ride on a city bus.
The perp's surmised goal was to get the bird away from downtown, to a place more conducive for it to recover without any of the threats of demise - especially ignorant pedestrians with big feet - until it could recover to an extent conducive to continue its migratory flight.
Though it was in a dark, sheltered, yet confined place, the snipe would occasionally indicate its preference for being elsewhere, as it would struggle in an unsuccessful attempt to escape. What a situation that would have caused: Escaped Snipe Causes Mayhem on City Bus!
A snipe on the bus is not a happy bird. Being carried along on a mass-transit bus ended at midtown. Then there was further travel to a habitat where a Wilson's Snipe could recover on its own time, warmed by sun-rays of early morning in a park.
Up on some heights, where ryas of the sun at first-morning shined, this particular Wilson's Snipe, was carefully held as it was removed from its specially held travel container. Once a warm, sheltering spot was found, the struggling snipe was placed upon the ground, where it sat without any attempt to move someplace else.
The grandeur of the bird, its sublime featheration was an interlude rarely experienced.
The bird and its watcher continued to sit for a length of time. Though there had been struggles, once free of any constraints, the waterbird did not move. When it was grasped again - without a peep - and moved to a colorful, leafy situation, its behavior was no different, and stoic for some remaining minutes.
The finality for this wonderful bird, was when after its unusual interlude getting moved around under another power, the agreeable and dramatically feathered accomplice, it was finally put somewhere that would be undisturbed - a place where park personnel would not run over with a mower, perhaps! - and left to its own fate. Once on the ground, the snipe simply walked away. Though watched with close intent, the bird was gone at the edge of the parklands, with its life to continue onward, its existence which would have been much simpler if it had not struck a downtown building, and been subsequently carried along.
This saga is a blended mix of fact and fiction.