Purple martins, a birding wonder for years in Omaha, have flown the coop at Medical Center

August 28, 2018

The purple martin roost at Nebraska Medical Center — a popular, late-summer natural wonder — is no more.

Taylor Wilson, spokesman for the medical center, said the birds didn’t flock to the trees at 44th and Farnam Streets this year. Nor were they there last year.

“No real reason is known,” he said.

Martins used to mass by the tens of thousands above the medical center every evening and then descend in a swirling mass to roost into the ash trees by the emergency entrance.

Bird lovers from around the region brought their lawn chairs to enjoy the sight.

Possible reasons the birds have moved on: predators in the area, construction nearby, and loss of canopy in the trees where the birds roosted.

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