Log In


Reset Password
News Local News Nation & World New Mexico Education

Nesting birds halt construction work on Hermosa Creek bridge

Work expected to begin after Memorial Day
The American dipper bird, protected by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, nests below the Hermosa Creek bridge, north of Durango. Construction work on the bridge has been put on hold to protect the birds.

The discovery of nesting birds on the Hermosa Creek bridge north of Durango has postponed work on U.S. Highway 550.

The American dipper nest is protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The law prohibits active nests with an egg or young bird from being removed or interfered with to prevent the birds from being displaced.

The Colorado Department of Transportation planned to repair the bridge joints, remove and replace asphalt, and repair the surface of the bridge.

An American dipper bird, perched on a rock, has chosen to nest below the Hermosa Creek bridge, north of Durango. Construction work on the bridge has been put on hold to protect the birds.

Construction on the bridge, north of Durango in the Animas Valley, is expected to continue after Memorial Day, when the young birds have fledged and the nest is unoccupied, CDOT said. A wildlife biologist will determine when it is safe to resume work.

CDOT said repairs along the bridge are now expected to be finished by mid-July.

The American dipper is commonly found along rocky rivers and streams throughout the western United States, Alaska and Canada, according to the Audubon Society. Streams with cliffs, ledges or bridges are common nesting areas for the bird.

While the population remains relatively stable, the amount of habitat available to the birds has been reduced by development along rivers and streams and water pollution, according to the Audubon Society.

lweber@durangoherald.com

Reader Comments