Black Rail!

Every year, thousands of birds die in Chicago from flying into windows, usually after becoming disoriented by by the bright city lights while they are migrating at night. While the birds that fly into windows most often are common species, every once-in-a-while a real surprise shows up. This morning Chicago Bird Collisions Monitors volunteer Dave Stegman found a Black Rail, a nearly mythical bird in the Midwest, dead on the Dearborn St. Bridge over the Chicago River. Here are two photos of the specimen, before and after being prepared by Collections Manager Ben Marks.

The issues surrounding the hazards of downtown Chicago's many skyscrapers to migrating birds is covered regularly in the local press. Here's a link to a recent Chicago Tribune article about just that.