SONOMA, Calif. - Transportation officials are so busy trying to prevent swarms of cliff swallows from nesting under the Petaluma River Bridge that they may be forced to delay work on an $82 million project to replace the span.
The San Francisco Chronicle says the five-inch-long birds have been getting caught in netting placed on the bridge by a contractor.
Wildlife advocates say up to 100 swallows have been killed in the netting. Demonstrators gathered Friday in Sonoma County to protest the deaths and demand the California Department of Transportation take down the nets.
State and federal laws require Caltrans to protect the birds and their nests.
Caltrans officials say they have counted 50 dead birds since March 27, when the problem was discovered, and have been trying to fix the problem