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Feathered friends cause flap in construction

Posted: June 13, 2012 1:30 a.m.
Updated: June 13, 2012 1:30 a.m.

Vasquez Rocks are shown in this Signal file photo. The recent discovery of a nest has halted construction in the area.

The county put a stop to construction on a new visitors center at Vasquez Rocks Natural Area this week following the discovery of two House Finch nests that cannot be disturbed, the county said Tuesday.

The Los Angeles County Arts Commission’s Civic Arts Program also called off plans for artmaking workshops that were scheduled this weekend at the Agua Dulce natural area until construction can resume.

Neither nest can be disturbed until the eggs hatch and the young birds have fledged, according to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act designed to protect certain bird species from destruction during the mating season.

Officials hope to reschedule the workshops when construction resumes, county officials said.

Further, a 100-foot buffer zone must be established and maintained to make sure the birds, eggs and nest are not disturbed. An avian expert will routinely check the area during the coming weeks to make sure other birds don’t make nests or lay eggs within the same buffer zone.

House Finches breed February through August and lay two to six eggs per brood. The eggs are incubated for 12 to 14 days. The young usually fledge about 11 to 19 days after hatching.


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