27 August 2011

Really Amazing Martin Roosting Evening

It was a "really amazing" evening of viewing the Purple Martins as they made their way into the midtown Omaha Roost.

A human couple had arrived early on the scene, and were walking around looking for the birds. They asked a roost expert that had then recently arrived, and soon understood they just needed to wait awhile.

None of the dozen watchers were disappointed as more than 50,000 martins flew about above in large groups, dense in color against the sky. Conditions were calm and comfortable so the birds stayed aloft, mostly to the west of the roost trees. Perhaps they like the setting as the cement expanses below would heat more during the day and continue to create thermal activity longer than a natural surface. This would make it easier for the martins to soar without effort.

The display continued for a fine time as the martins - masters of flock flight - took their time whooshing into the roost. Then after some would arrive, they would swirl around just a few feet above the head of the focused watchers.

This spectacle was enjoyed by all, especially the couple, who expect to return and bring their grandkids.

Emergency Vehicle Noise

During the evening - after birds had landed and while many were flying around - an Omaha Fire and Rescue Department ambulance (No. 3) was departing from the nearby emergency room, heading north. The vehicle's driver came near a group of watchers on the sidewalk and then blew the blatantly loud ambulance air horn three times for some unknown reason. There was absolutely no apparent reason for doing this.

The noise obviously disturbed the martins. Some appeared to leave the trees and others diverted their flight path, and the birds appeared to mill about in reaction. There were watchers which were obviously perturbed about the unneeded "blowing" by the vehicle by some "twit" of a driver that seemed to want to specifically cause a disturbance. Perhaps they thought it would be "funny?"

A short time later a stunned martin was found beneath the south end of the elevated walkway between Kiewit and Clarkson towers.

It was a grand evening with the birds flying about in all their grandeur, especially on this August 26th, Friday evening.


The number of martins remained consistent through the weekend. Saturday had its injured birds, but they recovered and were again airborne. There were good numbers of watchers, with 17 on Saturday and 14 on Sunday evening.

video
This video was shot in hd and look pathetic here, but does give some indication of the number of martins present.

22 August 2011

Wildbirds Offered in Markets of Historic California

As pioneers made their way to untamed places in the western country, there were not stores or markets that offered groceries for easy purchase, and, more often than not, there was simply no cash in the coffer to buy something.

Wild game was an obvious option, regularly taken to provide a day's meal. Whether it was buffalo steak, elk stew or deer meat, there was also culinary fare derived from fowl of various sorts and sizes. Whether it was flesh or occasionally eggs in the summer season, prevalent birdlife often was the difference between nourishment or hunger pangs as multitudes of pioneers - one by one - traversed the plains on their way to the western coast of North America.

In particular at California, the often essential use of birds for a meal was noted as soon as there were newspaper reports about the people and commerce of the new territory and state.

An initial report - from 1848 - indicates the value of birds to the local community of San Francisco. The "Local Matters" section conveys the significance of wild birds as table fare.

... "Some will want employment who cannot get employed -- we believe that such a one will be able to do well, it he is a steady man, by going out with his gun to the swamps, beaches and plains, which skirt our beautiful bay, and supplying the community at a fair rate with such articles of game as abound there, to wit, ducks, geese, plover, snipe, quail, hare and deer. Every two or three days he could pack in the fruits of his labor, and calling around he could readily vend the same; or we have no doubt Messrs. Eggleston & Co. would immediately rid him of his burden and contract with him for a regular supply." - California Star and Californian

During this era, and continuing for decades, birds and other mammals were the target of many people carrying a loaded gun. An animal could provide a days' meal or be sold to get some change in the pocket. As commerce increased, wild game became a regular feature of local markets, with the local newspaper noting current prices along with other purchasable commodities.

In February, 1850, an elk carcass and a variety of birds prominently displayed for the bustling and hustling residents on the streets of San Francisco on the bay:

"Game.--The front of the Central House for two days past, has presented an appearance which would set a bon vivant to dancing a highland fling or a pas seul on the side walk. A huge elk decorated one side of the door, while hundreds of duck, brant, geese, plover, curlew, quail, snipe, peep, heron, and other birds, in the utmost profusion, covered the entire front of the building. We have rarely seen such a sight, and if the "Tall son of York" could have been with us, he would have "smiled" most desperately." - Daily Alta California

One of the earliest details about wild birds being offered on eatery menus is given in a advertisement printed in December 1850 when "gold fever" was prevalent in the bear state. The proprietors included a graphic of what appears to be a shorebird of some sort. The promotion said:

"Hole in the Wall Restaurant.
Quail and Oyster Soup. Goose, Duck, quail, snipe, plover, curlew, antelope, venison, bear, &c, &c, together with a great variety of other good things, can be had at any hour of the day, at the above establishment, on J street, a few doors east of the Humboldt." - Sacramento Transcript

In February of 1851, the profusion of wild game was again noted.

"Wild Game - An epicure can enjoy in San Francisco, at present, most of the luxuries of the best markets on the Atlantic coast, and in the item of wild game we exceed them all. Our market is full of fat geese, ducks, curlew and snipe, to say nothing of the enormous grizzlies and fat venison that are daily brought from the Contra Costa."

At this time, "great discoveries of golden treasure" were being made in the vicinity of the Klamath and Trinity rivers. An article noted that one year earlier, the region was "unknown," only inhabited by the Indian, or "the scarce less wild, bounding deer and antelope."

The take was endless, though the actual events were only occasionally reported, including this November, 1859 news item about snipe shooting in the vicinity of San Francisco Bay.

"Now that the season has set in when the English Jack snipe is in fit condition for delicious eating, we hear that a constant fusillade of shot guns is kept up in the march lands a few miles distant from the city. Our field sportsmen are reaping a splendid harvest at present and our markets show a plentiful supply of all kinds of game. Probably the best snipe ground to be found in the State is a few miles back of San Jose, where these birds, together with teal and mallard duck, hares, rabbits, curlew, quail and bittern, are said by those who have visited the spot to be found in abundance. A party of three persons from this city succeeded on Monday last, after a few hours; shooting, in bagging one hundred and fourteen English snipe, six teal ducks, several rabbits, and a few mallard ducks. They had two dogs with them, both of which were excellent retrievers. This is considered a remarkably good day's shooting; and a like result, no doubt, would well repay the most fastidious sportsman for the time occupied in hunting such feathered game."

