Migratory Birds

The Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act (FMBTA) was passed in 1918. The FMBTA is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. According the USFWS, the FMBTA “makes it illegal for anyone to take, possess, import, export, transport, sell, purchase, barter, or offer for sale, purchase, or barter, any migratory bird, or the parts, nests, or eggs of such a bird except under the terms of a valid permit issued pursuant to Federal regulations.” More information on the FMBTA can be found at the following USFWS link:
https://www.fws.gov/birds/policies-and-regulations/laws-legislations/migratory-bird-treaty-act.php

Cliff swallows and barn swallows are small colonial nesting birds that are covered under the FMBTA. Cliff swallows and barn swallows often nest under bridges. Prior to any bridge construction, OTA requires engineers to evaluate whether or not a contractor’s proposed activities could pose a disruption to nesting birds. The OTA includes a note requiring protection of the swallow nests. The note concludes with the following requirement:

IF THE PROPOSED WORK WILL HARM ANY NESTING BIRDS, THE BRIDGE MAY BE NETTED PRIOR TO APRIL 1, OR THE WORK DELAYED UNTIL THE NESTING SEASON IS COMPLETE.

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