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Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

Bird-deterrent netting protects swallows from bridge-construction work

Barn swallows live in the tidal marshes surrounding Humpback Bridge - a bridge crossing Muddy Branch creek near Leipsic, Delaware. Delaware Department of Transportation maintenance workers weren't surprised to find 18 barn-swallow nests underneath the bridge when they inspected it at the end of the nesting season before work began to replace the old bridge with a new one. To keep barn swallows out of harm's way both before and during construction, they installed black polyethylene netting specifically sized to deter barn swallows under the bridge and around the piers, attaching the netting with a cable and lug rings and stretching it taut to prevent sagging. Installing the netting took just two days and cost $3,000 - far less than the manufacturer's installation charge. The swallows were successfully kept away while the old bridge was being replaced, and now they're back, nesting under the bridge as before.
 
--Apr 25, 2003

Joy Ford, (302) 760-2107 or Jford@mail.dot.state.de.us

Barn Swallow perched on nest
Photo by James Loupold, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Barn Swallow

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On or Near Bridges - Delaware
Updated: 12/12/2012
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