Byy Game at the Market

The valuation of the birds can be readily compared for different years, especially from 1863 to 1880 for the central California markets. A variety is represented, include canvas-back, mallard, teal, geese (i.e., large geese, honkers, brant, white geese), sprigs (e.g., pintail), wigeon, snipe, quails most typically. Also curlew, plover, larks and doves as well as prairie chicken. The robin was available at one time.

Market prices were regularly reported in publications issued in California. Obvious examples considered included:

- Retail Prices at Washington Market, as published in the "California Farmer and Journal of Useful Sciences"
- San Francisco Market Review in the "Sacramento Daily Union" with this same newspaper continuing to present the details in columns titled "San Francisco Markets" and "San Francisco Produce Market" in the Sacramento Daily Record-Union, after two of the local papers combined.
- The Daily Alta California of San Francisco also gave market prices in its "Domestic Produce" column.

A representative sample of columns from the available sources for the state were evaluated to derive details which convey particulars pertinent for local consumers as they purchased fowl of different sorts.

In October 1863 and 1865, ducks were prominently featured among the offerings:

Poultry - Game

1863

1865

Ducks, com ... pair ... @1 75
Ducks, Canvasback ... @ .00
Ducks, Mallard ... 87 @ 1 00
Ducks, Teal ... doz. ... 2 50
Geese, wild ... @ 1 00
Snipe ... doz. ...
Quails ... doz. ... @1 75
Ducks, wild ... pair ...
Ducks, Canvas-back ...
Ducks, Mallard ... $1 00
Ducks, Teal ... doz. ... $3 00
Geese, wild ... pair ...
Snipe ... doz. ... $3 00
English Snipe ... doz. $3 00
Quails ... doz. ... $1.75
Pigeons, wild $2 50@3 00

There was an ongoing demand for the meat available for game animals, and notably wild birds as they were regularly available in the local market, as reported. Issue after issue of the papers indicated their price in direct terms for the undiscriminating reader.

In July 1866, the hill country about San Francisco had plenty of game, where the "voice of the turtle dove is heard in the land," according to a note in the City Items column. The mourning doves were "abundant and fat." A report on July 22 noted: "Nearly everyone who could buy, borrow or find a gun, started for the country last night or early this morning, on a dove hunt." The reporter "trembled for the existence of the whole feathered race" based upon a party of steamboat men afield, with a "gallant Captain" at its head.

In the spring of 1867, O.P.F. Kallenbach and H.C. Brown ventured forth along the Calaveras River, near "Deoly's Ranch" in pursuit of wild game. In an article titled "Snipe Shooting" it was reported they took 65 snipe during on outing from about 11 a.m. to sunset. "Hunters receive about two dollars per dozen for snipe, while consumers who buy in the market pay three dollars," according to the Stockton Independent report, as reissued in the Sacramento Daily Union.

This example from February 1874 indicates game available during the winter season at the San Francisco market. The summary is especially interesting as it includes prairie chickens.

"Wild Game -- There is an abundance of all kinds, and prices are low and nominal. Hare, $2@2 50; Rabbits, $1 50; Quail, $1.75; Snipe $2 for English, and 75c@$1 for common; Prairie Chickens, $5; Larks, Doves, Plover and Curlew, 50@62 1/2c; Ducks, $1 25@2 for small and $2 50@3 for Mallard; Geese, $1 50@3 50 for small and $5@6 [per] dozen for Honkers; Elk, 8@10c; Antelope, 12 1/2@15c per lb." - Sacramento Daily Union

Game laws were eventually enacted to provide legal protection against continual slaughter whenever and at any time during the year. Game birds were prominently recognized and seasons were established where fowl were given legal protection from shootists. The change was noted in a mid-March report for the San Francisco market.

"Game -- The Game law will be enforced after the 15th instant. For several days arrivals have been very light, and the following quotations are almost nominal: Quail, $1@1 25; Ducks, $3 50@4 50 for Canvas Backs, $3@4 for Mallard, $1 50@2 for Sprigs, $1 25@1 50 for Teal and 87 1/2c@$1 for small kinds; Honkers, $3@3 50; Geese, $1 50@ 2 for Gray and $1@1 25 for White; Brant, $1@1 25; Hare, $1 50@2; Rabbits, $1@1 50; Snipe, $1 25 @1 75 for English and 50@75c for common; Robins, Plover, Curlew, Doves and Larks, 25@37 1/2c dozen." - March 13, 1879, Sacramento Daily Union

There is an interesting mix of ducks - including "sprigs" which were probably the Northern Pintail - and various sorts of geese. Honkers would most likely be the Canada Goose, the gray geese the Greater White-fronted Goose, the white goose probably Snow Goose and brant, well that name is self-explanatory.

Market Birds in Historic California

Reports for the California markets are an accurate indication for birds in the markets. Several publications conveyed reports of interest when considering the historic ornithology for the state.

Consider the following details, derived from the newspaper chronicles, and summarized for various sorts of wild fowl. Waterfowl are prominent in the historic record....

Year - Month

Canvasback

Mallard

Northern Pintail

Teal

1863 - Oct

@ 50

87 @ 1.00

- -

doz. 2.50

1865 - Oct

2.00@2.50

1.00

- -

doz. 3.00

1867 - Feb

- -

$4

- -

- -

1868 - Oct

- -

50c

- -

- -

1869 - Feb

- -

$1 per pair

- -

- -

1874 - Feb

- -

2.50@3

- -

- -

1875 - Feb

3.00@4.00

2.00@3.00

- -

- -

1876 - Oct

- -

4.00@4.50

- -

- -

1877 - Feb

- -

2.00@2.50

- -

- -

1877 - Oct

- -

2.50@4.00

- -

1.50@2.00

1878 - Oct

- -

3.00@4.50

2.50@3.00

2.00@2.50

1879 - Mar

3.50@4.50

3.00@4.00

1.50@2.00

1.25@1.50

1880 - Jan

3.00@4.00

2.00@2.50

1.50@1.75

1.00@1.25 doz.

