21 August 2013

Nesting Bird Survey July 27 - Saddle Creek Project

Provided to Omaha Public Works; July 27, 2013. Presented here for archival and informational purposes.

Tree removal pending at the east Westlawn Cemetery site in association with the Saddle Creek CSO! project required that a survey be done in regards to any nesting birds, according to provisions of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

The following details are provided to the Public Works Department in accordance with an agreement to evaluate the indicated project site and determine if there were any bird nests present, or if there were other associated breeding bird concerns.

It should be noted that several previous bird surveys have been done around this area, which are helpful in understanding the conditions relative to the survey area features.

Survey Methods

A survey for bird nests and/or young was conducted early on the morning of July 27th at the area indicated on plan sheets 12 and 13 for OPW 51777, as provided by Public Works during a site visit on the afternoon of July 26th.

During the morning survey, there was less traffic noise, providing better conditions for listening.

During the survey three methods were used to evaluate bird activity while the area was slowly walked from west to east, and then back again:

1) each tree limb or other foliage were closely scanned to determine if nests and/or young were present;
2) listened for any bird vocalizations within the area and general vicinity; and
3) watched for bird activity that would indicate an active nest or adult birds feeding pre-flight young.

Survey Results

There were no nests or pre-flight young observed at the specific survey site.

General bird activity noted in the area did include:

  • American Robin: adults and large juveniles foraging in the woods to the south
  • Northern Cardinal: heard among the woods on adjacent hill-side, with activity also associated with shrubbery there
  • Red-eyed Vireo: heard among the woods on adjacent hill-side, and associated with the tree-tops
  • Blue Jay: heard to the south, though not seen
  • House Sparrow: foraging on the gravel roadway at the east end of the survey site.

Also checked during the survey, was a partial tree trunk at the eastern extent with a possible nest cavity. This feature was just to the south of the pipeway alignment, as noted by the placement of the painted laths. There was no bird activity here and no birds left the cavity when it was knocked upon.

Birdly Notes

The short tree trunk cavity towards the east of the area is just outside the corridor, and so will apparently be retained for potential, future bird use.

Retention of the large, old cottonwood tree just adjacent to the southern boundary of the line excavation will also retain a tree feature that is unique in the wood. It will likely provide future opportunities for breeding birds.