DUGWAY PROVING GROUNDS, Utah — Hundreds of dead Eared Grebes were found at Dugway Proving Grounds Monday morning, and hundreds more were found alive but unable to fly.
A press release from Dugway speculates the migrating birds landed on vast expanses of fresh snow thinking they were landing on a body of water. The Eared Grebes have difficulty getting airborne without the aid of water.
A similar incident played out in a Walmart parking lot in Cedar City over a year ago in which dozens of the birds died upon impact while landing in a parking lot covered by a fresh thin layer of snow.
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and the US Fish and Wildlife Services are working in conjunction with Dugway’s Environmental Programs Office to remove the dead birds and transport the living birds to areas with water as quickly as possible to increase their chances of survival.