Representative prices of different sorts of geese in coastal California market from 1863 to 1880 are summarized based upon a sample of market reports:

1863 - Oct: Goose, wild, @1.00
1867 - Feb: Goose, Wild - gray, $4 doz. - $1 lower
1868 - Oct: Geese, Wild - gray, 50c each
1869 - Feb: Geese, Wild (grey), per pair, 50c
1869 - Nov: Geese, $12@15
1870 - Oct: Geese, 3.00 doz.
1871 - Feb: Geese, 2@2.50
1874 - Feb: Geese, small, 1.50@3.50 for small
1874 - Feb: Geese, Honkers, 5@6 doz.
1875 - Feb: Geese, small, 1.00@1.50
1875 - Feb: Geese, large, 3.00@3.50
1875 - Feb: Geese, Honkers, 4.00@5.00 doz.
1877 - Feb: Geese, Honkers, 3.00@4.00 doz.
1877 - Feb: Geese, 1.00@2.50
1877 - Oct: Gray Geese, 1.50@2.00
1879 - Mar: Geese, gray, 1.50@1.25
1879 - Mar: Geese, white, 1.00@1.25
1879 - Mar: Geese, brant, 1.00@1.25
1879 - Mar: Geese, Honkers, 3.00@3.50
1880 - Jan: Gray Geese, 2.00@2.50
1880 - Jan: White Geese, 50@75 c

Notable for the earlier years is that geese were often just recognized as wild geese. In the latter period, though, there was an apparent effort to be distinctive according to obvious features of the species. Represented in the market during the years were the typical honker, or Canada Goose, the Brant, Snow Goose, and the Greater White-fronted Goose.

Other sorts of prominent birds could be bought at the market for one price or another.

Year - Month

Common Snipe

English Snipe

Curlew

Plover

1865 - Oct

- -

doz. 3.00

- -

- -

1870 - Sep

- -

2.25@2.75

- -

- -

1870 - Oct

50@75

1.50@2

75 c

75 c

1871 - Feb

50@75

1.50@2.00

50@75

50@75

1874 - Feb

2.00

75c@1.00

50@62 1/2

50@62 1/2

1875 - Feb

- -

2.00

37 1/2 @ 50

37 1/2 @ 50

1876 - Oct

- -

- -

50@75 c doz.

50@75 c doz.

1877 - Feb

50@75 c

2.00@2.25

50@75 c

50@75 c

1877 - Oct

75c@1.00

2.50@3.00

50@75 c doz.

50@75 c doz.

1879 - Mar

50@75

1.25@1.75

25@37 1/2 c doz.

25@37 1/2 c doz.

1880 - Jan

50@75

1.25@1.50

- -

- -

There were other sorts of birds which have a record based upon their being offered in the coastal markets.

Year - Month

Doves

Larks

Quail

1863 - Oct

- -

- -

doz. 1.00@1.75

1865 - Oct

- -

- -

doz. 1.75

1867 - Feb

- -

each, 50 c

dead or alive, at $1 per dozen - 25c lower

1868 - Oct

- -

- -

dead or alive, 12 1/2c each

1869 - Feb

- -

50@75

$1 25

1869 - Nov

- -

- -

$1 25

1870 - Oct

each, 50 c

50@62 1/2

1.25@1.37 1/2

1871 - Feb

50@75

37 1/2 @ 50

1.37 1/2 @1.50

1874 - Feb

50@62 1/2

50@75 c doz.

1.75

1875 - Feb

37 1/2 @ 50

50@75 c

1.25@1.50

1876 - Oct

50@75 c doz.

50@75 c doz.

1.50@1.75

1877 - Feb

50@75 c

25@37 1/2 c doz.

1.00@1.25

1877 - Oct

50@75 c doz.

at 50c per dozen

1.50@2.00

1878 - Oct

- -

- -

1.00@1.50 doz.

1879 - Mar

25@37 1/2 c doz.

at 12 1/2c each

1.00@1.25

1880 - Jan

- -

- -

75@87 1/2 c

These details prominently indicate availabilty and prices.

The particulars are for markets in one state during a particular span of years. Elsewhere in the unied states - predominantly in earlier years - other markets offered wild birds at a particular price.

A detailed comparison is an obvious consideration for the ornithology of the first years of the united states. Available newspaper accounts convey the particulars for a period many years before there was an ornithological journal. It is a sublime treat to read and appreciate the early accounts presented in their raw detail by so many newspapers where verbage was the essential of their effort.

Holiday Gourmands

Wild game was an obvious, special feature on holiday menus as prominently mentioned in the news conveyed to local residents

In 1878, a note in the Los Angeles Herald expressed a view of the holiday fare at a city eatery.

"We have no spite against the Central hotel, but when Fisher proposes a fine Christmas dinner, and we have another engagement, we feel mad. We know it will be a first-class affair, for we have seen turkeys, chickens and quails going into the Central (late Backman) for several days. The bill of fare comprises quail, chicken, turkey, canvass back duck, geese, capon, grouse, snipe, swan, partridge, mountain sheep, antelope, venison, cinnamon bear, elk, buffalo, rock bass, flounder, black bass, fresh cod, fresh salmon, black fish, new oranges, ripe grapes, fresh strawberries and ice cream."

A layout ad for the Pico House of Los Angeles, indicated their Christmas holiday for 1879. Three species of waterfowl were prominent menu items.

20 August 2011

Historic Poem - Meadow Lark in California

The Meadow Lark.

[Written for the Rural Press by Hope Haywood.]
Hear, oh hear, that meadow lark trill;
Is it not clear and sweet?
As he whistles so soft, and trills and thrills,
With his happy bursts of song.
 
His evening song — in the pastures green;
Where he has rested to-day;
With his heart full of thanks
For every good,
Since his toil for his food,
In the morning's gold to-day.
 
His heart but waits for the morn,
To come with its strength and power,
To help him to sing, to carol, and bring
New love to the fleeting hours.
 
More love I'll bring, more love I'll bring,
To earth with its garden of flowers;
Where a home shall rest in every breast
That findeth my meaning's bowers!
 
Within, within, is the kingdom of heaven —
Within your patient heart;
Bide through the dark, and then the lark
Shall join in your glorious song.
 
Oh hear him trill, oh, hear him trill,
His happy, happy song;
His thrilling, thrilling, thrilling joy,
His glorious thought and song.
 
His thanks, his burst, his love
For the meadows there,
That he so fair,
And listen to his song.
 
Meadows so rare,
In the sun's soft air;
All speckled with gold
And purple fold,
Of little flowers fair.
 
I will build me a nest
Of the brightest and best;
Why should I not
Gather this gold
That the sunbeams hold,
And the pearly pearl
The soft winds twirl.
 
