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Anne

The lockmaster at Winfield, Jerry Stroud, is actually very environmentally
oriented.   He was formerly a parks department employee somewhere and is
still very sensitive to nesting birds, etc.   I suggest that you make
contact with him about the cliff swallows and what you saw happening.
There is a good chance that he will see to it that steps are taken to
protect the swallows this year and to encourage them to nest elsewhere next
year.    I've had some good contacts with Jerry in my role as a Nature
Conservancy Volunteer and he does not fit the public picture of the typical
Corps employee.

John Solodar

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From: Anne Downing <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Good news-bad news
Date: Wed, Jun 4, 2003, 7:49 AM


First the good news:  We have 2 Eurasian Collared Doves in the yard--been
here several days--eating on ground beneath the feeders.  Also: 5 Baltimore
Orioles, at least, eating grape jelly (2 young), 6 Downey wood peckers, 4
Hairy, and a Red-headed wood-pecker coming to the peanut feeder.(First  we
have seen of red-head in center of town.  Maybe they will adapt to
city-urban-small town living.)Also a starling feeding 2 cowbirds.I must
admit I dont feel as bad for the starling as I did for the Cardinal last
year feeding an enormous young  cow-bird.  So that's the news from  Knox
County woe-begone.

Now the bad news: YESTERDAY WHEN I DROVE INTO THE  WINFIELD  DAM PARKING LOT
A CORPS OF ENGINEERS TRUCK WAS PARKED AT THE RESTROOM FACILITY SITE AND AN
EMPLOYEE WAS PREPARING TO HOSE DOWN THE NESTS BUILT BY THE CLIFF SWALLOWS
UNDER THE EAVES OF THE BUILDING. WHEN TALKING TO THE CORPS EMPLOYEE (IN
UNIFORM) I POINTED OUT THAT THE NESTS WERE PROTECTED BY FEDERAL LAW, AND A
FELONY TO REMOVE ONE.  SHE CALLED THE BIRDS BARN SWALLOWS, AND THERE HAD
BEEN COMPLAINTS OF THE MESS, YADA, YADA, YADA. FINALLY, SHE SAID SHE WOULD
MERELY HOSE DOWN THE FLOOR SINCE HER POWER SPRAY WAS NOT WORKING ANYWAY. I
SHOWED HER SIBLEY PICTURES, TOLD HER I WAS A MEMBER OF THE AUDUBON SOCIETY
AND WAS THERE TO TAKE PICTURES OF THE NESTS. ALSO SUGGESTED THEY PLACE SIGNS
THERE STATING THE BIRDS ARE FEDERALLY PROTECTED ETC. ALSO THAT NEXT YEAR
THEY COULD FIX THAT CEILING SO THAT IT WOULD NOT ATTRACT THE SWALLOWS.

I suppose the nests are gone by now, since the Corps is not interested in
the environment or  good pr relations .  But what was I to do? To me a law
is a law and should apply to even federal agencies (or maybe especially to
federal agencies) I am sure they can claim  concern of public protection and
a myriad of other reasons and maybe they have that right. Anyway. I took
pics.  54 nests and hundreds of cliff swallows. Also the Corps truck and
employee. I have been reading a great book, SWALLOW SUMMER by Charles Brown,
about research on cliff swallows in Nebraska. Hope I can continue to enjoy
it without thinking of those nests at Winfield.

But the nagging question bothering me is what is our responsibility  or even
our concern about such things when we happen onto them?

Heard the King Rail at Prairie Slough--and the bitterns were really booming
(or whatever) at Clarence Cannon at 1PM!

Anne Downing
Edina




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*        Audubon Society of Missouri's           *
*         Wild Bird Discussion Forum             *
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*    SIGNOFF MOBIRDS-L                           *
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