16 April 2012

Stormy Weather Notably Kills Birds

Severe weather on April 14th resulted in several known examples of bird mortality in the area.

On Sunday morning, a dead Franklin's Gull was noted near the middle of South Expressway Street, north of Lake Manawa. A number of these birds were present at the lake, with many others flying about. Possibly this bird was struck from the sky and fell to land on the thoroughfare. It has not yet been compacted by traffic.

There were two reports of fatality in Boone County.

William Flack reported on the NEBirds forum that: "At the intersection with county road 290 Ave in northeastern Boone County, found a flock of 29 Franklin's Gulls in a field beside the road. Most were clearly dead: lying on their backs with their wings sprawled out in odd positions, etc. Only six of the gulls were in positions consistent with living birds; two of those six moved, and were clearly injured.

"I conjecture that the birds were caught in the storm that moved through and killed by hail. A little earlier at Olson Nature Preserve, I'd found hailstones more than an inch in diameter (=larger than a U.S. quarter)" ...

Colleen and Don Noecker, reported at the same forum, they noted "a dead Canada Goose on a muskrat hut. We presume it died from the hail. Also saw an injured Franklin's Gull which was sitting upright but the wing was clearly damaged."

In midtown Omaha, an errant Pied-billed Grebe occurred on Davenport Street at 43rd Street, and ended up being struck by vehicles. The carcass was flattened but still could be readily identified.

The conjecture, according to first observer Justin Rink, is that the bird landed on the street during the heavy rain on Saturday and could then not get airborne, and was then struck dead by a vehicle.

These grebes were common at three area lakes along the river on Sunday.

There was a news report a few days later showing several Pied-billed Grebes being released at Cunningham Lake, which had also been grounded during the weekend storm.

No comments:

Post a Comment