Incidental Take Beneficial Practices: Transportation

How do transportation projects impact migratory birds?

Most migratory bird deaths by transportation projects result from removal of active nests from infrastructure or unknown active nests during mowing or vegetation removal. Construction and maintenance activities associated with transport can disturb active nests, stranding eggs and nestlings. Some direct take of adult birds can also occur as part of vegetation clearing or vehicle strikes. Most of these conflicts occur during nesting season.

How can I help?

Most opportunities for implementing measures for transportation activities is during the construction phase. Vegetation removal or maintenance and ground disturbance should occur outside of nesting season. Projects should be designed in a manner that does not unnecessarily disturb migratory bird habitat during project implementation. Avoid destroying active nests and injuring migratory birds during demolition, repair, or cleaning. Use shielded lights that are downcast to reduce the potential for fallout and avoid steady burning lights.

What if I discover an active nest on my project site?

If an active nest is detected, no construction activities should be conducted until nestlings have fledged or the nest is unoccupied. Vegetation removal activities may occur only if a buffer zone has been established around the nest and activities are restricted within that zone until the nest is no longer in use. It is permissible to remove non-active nests, partially completed nests, or new nests prior to occupation.

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Migratory birds