Last week Anthony Zemba, the Connecticut Audubon Society Director of Conservation Services, had an unfortunate discovery while conducting his International Shorebird Survey at Durham Meadows. While on the road he discovered a recently struck Common Gallinule (what was until not long ago known as a Common Moorhen) that was crushed by a car. It likely occurred only minutes before he arrived, but was killed instantly with its neck snapped. The gruesome sight is below.
Millions or maybe billions of birds are killed by cars, trucks, ATVs, boats, planes, and more each year across the country. This was a particularly horrific find because the Common Gallinule is a state-listed endangered species. Suffice it to say, the last thing we want is to see harm come to even a single one of these birds in Connecticut. He could not tell if it was a resident, migrant, or bird that had dispersed post-breeding. Anthony also mentioned that people driving down that road often go very far above the speed limit, making these accidents all the more likely. He had even heard honking a little bit before and perhaps that motorist thought the bird would clear out of the road by blowing its horn.
It is a sad reminder of the introduced and sometimes entirely avoidable threats some of our most imperiled species face every single day.
Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds, Audubon Connecticut and the Connecticut Audubon Society partnering to improve conditions for coastal waterbirds in Connecticut.