Thousands Of Birds Die After Mistaking WALMART Parking Lot For W - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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>>

  • Retired Spokane Police captain seriously hurt in Costa Rica crash

    Retired Spokane Police captain seriously hurt in Costa Rica crash

    Monday, November 12 2018 10:31 PM EST2018-11-13 03:31:20 GMT
    Holly and Keith Cummings (Photo: GoFundMe)Holly and Keith Cummings (Photo: GoFundMe)

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A retired Spokane Police captain is fighting for his life in the hospital.   Keith Cummings and his wife Holly were on vacation in Costa Rica and got into a head-on crash with another truck on Friday. In an online fundraiser, their daughter, Rachel Durkin, said her mother is recovering in a hotel room with several facial fractures and a pelvic fracture.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A retired Spokane Police captain is fighting for his life in the hospital.   Keith Cummings and his wife Holly were on vacation in Costa Rica and got into a head-on crash with another truck on Friday. In an online fundraiser, their daughter, Rachel Durkin, said her mother is recovering in a hotel room with several facial fractures and a pelvic fracture.

    >>
  • Spokane congressional candidate starts petition to abolish 'safe storage' gun initiative

    Spokane congressional candidate starts petition to abolish 'safe storage' gun initiative

    Tuesday, November 13 2018 2:07 PM EST2018-11-13 19:07:28 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane congressional candidate has petitioned the White House to abolish the recently passed Initiative 1639. The initiative, passed by voters last week, is a sweeping package of stricter gun regulations, particularly semiautomatic rifles. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane congressional candidate has petitioned the White House to abolish the recently passed Initiative 1639. The initiative, passed by voters last week, is a sweeping package of stricter gun regulations, particularly semiautomatic rifles. 

    >>
  • Police: Grandfather fatally shoots grandson in self-defense

    Police: Grandfather fatally shoots grandson in self-defense

    Tuesday, November 13 2018 1:32 PM EST2018-11-13 18:32:25 GMT

    SEATTLE (AP) - Police say a 78-year-old Renton man fatally shot and killed his grandson in what police believe was an act of self-defense.    The Seattle Times reports police were called to a Renton home Saturday night, where a 26-year-old man had reportedly assaulted his mother, said Renton police Cmdr. Dave Leibman. 

    >>

    SEATTLE (AP) - Police say a 78-year-old Renton man fatally shot and killed his grandson in what police believe was an act of self-defense.    The Seattle Times reports police were called to a Renton home Saturday night, where a 26-year-old man had reportedly assaulted his mother, said Renton police Cmdr. Dave Leibman. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/