Thousands Of Birds Die After Mistaking WALMART Parking Lot For Water
THEBELLINGHAMHERALD.COM - Thousands of migratory birds died on impact after apparently mistaking a Wal-Mart parking lot and other areas of southern Utah for bodies of water and plummeting to the ground in what one wildlife expert called the worst downing she's ever seen.
Crews went to work cleaning up the dead birds and rescuing the survivors after the creatures crash-landed in the St. George area Monday night.
By Tuesday evening, volunteers had rescued more than 2,000 birds, releasing them into nearby bodies of water.
"They're just everywhere," said Teresa Griffin, wildlife program manager for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resource's southern region. "It's been nonstop. All our employees are driving around picking them up, and we've got so many people coming to our office and dropping them off."
Officials say stormy conditions probably confused the flock of grebes, a duck-like aquatic bird likely making its way to Mexico for the winter. The birds tried to land in a Cedar City Wal-Mart parking lot and elsewhere.
"The storm clouds over the top of the city lights made it look like a nice, flat body of water. All the conditions were right," Griffin told The Spectrum newspaper in St. George (http://bit.ly/rYpQbJ). "So the birds landed to rest, but ended up slamming into the pavement."
No human injuries or property damage have been reported.
It's not uncommon for birds to mistake hard surfaces for water. However, Griffin noted most downing are localized, while "this was very widespread."
"I've been here 15 years and this was the worst downing I've seen," she told the newspaper.
Wildlife officials said they were continuing the rescue effort that started Tuesday afternoon and included an enthusiastic group of volunteers.
The surviving grebes were gathered up - some in cardboard boxes - and dropped into bodies of water in southern Utah's Washington County, including a pond near Hurricane.
Residents who came across remaining grebes were asked to either call wildlife officials or bring the birds to their office.
"If we can put them on a body of water that's not frozen over, they'll have a better chance of survival," said Lynn Chamberlain, a wildlife agency spokesman.
Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>
HONOLULU (AP) - Engineers say damage to the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu was worse than expected and it will remain closed indefinitely. Hawaii News Now reports boat transportation to the attraction was suspended May 6 after one of the vessel operators noticed a crack on the outside of the memorial.>>
DENTON, Mont. - A large wolf-like animal was shot and killed May 16 by a rancher near Denton, Montana. It now has wildlife officials and the public wondering what it was, according to KFBB. The animal came within several hundred yards of the rancher’s livestock. Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) said in a statement the rancher shot it and reported it as required by law. The animal was a young, non-lactating female and a canid, a>>
FIRST ON KHQ: Former Spokane NAACP president Rachel Dolezal facing felony theft charges for welfare fraud
SPOKANE, Wash. - Former Spokane Chapter NAACP President Rachel Dolezal is now facing legal trouble that could land her behind bars. KHQ has confirmed that Dolezal, who legally changed her name to Nkechi Diallo in 2016, is accused of 1st Degree Theft by Welfare Fraud, Perjury in the 2nd Degree, and False Verification for Public Assistance.>>
SPOKANE, Wash. - Former Spokane Chapter NAACP President Rachel Dolezal is now facing legal trouble that could land her behind bars. KHQ has confirmed that Dolezal, who legally changed her name to Nkechi Diallo in 2016, is accused of 1st Degree Theft by Welfare Fraud, Perjury in the 2nd Degree, and False Verification for Public Assistance. Her potential punishment under RCW 74.08.331 could include up to 15 years in prison.>>
SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - The man accused of murdering the 10-month-old baby he was babysitting was back in court Friday asking for a change in his release conditions. Josh Mobley, 29, has been out on bond in the months following the death of baby Caiden Henry. His parents posted his $250,000 bond. Attorney's said Friday Mobley was asking to move his wife and four children into his parent's home after some financial issues. The>>
SHOSHONE COUNTY, Idaho - On Friday, the Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from 23-year-old Cole A. Lifsey from Post Falls, Idaho, who told officers he saw what he believed to be a body floating down the North Fork of the Coeur d’ Alene River. Lifsey said he was fishing at the time when he noticed the body, face down, floating past him. Deputies immediately responded and began to coordinate a search and rescue>>
KHQ.COM - The FBI has issued a warning to anyone with a small or home office internet router. In a press release and a post on the official FBI Facebook page the agency says "foreign cyber actors have compromised hundreds of thousands of home and office routers and other networked devices worldwide by using VPNFilter malware.">>