Letter: Moving swallows’ nests | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Moving swallows’ nests

Why would somebody make the decision to eradicate the cliff swallows nesting on the I-70 and U.P. overpasses on the morning of May 22?

After these amazing little birds have migrated thousands of miles, repaired and constructed their nests of mud, successfully hatched their babies and were hard at work feeding their young. Then someone with the state or county makes the decision to slaughter all the babies by removing all the nest. Whomever you are, you could have had a conscience or some semblance of intelligence and waited until the young had fledged. Shame on you.

Dudley D. Comer

New Castle

Editor’s note: We asked Grand Avenue bridge project spokesman Tom Newland what happened. Here is what he reported:

“To ensure compliance with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which is a federal measure enacted to protect migratory birds, CDOT has requirements that are to be followed by the contractor regarding nests on structures, seasonal vegetation-clearance restrictions and measures to buffer bird nests within a construction area. This is known as ‘Specification 240.’

“In the case of the cliff swallows, which are migratory birds, Specification 240 requires that no construction activities occur within 50 feet of the nests. Since it is not possible to move the construction activity away from the nesting sites on the bridges, the specification called for removing the unoccupied nests on the bridges before the swallows began nesting. “This was accomplished on May 12. None of the swallows was hurt or killed when the vacant nests were removed. After construction is completed, it is common for the cliff swallows to return to their former nesting sites and re-establish their nests.”

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