17 May 2010

Bird-strike Deaths of a May Weekend at Omaha Buildings

There was an exceptional number of bird strikes noted the mornings of May 15-16, 2010, about downtown Omaha. The instances documented were at the buildings where strikes have regularly occurred.

At this point in time, there are two basic things that have occurred in response to the bird strikes.

A) The building owner is aware of the problem, has had discussions with the Fish and Wildlife Service (the regulatory agency) and has done something to address the problem, which is typically a token effort and insufficient to prevent further strikes.
B) The building owner is basically ignoring the problem.

In a couple of cases, a plan was prepared to address the continual bird strikes, but suggested measures have been ignored, and a response where readily implementable measures are not being taken.

Efforts to reduce the extent of strikes are continuing. There should be enough steps taken to reduce the seasonal tally to fewer than 100 birds per year. This compares to the more than 400 known each of the past two years.

Bird Fatalities


Rose-breasted Grosbeak; Qwest Center Omaha. Officials here have put up a few window decals at the north end of the west facade, but whether is is being effective is unknown, as they are also removing any carcasses so an accurate tally is not available.

Tennessee Warbler; Holland Center for Performing Arts. Organization officials are readily aware of the many bird deaths at this building, but have made the choice to not do anything about the situation, indicating there were no funds to pay for any measures.

Common Yellowthroat; 1200 Landmark Center; the greatest number of bird strike fatalities thus far this season, have been at this building.

female Rose-breasted Grosbeak; Central Park Plaza, east side of south tower. This is nearly the exact same spot where a dead male of the same species was noted the morning of May 14.

Common Yellowthroat; Union Pacific Center, north side. This dead warbler was found outside of the glass windows where interior landscaping is readily visible. The top recommendation given to company representatives last autumn when suggesting measures to reduce the numerous bird fatalities, was to remove these plants, but this has not occurred.

Gray Catbird; Zorinsky Federal Building, east side

Rose-breasted Grosbeak; Kutak-Rock Omaha Building, west doorway

Red-headed Woodpecker; Law Building


Lincoln's Sparrow; Qwest Center Omaha, west side

White-throated Sparrow; Omaha-Douglas Civic Center, west side, north of the west doorway

Each bird death is a violation of the taking aspect of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

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