Cliff swallows travel thousands of miles from South America to return to their nesting sites every spring in the Petaluma area. They nest on bridges as well as cliffs, but the bridges they depend on are becoming death traps -- netting used to prevent birds from nesting on bridges in the area is trapping, maiming and killing the swallows.
Caltrans contractors installed exclusionary netting under bridges in February to prevent swallows from nesting on the structures before construction on a Highway 101 widening project this summer. Although exclusion of nesting birds is permitted, the netting Caltrans is using is ineffective and deadly -- nearly 100 cliff swallows, as well as barn swallows and white-throated swifts, have been killed by the nets. Swallows are also attempting to nest on un-netted portions of the bridges, but Caltrans contractors are knocking down unfinished nests even though it is illegal to kill protected migratory birds or disturb their nests.
Caltrans failed to identify the bridges as significant swallow nesting sites and used inadequate and deadly exclusion measures. Take action by telling Caltrans to remove the dangerous netting that is killing cliff swallows nesting under the Petaluma bridges.
June 3, 2013 Action Alert ID# 99
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