He plays on his harp with sunbeams—
His music is so rare;
He sets it where the diamonds fall
From fountains of living springs
That leap in the air,
And the drops that fall
Make music in his ear;
And he sings, he sings,
He rings, he rings
His joy forth, pure and clear;
Ah, life is a dower of love, and of beauty;
Ah, life is a hope, and joy is a duty!
 
Hear him! hear him!
Hear that lark—
Like the light
Out of dark;
Oh, his glorious happiness
In so sweet, he must confess
The power it brings
To his soul as he sings
Hear him! hear him!
Hear him sing!
 
Oh, he makes such music ring;
To my ears and heart
They almost ache
With the thrilling dart
Of sweetness wrought
From love's own heart;
And I could almost sing
His hymn divine.
 
Oh, bird of the golden breast!
Thou sheddest a ray
Over my way
This summer day;
And I receive
The song and its happiness.
El Cajon, San Diego. June 21 1879. Pacific Rural Press 17(25): 406.

18 August 2011

Disc Course Users Violate Laws at Hummel Park

Miscreants associated with a "sanctioned purpose" have been willfully and blatantly breaking Omaha laws at Hummel Park. Their actions are dramatically degrading the park setting.

The purpose of the Omaha Metro Disc Golf Association is to establish a disc golf course upon the northern portion of the city of Omaha park. They have received permission to do this by the Omaha Parks Recreation and Public Property.

During a recent visit, it became obvious that disc golf miscreants violated laws of the city. A return visit to document the multitude of violations, easily and readily indicated a problem situation. Any of these actions at another city park would not be tolerated and strictly enforced, but there appears to be a different situation at Hummel Park.

The perpetrators have been:

1) Drinking alcohol in a park as obvious by the many beer cans strewn about nearly everywhere along the disc course route; drinking beer is not allowed in parks according to city statutes, as indicated by officials with the Omaha Police Department. There were indications of marijuana use, though this could not be confirmed.

2) Littering in a city park; the endless litter noted was in direct association with the disc golf course route

3) Marking more than 100 trees with arrows, dots and numbers, with each instance vandalism of city property; most of the markings were associated with indicating disc course directions, but some were made for no apparent reason

4) Spray painting graffiti on park features including benches, barricades and fallen trees

5) Excessively removing flora amongst a forest which is unique in the Omaha park system

6) Cutting down trees and other forest vegetation to provide an open fairway, which in several instances is excessive

7) Digging and moving soil to create golf tees, without any apparent effort to properly stabilize the soil to prevent future erosion

8) Establishing trail routes up steep slopes which will certainly erode, as no effort has been made to prevent erosional down-cutting

9) Moving soil and excavating hill slopes within an area known to have been used historically by native Indian tribes, with no evaluation survey done to avoid disturbance of artifact sites or other important heritage site; it should be noted that in past years, however, that city officials allowed construction of the hilltop shelter upon an Indian burial

10) Creating tee sites which were then subsequently abandoned, without any effort to return the spot to its previous, natural and vegetated condition.

Due to Missouri River flooding, any recent disc course work at the park has not occurred as the eastern access routes are blocked. This condition has allowed the park to be relatively undisturbed for several weeks, which was obvious on the date visited as a fine variety of birdlife was appreciated while documenting the abhorrent conditions associated with the disc course.

These are just the obvious items presented in a summary fashion as determined during a close inspection of the disc course route conducted August 17, 2011. Parking was possible at the lot on the north side of the park, along Ponca Road. There were no signs to indicate the park was closed. Nearby, workers were actively constructing the new nature center building.

Disc Golf Perps

This is a summary of those items which were obvious violations of city law, and a few other notable problems. Each instance is based upon a multi-hour, morning visit on August 17, 2011. A photograph was taken of each of numbered items which included a similarly numbered index card to indicate the item of interest. Any mentions of markings upon a tree is based upon spray paint placed upon a live tree, unless otherwise noted.

Disc Golf Hole # 1
#1 - trash by excavated tee
#2 - no. 1 arrow on bur oak tree
#3 - trash
#4 - trash pile along the stepway, along with other separate trash items
#5 - bullseye on tree at the bottom of the steps
Hole #2
#6 - number 2 and arrow on dead bur oak tree
#7 - pizza box sign placed along the trail to the next tee
#8 - smiley face upon tree
#9 - number 2 on walnut tree
#10 - trash container with beer cans, indicating illegal drink in the city park
#11 - number 2 on black locust tree
The course route then goes up a steep slope, subject to increased erosion as the cover vegetation has been cut to the nubbins.
#12 - arrow on dying walnut tree
#13 - trash along fairway which goes straight down a ravine, and since the vegetation has been cutaway, will be subject to increased erosion
#14 - the word "revolt" spray-painted on a hackberry tree
Hole #3
#15 - number 3 painted on a bur oak tree
#16 - pile of trash at tee dug out of a hillside, with no effort made to stabilize the soil to prevent erosion
#17 - more than 12 trees removed to create an open fairway
#18 - "420" graffiti on park bench
#19 - 420 graffiti on a nearby park bench
#20 - trash pile near park bench
#21 - arrow on tree indicating route to next tee
#22 - number 4 plus arrow to next tee spray-painted on a tree
#23 - two arrows indicating route to the next hole
#24 - arrow to tee for hole no. 4 painted on cottonwood tree at start of exercise trail
#25 - arrow to hole no. 4 on tree
#26 - no. 4 and arrow on walnut tree
#27 - no. 4 and arrow on hickory tree
#28 - no. 4 and arrow on tree

This is the same place where the city of Omaha forester marked numbers on more than 50 walnut trees in order to get a count of their occurrence. Perhaps the disc golf "gang" thought that if the city would spray numbers on trees, they could put whatever markings they wanted on trees as well. As an aside, in carefully considering the walnut trees along Ponca Creek, there were a number of unmarked walnut trees, so the city county was not thorough.

Hole #4
#29 - trash pile at the tee, with other pieces of trash nearby
#30 - word graffiti painted upon a tree snag at the tee
#31 - arrow and dot on a tree
#32 - arrow on tree
Hole #5
#33 - arrow painted on tree
#34 - bullseye on walnut tree
#35 - arrow on walnut tree
#36 - arrow painted on tree along Ponca Creek
Hole #6
#37 - beer bottles at tee

There were few arrows on trees in this vicinity, so it took a close reconnaissance to determine the route of the course, which here includes walking along Ponca road. There are a couple of walkways placed across Ponca Creek, which will, based on natural indications of flooding, be readily washed away by a high-water event.

