21 August 2015

Medical Center Installs Window Screen to Reduce Martin Deaths

On Friday, June 21st, Nebraska Medicine had window screens installed on the glass of a skywalk at the Midtown Martin Mecca.

The unique screening was placed on the west side of the skywalk between Kiewit Hall and the Doctor's Building south.

"It is a unique privilege to have these beautiful birds stop here on their migratory journey," said Taylor Wilson, senior media relations coordinator for Nebraska Medicine. "Although we have no role in them choosing to pay us a yearly visit, we want to be as respectful of their presence as possible and to do everything we can to protect them from harm while they are here. If this covering is effective in reducing the number of strikes, we will obviously look closely at doing the same thing" at the skywalk between Kiewit Hall and Clarkson Hospital.

"Obviously, caring for our patients is our number one priority, but we really do want to make things as safe as possible for these birds," Wilson said.

Staff of Nebraska Medicine regularly monitor the skywalk. Wilson and others, "pass through the area quite frequently during the day to make sure we don¹t have any disabled birds," he said.

The window screening was installed by Mike and Nick of Renze Display. They mentioned that it is probably their first installation done in order to protect migratory birds.

The screen put in place was a custom design, digitally printed on a clear window film. "We can print "any design using the digital print process," they said.

While at the work-site, several people walking past made positive comments about the screening, with some saying it looks much better than the banners, which had been in place. One comment overheard was "that's nice" by a woman as she walked past. There was some ancillary words heard that conveyed an appreciation for doing something to help bring an end to birds striking the glass.

If properly cared for, this type of screening should last more than five years, the screen installers said.

Pictures taken during a mid-day visit to the skywalk on Friday.

Evening Visitors to the Roost

On Friday evening there were about 90 people present to watch the approximate 35,000 martins at the roost. On Thursday, there were about 75 people looking to the sky as they appreciated the spectacle of the Purple Martins.