08 October 2013

Carcasses Convey Continual Carnage at CenturyLink Center

Autumnal migration is underway along the Missouri River as prominently indicated by anyone observant of wildbirds at natural and unnatural settings within the valley.

The passage of so many sorts of birds is also sordidly shown by the number of wildbirds being found dead at buildings in downtown Omaha.

Ongoing carnage was vividly conveyed by the number of bird carcasses located at the CenturyLink Center on the morning of October 5th. A dead female Common Yellowthroat was the first fatality found along the building's west facade, about 40 feet from the north corner. Further south a bit of a ways, at the first section of glass north of the main convention center entryway, there were six carcasses, representing four species: Clay-colored Sparrow (2), Tennessee Warbler (2), another female Common Yellowthroat and a Lincoln's Sparrow. The remaining two fatalities were another Clay-colored Sparrow at the doorway of the southmost convention center entryway, and a third Tennessee Warbler near the doors of the north-facing entryway towards the south end of the west side.

Each of these carcasses were moved from where found, and disposed of in a natural manner proper for wildbirds.

A new discovery of the morning were two additional carcasses found near the paver blocks on the east side of the landscaping areas west of the west facade. There was another female Common Yellowthroat and another Lincoln's Sparrow immediately next to the blocks. It appeared that the carcasses had been blown to where they were found. They most likely were fatalities from Friday — when a survey was not done due to rainy weather in the morning — and a result of facility maintenance crews used a blower to move leaves and other material away from the building, the bird carcasses were among the debris.

Since 2008, when surveys for window-strike instances were started, there has never been an instance when ambient winds were enough to move any bird carcass multiple feet from where it had originally fallen upon striking a glass wall. The distance from where bird carcasses are typically found at the CenturyLink Center — usually within a meter of the glass facade — is too extensive for an undisturbed carcass to get moved. A predator did not move the formerly living birds, as there were no signs of predatory impacts on the slight forms of the lifeless birds.

If this is the case, it indicates another disrespect to wildbirds, as now they are considered as nothing more than a leaf to blow away in disregard. Previously, bird carcasses have been seen in the facilities trash receptacles.

This is one of the largest counts of window strikes documented on a single day at this location. There had previously been 12 found on September 25, 2008.

Elsewhere on Saturday, the other most significant observation was three disabled Lincoln's Sparrows at the Zesto Building, across the street from the CenturyLink Center parking lot. There were three disabled birds present at the doorway of the Lids Locker Room, the entrance to Blatt Beer and Table and the east glass wall for Zesto. These were the first casualties noticed during the morning bicycle survey. Other, more lively birds could be heard and seen among the landscaping within the area, including the plantings associated with the CenturyLink Center west parking lot and along the south side of TDAmeritrade Park.

Three carcasses were also found at the Zorinsky Federal Building; two on the west side and one on the north side. The species: Lincoln's Sparrow, Marsh Wren and another one of the so-much abused female Common Yellowthroat. Perhaps they were found because no one was picking up trash because of the government shutdown.

This was the situation a couple of day's earlier at the Curtis Park Service Building, along the riverfront.

Architects associated with the construction of these facilities have wrought a death zone with their inclusion of landscape plantings of various sorts. The birds land among the vegetation while migrating, thinking it is a safe haven, and then many of them slam into a reflective scene and are either killed or disabled. Adding to the problem are City of Omaha officials and others who want "green features" included as features for buildings within the city-scape of the river city.

The results? Hundreds of birds are being killed or harmed every year!!! And the extent of dangerous places is increasing due to new construction which adds glass facades to a city-scape which wildbirds have to deal with while trying to survive in an tainted natural world ...

Because of a running event originating at the CenturyLink Center Omaha at first morning on October 6th, there were no carcasses found since people and their accoutrements and prevalent promotional displays. It was a chilly morning, with constant drizzle and steady winds making it not so pleasant to be riding a bicycle.

On the morning of October 7th, sixteen bird-window strikes were documented in downtown Omaha. It was a morning with temperatures in the mid-40s, no wind and clear skies subsequent to the weather upheaval during the weekend. It was obvious that migratory movement would occur, and the results were indicative.