Hole #7
#38 - beer can trash at tee plus other beer cans nearby
#39 - trash at no. 7 hole
#40 - steps cut in creek bank along the route to the next tee; this will result in erosion as the vegetative cover has been removed
Hole #8
#41 - trash at tee included beer cans plus other similar trash nearby
#42 - letter A painted on a walnut tree
#43 - the course route goes straight up the bluff, obviously creating the potential for erosion as vegetative cover has been removed; also, trash nearby
#44 - (skipped)
#45 - arrow painted on tree by course hole
#46 - multiple lines of paint upon a young hackberry tree near the hole
#47 - arrow pointing to next tee
#48 - an arrow on two different bur oak trees
Hole #9
#49 - big cut in hillside to create tee, with no efforts to stabilize the soil
#50 - bullseye on tree snag along the "fairway" cut through the woods
#51 - arrow on tree snag
#52 - arrow on linden tree pointing the direction to the next hole
Hole #10
#53 - arrow painted on tree
#54 - pile of trash at tee
#55 - bullseye painted on live tree
#56 - set of two trees with an arrow on each of them
#57 - arrow on tree at hole, pointing to the next tee
#58 - arrow on tree at hole, pointing to the next tee
#58 - arrow pointing to next tee painted on bur oak with virginia creeper vine,
Hole #11
#60 - trash container with multiple beer cans, indicating the illegal consumption of beer in a city park
#61 - 11s on two adjacent trees
#62 - bulls-eye on northern red oak along the fairway for the hole
Two spray-painted dots on trees along the way were noted but not photographed.
#63 - no. 12 and arrow painted on tree to indicate the way to the next tee
#64 - no. 12 and arrow on tree to indicate direction of the next tee
#65 - arrow on bur oak along the obvious trail to the next tee
#66 - arrow on tree along obvious trail to next tee
#67 - arrow on tree along obvious trail to next tee
#68 - arrow on tree along obvious trail to next tee
#69 - arrow on tree snag along obvious trail to next tee
#70 - arrow on tree along obvious trail to next tee

These arrows were painted on trees a short distance apart, and there were more than six arrows desecrating the trees within a distance of less than one hundred yards along an obvious trail.

Hole #12
#71 - no. 12 painted on tree at tee
#72 - no. 12 painted on hackberry tree by tee, and very close to the previous item
#73 - arrow on tree along fairway
#74 - arrow painted on bur oak along fairway
#75 - bullseye painted on hackberry tree along the course route which has had emergent vegetation cut-away
#76 - arrow painted on tree along course route
#76 - arrow painted on tree along course route
#78 - arrow at course hole pointing direction to next tee
Hole #13
#79 - arrow painted on hackberry tree by tee
#80 - arrow painted on walnut tree by tee
#81 - beer cans in trash container by tee
#82 - no. 13 painted on tree
#83 - bullseye painted on tree along course route
#84 - arrow painted on tree along course route
#85 - arrow on tree past hole pointing the direction to the next tee
#86 - arrow pointing the way to the next tee, a few feet away, sprayed upon a massive bur oak - a grand tree arboreal specimen along the park road -

This desecration of a tree is similar to the abhorrent painting of numbers on the splendid walnut trees along Ponca Creek, as done by the forester of the City of Omaha, earlier in the spring.

Hole #14
#87 - no. 14 painted on tree at tee
#88 - bullseye painted on tree along the course route
#89 - arrow and no. 15 painted on barricade to prevent vehicular access to an unused roadway
A dot was painted on six trees along the hillside trail to the next tee site.
Hole #15
#90 - extensive excavation of hillside to create a tee, with no effort made to prevent erosion
#91 - arrow painted on tree along the fairway; along with a nearby discarded beer can
#92 - big dot painted on tree along the course route
Beer can among naturally occurring tree fall, a short distance from the course "hole"
#93 - arrow on tree pointing the direction to the next tee.
Hole #16
#94 - dot on tree at 16th tee
Also a dot on a tree along the course route.
#95 - arrow painted on tree at hole pointing to the next tee; three trees along the subsequent route were marked with dots of spray paint
Hole #17
#96 - beer can and excavated tee space
#97 - arrow painted on tree along the trail to the next tee
Hole #18
#98 - multitude of beer cans in trash container, once again indicating the illegal consumption of beer in a city park
Five trees along the course route are then marked with spray-painted dots.
#99 - site excavated to provide a tee - with the flags present at other excavations still extant - but now obviously not being used for this purpose; no effort made to restore the site to its previous natural condition. There was trash at the site.

Nearby, along the cleared route of the course, the burrow of an animal native to the park had been abandoned, probably because of disturbance - including clearing with chain saws, noise, and moving deadfall - as observed on a previous visit. The obvious burrow entrance was partially to mostly covered with a spider web, indicating a lack of current use.

#100 - arrow on tree along the course route to the final disc course hole on the hilltop near the picnic shelter and associated constructs

Thus is the tally of obvious violations of the laws of the city of Omaha.

These pictures are examples of conditions noted in the park.

Graffiti drawn on a tree. This is obvious vandalism.

Beer cans indicating illegal drinking and left piled in the forest.

Multiple lines needlessly drawn upon a live tree.

Bullseye and two arrows in very close proximity.

Beer cans indicating illegal drinking and other trash.

One Gang for Another

During previous discussions with the disc course guys, people of the neighborhood and city officials, the goal was to increase use of the park to get rid of an undesirable "gang influence."

Based upon the present findings, one "gang" may be gone but another has taken its place.

Some of the disc course users are obviously doing more damage - short-term and long-term - to the park environs, regularly participating in illegal activities and otherwise reducing the quality of the park space. Efforts to create this course should be stopped and work thus far removed and conditions returned to previous situation.

It is obvious that the disc course people cannot obey city laws and are destroying a natural resource unique to the Omaha residents. Any special interest group should not be allowed to destroy something for their own particular interest. This group does not deserve any special "city sanction" for their aberrant effort as they cannot act responsibly.

Also, every effort possible should be taken to determine the "perps" that have been active in Hummel Park, and cite them as applicable. This effort should include prevention of any further violations of city laws.

The preferred alternative would be to end the disc course effort completely. It should be placed somewhere where it will not cause the unneeded destruction of a unique natural resource by miscreants breaking the law.

