Some 50 miles south of Houston and situated just off the mainland, the 23-story American National Insurance skyscraper on Galveston island in the Gulf of Mexico — a popular bird migration flyway — is typically brightly lit by high-wattage white floodlighting.
Galveston Police Department supervisor for animal services Josh Henderson arrived on the scene after the brilliantly colored dead birds were discovered earlier this month. Henderson carefully collected the birds — covering 25 species — counting 395 dead, and, remarkably, three alive, according to Ibtimes.com.
"This is the largest event like this I have ever been a part of in over 10 years," Henderson said in a press release, according to Audubon.org.
The supervisor quickly shipped the carcasses, which included Nashville Warblers, Blackburnian Warblers, Chestnut-sided Warblers, Summer Tanagers, Yellow Warblers, Painted Buntings, Orchard Orioles and Ovenbirds, to Texas A&M University and Louisiana State University for identification and autopsy.
The remaining three were delivered to a nearby Audubon bird rescue center.
After a report of the incident was circulated the building owners took the step of turning off the building's bright flood lights, leaving only the green air travel safety lights at the top of the structure operational.
A spokesperson for the company that owns the 45-year-old building asserted that an incident of this kind has never before occurred.