10 September 2013

Bird Strikes Surpass 500 at CenturyLink Center

Sunday morning another tragedy occurred at the most dangerous building for migratory birds at Omaha. An especial Northern Waterthrush was flying southward, and arrived at Omaha, along the Missouri River. There were lights and glass enough to cause confusion. This bit of featherdom hit an expanse of barren glass on the west facade of the CenturyLink Center Omaha, formerly the Qwest Center Omaha.

This was record 501 for this facility. Earlier in the morning two other disabled birds were at the same spot. One was a House Wren and the other some sort of warbler which flew away before it could be observed in detail sufficient for an identification.

There were other subsequent and similar tragedies soon discovered about the city-scape of downtown Omaha. A new building was added to the many other hazardous places, upon finding a Northern Waterthrush by the corner of Hotel Deco at 15th and Harney Streets.

And a short time later while bicycling around while continuing to investigate other bird-strike locales, an anty Mourning Warbler was found on the west side of the Keeline Building, along 17th.

The hawk's antics and presence meant an addition of two more bird-strike records!

Examples of recent bird victims at the CenturyLink Center Omaha.

In subsequent days, additional strike instances have been documented, so the tally is now more than 512!

Omaha's Deadlist Building

The first instance's of bird death's at the Qwest/CenturyLink Center were found on May 8, 2008. There were two dead Clay-colored Sparrows along its west side, which is a huge expanse of reflective glass.

The deadlist year known was in 2012, with 157 known instances, Numbers per year vary because of interest and intent, so there is no grand list which might indicate a precise number. There are also architectural features which inhibit any comprehensive perspective.

Numbers keep increasing, and that is the reality of the situation.

On Monday, September 9th, there were six more records added to the tally. Only one of the warblers was still alive, and carefully removed from the open scene adjacent to the glass. The species impacted were the Mourning Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Tennessee Warbler and Ovenbird.

Hazards persist at the CenturyLink Center Omaha, despite the placement of supposedly deterrent decals onto the upper extent of the windows along the west facade. And the mortality has continued unabated! It's hard to say if anything effective has been done, though there have been efforts. The bottom line: nothing has been effectively done to reduce the number of birds which are dying at the Qwest/CenturyLink Center.

Success of any deterrent measure should be evaluated based upon documented, proven results. The opposite is happening at the CenturyLink Center, which is managed by the troubling board of the Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority.

A special thanks to Justin Rink for his occasional help in identifying some bird carcasses.