Birdly Wonders at Hummel Park

With an intent and purpose on a Wednesday morning, two birders with an interest in habitat conservation ventured forth on an onerous task, about the northern extent of Hummel Park.

It was warm and humid - as fog clouds were dissipating moment to moment - and remained. Biting sorts of bugs were not pesky enough to be troublesome. The greatest bother were the many spider webs slung hither and yon, at a scene mostly undisturbed by walkers for weeks as the access roads to the park are closed due to adjacent flooding along the Missouri River.

The duo visiting this day parked in the lot north of Ponca Creek, then walked into the northern hills, along the creek again and finished up at the point of origin, near the hilltop shelter and picnic grounds. The time expended for this task was much longer than this account might convey.

Summer Wonders

For a mid-August day, there was a fine variety of bird species. The morning's tally included:

Photogenic turkey vulture.

  • Wild Turkey - flock with three adult females comprised at least 14, including large juveniles
  • Turkey Vulture - two were consistently seen soaring above the park, and near the end of the outing, the reason for their ongoing presence became obvious. A juvenile which could only fly short distances was seen. It was resplendent in its downy gray-colored neck feathers. It was trusting enough to allow a close approach to get a portrait. It seems that due to the lack of human visitors to the park - because of no access for vehicular traffic - that the vultures were able to successfully nest. Best wishes to this youngster which should be able to get along well until it can safely fly from any local disturbance.
  • Cooper's Hawk - the reason crows and blue jays were adamant in expressing their displeasure.
  • Broad-winged Hawk - three were noted soaring above the hills; one was an obvious juvenile. With the regular sightings of this species in this vicinity earlier in the season (i.e., mid-May when vehicular access was still allowed), this raptor was able to raise its young. This is the first known instance of confirmed breeding.
  • Mourning Dove - a couple seen, but more readily noted just to the east in a mown field adjacent to the water-covered floodplain
  • Yellow-billed Cuckoo - a few readily heard in the hills and along Ponca Creek
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird - flitting about the hills and along the creek
  • Belted Kingfisher - heard just eastward of the park, probably fishing along the east side of river road
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker - load and boisterous during their day
  • Downy Woodpecker - sublime in their expression
  • Eastern Wood-Pewee - notable for its call at the picnic ground hilltop
  • Yellow-throated Vireo - heard
  • Red-eyed Vireo - various calls indicated this bird was about
  • Blue Jay - unmistakable in its vociferous manner
  • American Crow - expressive in their own way about something they did not like
  • Purple Martin - calls heard above the hills
  • Barn Swallow - near the day camp grounds where the contractors drive in to construct the new nature center building
  • Black-capped Chickadee - a few groups with indications of young of the year
  • Tufted Titmouse - especially expressive near the hilltop, with an interesting array of calls, indicating an expectation that a small group of at least four included young of the year
  • White-breasted Nuthatch - always a welcomed sound in the forest
  • Carolina Wren - exuberantly singing along Ponca Creek
  • House Wren - sublime in its voice this late in the season, as noted along the creek and in the hills
  • American Robin - worthy of a mention
  • Gray Catbird - a "meow" heard
  • Brown Thrasher - seen once among the shrubbery of the north hills
  • Summer Tanager - heard along Ponca Creek; on 5 August 2003, a juvenile bird was noted, so it is very possible that the bird noted today was the parent of some silent youngster
  • Scarlet Tanager - those seen along the creek included a juvenile; this was the first notation for this species in 2011; on 6 August 2003, a pair with a juvenile were noted in the park, a known haven for the species since 1990
  • Chipping Sparrow - near the north side parking lot
  • Northern Cardinal - some itty-bits of red colored hues flitting through the trees were reminders for these colorful songsters
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak - heard along Ponca Creek
  • Indigo Bunting - several noted along the creek
  • Baltimore Oriole - among the arboreal splendor of the creek
  • American Goldfinch - characteristic in their expression as they coursed through the park's air space

The 33 species noted during the four-hour outing is nothing especially grand for the variety of species noted. What was significant and knowingly appreciated was the obvious expression by several species which confirm their breeding success.

An undisturbed park setting was an obvious factor - based upon knowledge and decades of focused learning - for the breeding bird observations made this late in the breeding season.

A final image - shown below - conveys what the future may portend for this park, once the roads are clear and the disc golf "gang" continues their focused effort to unknowingly destroy or ruin forest features so important to birds in what is - for a final season - an undisturbed natural setting.

Barbie does not like the OMDGA because they are ruining the forest!

A salute to the birds and their season so vividly expressed to a couple of two-legged visitors on an August day.

15 August 2011

Zesto Design Includes Bird Hazards

The design for a new Zesto in north downtown Omaha includes design features which are known to be hazardous to migratory birds.

A courtesy image shows basically a glass exterior with separated by brick columns for one portion of the structure, apparently on the northeast corner. The glass extends for more than one floor. There is also the exterior vegetation which will attract birds. The trees are placed at just the right distance to cause reflections in the glass and which have been repeatedly shown to cause bird strikes. Also, having green foliage (i.e., trees) visible "through the glass" will confuse birds which would think they could fly directly from one to the other. But there will be glass panes in the way.

There have been hundreds of bird strikes in this vicinity, including several along the street where this building is to be constructed.

It is quite ironic that will other buildings have been required to alter their facade to reduce bird strikes, Omaha architects continue to design and promote structures will features that are known hazards.

The Zesto building does not appear to be a structure that will be bird-friendly. And thus it will not meet the criteria to be a "green building."

The building is expected to open in March, just in time for spring bird migration.

The same architectural firm that designed this building, also designed the Slowdown complex, where bird-strikes have been documented. They were also the firm that added the north glass facade to Criss Library, and which is now a place of danger to migratory birds, as their lifeless carcasses have been found in the garden. The firms notes the glass with provides "an abundance of natural light" as a special feature of the building.

In a perverse sense, the recent construction of the parking lot complex to the west of this building - which removed much of the plant growth - has led to fewer strikes.

With ongoing construction of buildings with features known to be hazardous to migratory birds, it is difficult to make any progress in reducing their extent in metro Omaha.

Naturalistic Perspectives Threatened at Carter Lake

This is a view of Carter Lake from where the Sandy Griswold bird sanctuary sign should be placed.

