Date: 6/6/19 5:55 am From: d pan <birdmandan813...> Subject: [wisb] Follow up- Interurban bike trail disruption Oz county
Recap and update- I spoke with a rep from American Transmission Company- They seemed genuinely interested in honoring the Federal Migratory Bird Act. I ( along with a friend) then went through brush recently cut by them and found two nests that were destroyed. We also found a nest with nestlings looking to be cut down the following day. ATC rep was notified and thanked me, promised to educate their contractors and protect the nest. That nest is still there. Cutting continued around the area and down the trail. The following day I walked another length of the trail ATC was clearing and found a nest with eggs and a partially built nest in line to be cleared. I took and forwarded pictures to ATC and again was thanked and told the info would be passed along. The active nest is still there and now marked with a bright colored ribbon. Everything else in the area is gone. When I went back to check the nest, the entire crew just stood, arms folded and watched me like I was the guy making their jobs more difficult- I walked other parts of the trail that had been cut and found no nests marked with ribbons- Do you think I found the only active nests on this length of trail? I don't.
A excerpt from recent texting with ATC- "As for lessons learned, a big one is that this work was pushed from winter due to various circumstances. That push has now resulted in work during an non-optimal time of year that could have been discussed during schedule reassessment."
As much as I hope this truly is a lesson learned and ATC factors these lessons into future Spring work schedules, I have no reason to believe it will change anything- I believe we as birders need to actively lobby locally and help establish protocols that absolutely prohibit widespread clearing during the six or seven week nesting period - If brush can't be removed during the other 45 weeks of a given year it could wait an additional year.
As things stand for this season, unless we identify active nests and bring them to ATC's attention, there's no way to know if ATC ( or it's contractors or sub contractors) are doing their due diligence. That means we're protecting a couple individuals but only if someone has time to do so.......