Saturday Happenin's and Shocking News From the Bell Museum

The hungry birds at Hyland Park yesterday did not lie--it be snowin' buckets here. I wonder if we will have a proper Minnesota winter this year? The first year Non Birding Bill and I lived here, it snowed in November and there was snow cover until April--no lie. I remember thinking at the time, "Can I really handle this?" However, we haven't really had it since.

This is what it looked like outside the Bell Museum (where we had the MOU Paper Session) right before I gave my presentation. It didn't look so bad, but I stuck my head outside and it sounded like some ice was falling.

This is what it looked like about an hour later and throughout the morning, the visibility got worse. The decision was made to kind of move the proceedings along quickly so instead of rounding out the day by 4pm, we ended up wrapping up around 1:30pm. NBB was doing some work near the museum and he and his buddies picked me up.

This was the view of I-94 on our way home--and yes that is the Dude on the dashboard (that or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing). It's still snowing as I type this, so we have holed ourselves up and are watching movies (Radio Days and Troy thus far) and drinking martinis.

So, here was kind of some shocking news at the Paper Session. The Bell Museum of Natural History is planning to move to a new location and they are in the process of designing a new building. So, the museum director shows the MOU members plans for the new building and it's got a HUGE glass design so we can look out of the museum and see all the landscaping that will be done for birds...while birds slam into the windows and die. There were audible gasps heard in the audience when the design was shown to a bunch of birders. Now, I would just say that perhaps the Bell Museum just wasn't aware of the problem of birds flying into windows...however, they have been one of the partners with Bird Safe--as a matter of fact, Bob Zink, curator of birds at the Bell Museum of Natural History, is helping coordinate Project Bird Safe!

Bell Museum--what were you thinking? Well, perhaps when they have school groups over and they are doing a Bird Safe program they can just use the giant glass wall as a teaching tool, "See kids, you don't want a wall like we designed, because birds fly into it during migration and die." Or maybe this is way for them to study birds hitting windows up close?