Notice how it presents a basically unadulterated view, similar to what the place might have looked at the time when Griswold was active in bird conservation efforts. It even looks somewhat similar to what the river channel may have looked like in former times, before the lake was cutoff from the river channel, by natural water action, not because of any human influence.

This sort of view is seriously threatened by the so-called "lake improvement" efforts supported by government officials, some with "single-purpose" attitudes, rather than a comprehensive approach. As plans are now it would not be possible, once the work occurs, to ever get a naturalistic scene to enjoy because the banks will be covered with rocks and senseless groins - because people don't like to fish from the bank - will intrude into the water space.

Now is the time to enjoy this sort of a scene at the lake because as soon as public officials can, they will alter it forever.

This is a view of Canada geese on the industrial lawn at Levi Carter Park. The picture has been altered just as public officials have and will continue to drastically alter the place and the lake.

14 August 2011

Colorful Phantasm of Martins Midtown

An evening's interlude once again led to the medical center campus midtown. Approaching from Carthage and then Dundee, the prime light of a setting sun lit the buildings in a palette of expression sufficient to capture an observant's imagination. The coloration was sublime, requiring stops along the way to absorb the varied hues.

On the scene of the regular martinfest this season, the first subjects of focus were notably just to the north above the trees. More bugs there because of the arboreal foliage.

The first Purple Martin was at the roost site by 330 South at 7:45 p.m. Others then arrived at their suitable time, languid in flight among the unseen currents of the sky space.

Additional bits of birdlife were present during the prelude to the grand spectacle.

Cedar Waxwings went one direction then another, and back again. A flock of four turned three towards the great north. There then went south anyway after a brief time.

Gradually the birds concentration above the hard streets of urban Omaha. Big-sized martins close by. Little martins high in the sky. A dragonfly drone nearby were all parts of the place.

Martins soar in such a casual manner. Adults and season's young traverse hither and yonder over there as their congregation gathers on a Friday eve of no special significance - except for the martins which know what is important for them, as expressed year after year.

Each bird has their own part of space. With a dip or a dash, or with a quick flash of flight, they pass wing-to-wing.

There was an Eastern Kingbird atop the tree near a hard-concrete vantage point. How unexpected. It may have thought the same as it was gone within a minute or two.

Martins continued to gather. And get together in a spectacle of their own concern and importance.

There were a few watchers, the first noted this season. One man north of Farnam was bedecked in outdoorsman garb, including a broad hat for protection from nonexistent sunlight. An obviously comfortable group of three had lawn chairs and other accouterments on the lawn.

With the descent of dusk, birds overwhelmed the scene on the street, once again at this place.

Noisy bunches of starlings arrived. In came the more boisterous grackles. These were lesser birds in more ways than one.

A pungence from birdly droppings was obvious in the moist air of the evening.

Doves dashed around. Swifts twittered above.

A miasma of tendrils can be imagined in a phantasmagoria manner in the sky from the flight patterns of 35,000 individual martins gathered in an unsurpassed spectacle. Their flight displays are appreciated only by observation. An observer could scribe an account which might be expressive, but would still not be sufficient for the actual experience of time and place sensations created by the birds.

The actual view can be so easily enjoyed, and so comfortably, so experience is the best way to experience the event..

A party of three arrived late, missing much of the event, but the "main man" was expressive - as overheard - in expressing views based upon some sort of bias, as some bird people are prone to do.

This Friday evening started - based upon known intent - in silence. It ended with distinct sounds of exquisite chatter by the gathered throng of martins.

The finale of the 12th was done by 8:45 p.m. so its important to not be late to get the best look, especially when the light is right and the moon would be so bright.

Mid-morning gathering of martins on a powerline at the Florence Waterworks. August 13, 2011.

Saturday Evening Sequel

Phenomenal views not experienced in four years of watching occurred. The martin vortex came in low and thousands of them swirled just feet above the eleven viewers present.

It was one of the best evenings ever for watching the spectacle.

A mature couple "dressed to kill" for earlier evening events, got recognition for being the best dressed. They have a martin office at their residence in Pacific Heights, and came down to see where their martins had gone. They had visited last season as well.

One juvenile martin struck the glass of the walkway, but was only temporarily stunned and flew away when approached after most of the other martins were at their night's roost.

10 August 2011

Wiegand Comments - Wind Energy Guidelines

Courtesy of Jim Wiegand of Redding, California.
August 2, 2011
RE: Wind Energy Guidelines - Comments
Dear Sir or Madam:

I have reviewed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Revised, Draft Guidelines for Land-Based Wind Energy Projects. The influence by the wind industry upon the recommendations made by the Wind Turbine Guidelines Federal Advisory Committee, are obvious.

I found the guidelines to be nothing more than a device whose sole purpose is to castrate the USFWS from its duties and absolve the wind industry from accountability. The use of the word Guidelines is also misleading because there really are no guidelines. The guidelines are all voluntary and allow the industry to be self regulating. If adopted, the guidelines will handcuff the USFWS so there is no hindrance by this agency from the destruction to wildlife and their habitats being done by the wind industry.

I believe the proposed guidelines will also be used as a foundation for the wind industry to steamroll across any habitat, National Park, refuge or mountain range they want, with virtually no oversight.

If one compares both the 2003 Voluntary USFWS guidelines and newly proposed guidelines they will find that both are really quite absurd. They in essence, give the wind industry the privilege of diplomatic immunity. With these new guidelines project developers are just "encouraged" to comply and the guidelines are only "intended to promote" compliance. The language in the Guidelines is riddled with examples of ambiguous language, language that will leave the industry with very few rules or regulations for the development of wind projects. The bottom line is that if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Revised, Draft Guidelines for Land- Based Wind Energy Projects are put in place, America will just have to rely on the moral conduct or good conscience of the wind industry.

Looking back, what have the 2003 USFWS voluntary guidelines really accomplished? I have seen what the good conscience of this industry has brought to America. There are now thousands of lethal wind turbines in California condor and whooping crane habitat, with thousands more on the way. Where there is wind, they will build. If there is an impact from a project to a critical species, there mercenary biologists will create bogus documents to predict minimal impacts. Then after the projects are installed, protected species killed by the turbines are routinely hidden. I encourage the USFWS to show me any wind industry impact report and I will show you deception, incompetence, omissions or fraud. Since 2003, the industry has become a runaway train.

If the primary mission of the USFWS "is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people", the USFWS should explain exactly how any of these so called guidelines could ever conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats when there is no transparency. I must remind the USFWS that the fish and wildlife in this country do not belong to the wind industry.

