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400 Migratory Birds Die from Striking Skyscraper in Texas | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Some of the nearly 400 dead birds which crashed into the American National Building are shown in Galveston, Texas, US May 4, 2017. Josh Henderson/Courtesy Galveston Animal Services Unit/Handout via REUTERS

Galveston (Texas)- Officials said over 400 migratory birds of brilliant plumage were killed when they smashed into an office tower in Texas while flying in a storm.

Josh Henderson, animal services supervisor for Galveston police, revealed that office workers arrived at the tallest skyscraper in downtown Galveston on Thursday morning and found the birds with feathers of blue, green, yellow and other hues dead on the ground.

The birds were coming from Central and South America and arrived in the coastal city of Galveston, likely fatigued from their flight over the Gulf of Mexico. The birds migrate to several areas across North America during the warmer months of the year.

Richard Gibbons, conservation director at the Houston Audubon, said these are showy, beautiful birds that bird watchers really get excited to see.

More than 20 species were represented among the 395 birds that died, Henderson said.

A storm was battering the city, which probably forced the birds to fly low, Gibbons said. In the dark, they may have mistaken the skyscraper’s lights for the sun or moon, he added.

“It was really a freak accident,” said Gibbons, whose organization has called for tall buildings to limit their lighting at night to avoid such mishaps.

Three surviving birds were taken to a wildlife center.