20 September 2012

Window-Strike Miscellany for Downtown Omaha

It is now the midst of the autumn window-strike season at downtown Omaha, and there have been some recent, significant findings.


Three previously unrecorded species were found on the mornings of September 18th and 19th. The first was a Blue-headed Vireo, kicked away from where it had died at the Omaha Public Power District Energy Plaza.

A disabled Blue Jay was seen on the west side of the CenturyLink Center Omaha. It had moved away from the glass, and was noted after dealing with a nearby, dead Lincoln's Sparrow. The jay flew towards the trees to the west, making it two-thirds of the distance, then bouncing off the ground and then reaching the landscaping, though it could not reach the upper part of a tree. There have been about 20 window-strikes here in the past four days, including eight on the 18th.

A Black-throated Blue Warbler was at the northwest corner of the north tower at the Central Park Plaza. It was disabled and after noting it and getting a distant picture, it flew away. This was just before several people got off the bus and would have certainly chased it away, or perhaps stepped on it.

People on the way to work in the morning are typically just focused on getting to their destination, as evidenced by usual behavior, noted repeatedly.

Prediction Comes True

When the architectural design was seen for the Zesto Building near the downtown ball park, it was predicted in an email to the design company that bird strikes would occur because of the extensive use of glass and nearby landscaping.

The first dead bird was found the morning of September 20th. It was a Lincoln's Sparrow, a bit of a ways south of the entrance to Lids Locker Room business, on the east side of the building, and its north end.

Holland Performing Arts Center

Staff at this building are purposely trying to hide window-strikes occurrences.

The morning of the 20th, a staff person - an older guy seen there on other occasions - was overheard talking about a bird trapped along the south glass of the courtyard. He had tried to capture it, but was unsuccessful. He left the bird there, and while walking around towards the south side of the building, his comment to a construction worker was that the bird was stupid anyway, and continued with: ... "let it die. I'll just pick it up later."

This guy obviously has a routine of removing any carcasses and chasing away any live birds as a part of his first in the morning routine, as it was only about 6:30 a.m.

Removing the dead birds means they know there is a problem, but they do not want anyone else to know. Their throwing bird carcasses into the trash does not show proper respect for the just recently lively bird. Chasing birds without proper knowledge of bird behavior on how to catch them can be considered harassment, and may lead to additional deaths, if a bird hits the extensive glass, again.

Numerous window-strike instances were denoted this spring, but the Lincoln's Sparrow trapped in the courtyard, was the first record this autumn, whereas there are typically more. There had to be a reason, and it became obvious this morning.