Saturday, September 23, 2023

Virginia’s largest seabird colony gets new habitat

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Workers are wrapping up a project to transform a fortified island into a new habitat for Virginia’s largest seabird colony.

Contractors have been clearing out the island’s trees, sealing up entrances to the buildings and laying sand and gravel for the birds to nest. The director of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries expects work to be done this week, The Virginian-Pilot reports.

Thousands of birds already are arriving at the site where Fort Wool was built as a barrier against British ships after the War of 1812 before it was decommissioned.

Fort Wool is next to where transportation officials paved over the nesting site for the seabird colony as part of a $4 billion project to expand the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel. Since February, trained dogs have been patrolling the area to keep seabirds from landing near the construction zone.

The expansion project is scheduled to be completed in November 2025.

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