The interns are trained in the classroom and in the field on the criteria specific to the species of bird that nest at the plant and on the protection requirements of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Paul Warbington, an environmental manager for the project, has taken the interns under his wing.
“The interns identify the bird species that are relevant to the act and on their nesting habits,” said Warbington. “They attempt to prevent nesting and to get the birds to find an alternative area, away from active areas.”
During their daily patrols, and in response to reports by workers, the interns look for bird activity. If a nest is found and has eggs or hatchlings, the area is barricaded off with blue tape and an Environmental Area sign is placed. Also, the nest location is placed on a master map of bird activity. “The nest is watched for signs of hatching, behavior of the parent birds, and eventual fledging of the chicks,” Warbington explained.
Once the nest is abandoned and the chicks are gone, the interns decontaminate the nest and surrounding area and remove the nesting materials. Nests that appear to have been abandoned by parents before the eggs have hatched or before the fledglings have fledged, are monitored. If abandoned, the intern contacts a representative from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. “They, in turn, apply for a ‘take permit’ in order to remove the eggs or bird remnants,” said Warbington. “We work together for the best possible outcome for our feathered friends.”