From the Birding Community E-Bulletin

Here's an interesting turn for birds that I was reading in my latest issue of the Birding Community E-Bulletin:


A modern bridge-span between the U.S. and Canada, conceived by world-renowned bridge designer Christian Menn, has been scrapped to favor the birds. A Peace Bridge project that would connect Buffalo, New York, and Fort Eire, Ontario, will have to be redesigned. The design jury had originally considered 33 design concepts before narrowing its choices to six finalists: five cable-stayed concepts and one with a three-arch design.

Common Terns which nest in Buffalo Harbor but feed downriver must pass through the area proposed for the Peace Bridge many times a day. Since the terns typically fly over - not under - bridges, flying over a 567-foot-high structure could reduce their chances for survival and their ability to successfully feed their young.

Reportedly, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will not issue the permits needed to construct such a cable-stayed span. Similarly, the Federal Highway Administration - which is financing the environmental study and which must approve the plan before a new bridge can be built - will not approve the originally favored cable design.

Presently, plans for a new Peace Bridge have shifted to a three-arch span — taller than the current bridge on the site (originally opened in 1927), but less tall than the soaring two-tower proposal. Of the final options, only the three-arch bridge, at 226 feet high, can apparently gain approval from the environmental agencies.

The bridge project’s current timetable calls for an environmental impact statement to be finalized this year and construction to begin by the end of 2009.


Sometimes you might see mallards nesting in trees. Check out this post by Birds 'n Such. I think one of the things that make mallards so successful adapting to urban environments is that they will try and nest anywhere once. I've seen them try an apartment roof, tree branch, planters, woodpiles, medians, bushes--although I have yet to see one actually use one of those rolled up nestings tubes you see dotted on lakes. Seriously, do they use those? I was about to ask if there was photographic proof, but then I found this doing a google image search.