Imagine a District Attorney trying to prosecute a murder case if there were state laws/guidelines in place that were written in the same manner as these guidelines. The District Attorney would encounter language similar to this. "We encourage everyone to show restraint when angry and recommend minimizing all hostility in an attempt to avoid the taking of a life". Sadly, this illustrates just how ridiculous these guidelines are. Of course the courts would be empty and this brings up another underlying purpose of these guidelines.

The USFWS needs to return to it roots. You should put these guidelines in the dumpster and get back protecting the wildlife in this country. For starters the USFWS should be sure to address the wind industry's contrived baseline studies and its pattern of looking for target species and behavior at the wrong time and places for a predetermined outcome. A list of all those involved in the bogus documents should be noted in a special incompetence file. For this task, I would be happy to assist the USFWS.

Secondly, in order to get a real grasp on the damage being done to the thousands of protected species killed daily by the wind industry, the USFWS service should require with consequences, that every wind project save and report all fatalities starting from day one of operation. Without accurate knowledge it is impossible to properly manage the impacts caused by this industry. Analysis and significance of the fatalities should be left to experts completely unrelated to the wind industry. Additionally there is also no need for the wind industry to conduct their own post construction studies. They have demonstrated over and over, they can not be trusted.

Thirdly, it is time to take another look at Altamont Pass, the grandfather of all wind farms. An accurate raptor survey is badly needed taking into account the numbers of, or lack of, permanent raptors living in the habitat in and around the wind turbines of Altamont Pass. Instead of just counting bodies under the turbines there needs to be a meaningful raptor nest inventories and aerial surveys study that looks at the actual ongoing impacts to the populations living in the Altamont Pass region. It may very well be that many of the permanent resident raptors have been killed off and now you are dealing mostly with raptors dispersing from other regions., I guarantee that with an honest study, the 59 pairs on nesting golden eagles once claimed to be living within a 19 mile radius of this wind farm, will not be found. I also suspect that any study area of several hundred square miles would clearly show more raptors residing per square mile in similar habitat the further away one gets from Altamont pass. The 25 year impact of killing raptors at Altamont Pass should be documented.

The USFWS has made it clear that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Revised, Draft Guidelines for Land-Based Wind Energy Projects are intended to address the potential negative effects of wind energy development on fish, wildlife, and their habitats. If this is true, then my suggestions will be put in place and the lack of wind farm transparency will end. Otherwise none of these guidelines will be worth the paper they are printed on.

While on the subject of Land Based Wind Projects, I would also suggest that the USFWS look into the possibility that some of the drought conditions in Texas and Oklahoma could possibly be due in part to the many thousands of huge wind turbines installed in these two states. There is a possibility that there could be an atmospheric influence from the wall of thousands turbines to the north and northwest of Austin and the wall of turbines being built to the south along the coast. I suspect that the air turbulence and infrasound (ELF Waves) given off by the new generation of large wind turbines is having an influence on the normal mixing of cooler air coming from the north with the gulf air movements from the south. ELF waves are known to travel great distances and bend while moving upward into the atmosphere. These waves are known to have an impact on water vapor. It may explain the lack of rainfall in this report coming out of Mongolia.

In conclusion I would like to remind everyone that the lack or regulations, and enforcement has already cost this country dearly. Two recent examples are the Minerals Management Service and its relationship to the Gulf oil spill and the Fed's lack of oversight of the banking system. With these newly proposed guidelines, a new disaster for wildlife is in the making.

Jim Wiegand
Wildlife Biologist and raptor expert

09 August 2011

Vulture Campus Gathering

Turkey vultures continue to gather at their midtown roost. A peak in the numbers was noted on 9 August, and it was also a fine morning to get a picture of the birds drying their feathers and waiting for thermals so they could be on their way for the day.

03 August 2011

Comments on Draft Wind-Energy Guidelines

Comments in response to the details given in the draft Land-based Wind Energy Guidelines

Submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via email on August 3, 2011

There should be no incidental take permits allowed for federal and state listed threatened or endangered species.

Wind farms should be sited away from habitats known to regularly used by threatened or endangered species, especially and certainly including the Whooping Crane and within its known migratory corridor.

Wind farms should not be allowed to be placed in association with wetland habitats/areas. All effort should be made to ensure they are sited on "disturbed land" and do not get placed within areas of native habitats such as prairies or woodland tracts.

If incidental take for birds that are not threatened or endangered is allowed, there should be mitigation required that will conserve/manage habitat nearby for the benefit of migratory birds. This requirement should not be fulfilled by obtaining a conservation easement. Mitigation efforts should occur within ten miles of the project site. A specific limit to incidental take should be established, and if the project should exceed the designated limit, it should remove the troublesome turbine(s) or take other measures to reduce the take - killing of birds or bats.

Turbine farms should not be allowed within a particular distance of known breeding areas for sensitive birds or species in peril.

No turbine farms should be allowed within any national wildlife refuge or other wildlife lands owned by the FWS.

Every effort possible should be made to avoid the ruination of important scenic vistas, along scenic rivers or other sensitive and unique lands.

Presite evaluation should be required for turbine farms at areas known to harbor numerous migratory birds with a valid scientific evaluation done to ensure there will be no or minimal impact to migratory birds.

Developers should be required to bear the cost of a suitable analysis, as a proper environmental review is a cost of doing business. The burden should not be placed on the regulatory agency. The cost of energy obviously includes its impact on the environment and natural resources.

There should also be an opportunity for the public to know of FWS involvement in the process, preferably through an online site which presents pertinent details such as project name, FWS contact, project size, stage in review process, potential impacts and findings. This information could be easily presented in a data-format where it is kept timely and available, which is an advantage of using an internet format.

The FWS should promote wind energy at sites close to where the energy developed would be put to use and do not require extensive construction of transportation wires. This would mean near urban centers and not out in the rural countryside where the power would have to be transported long distances. Developers should be required to adhere to particular aspects of the guidelines before they will receive authorization for a project. If a developer chooses to build a project without authorization and there is "incidental take," they should be fined (i.e., Migratory Bird Treaty Act) and the turbines shut down until they suitably adhere to required measures.

Wind energy can provide power for America, but it needs to be developed in a safe and responsible manner which does not harm migratory species, especially those in peril. The proposed guidelines should be implemented as soon as possible.