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Wildlife Protection

Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

Dummy Eggs Replace Peregrine Eggs in Bridge-Painting Preparations

Necessity was the mother of a simple invention on a bridge site in western Washington. When crews from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) observed peregrine falcons and pelagic cormorants starting to nest on the bridge, they installed noisemakers and light deterrents to prevent the birds from nesting there. The strategy worked for the cormorants, but the peregrines began nesting directly under a manhole--the only access to the under-bridge maintenance walkway and a location in need of repainting. Since the work would have disturbed the hatching process, the peregrine eggs were removed from the nest and dummy eggs substituted. The peregrine eggs were taken to the Portland Zoo, where one egg was successfully hatched and fostered into a wild peregrine nest by the Portland Audubon Society. And the mother? She remained on the dummy eggs for more than 30 days until WSDOT removed them to paint the bridge. As for the cormorants&they reoccupied the bridge as soon as their chosen nesting spots had been repainted.
--Aug 21, 2006

Paul Wagner, (360) 705-7406 or

Person placing eggs into egg-shaped cutouts in foam
WSDOT photo
Falcon eggs being prepared for transportation.

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Updated: 12/12/2012
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