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Migratory Birds

By avoiding or minimizing the impact of Laboratory activities on migratory bird populations, LANL can reduce or eliminate the biological significance of any potential violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
February 2, 2015
A bird of the Pacific Northwest, the Townsend's Warble

A bird of the Pacific Northwest, the Townsend's Warbler nests in coniferous forests from Alaska to Oregon. It winters in two distinct areas: in a narrow strip along the Pacific Coast, and in Mexico and Central America.


  • Environmental Communication & Public Involvement
  • P.O. Box 1663 MS K491
  • Los Alamos, NM 87545
  • (505) 667-3792
Best management practices provide mitigation measures for projects to reduce risks to migratory birds.

Migratory Birds

LANL complies with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act by minimizing the impacts of Laboratory operations on migratory bird populations and preventing potential violations of the law.

Protecting migratory birds

In the biological sense, a migratory bird is a bird that has a seasonal and somewhat predictable pattern of movement.

At LANL, the most significant risks to migratory birds include:

  • Loss, alteration, or fragmentation of habitat
  • Mortality from collisions with building windows and guyed towers
  • Collisions and electrocutions on power lines
  • The potential take of eggs and nestlings during operations that disturb nests during the breeding season
  • Entrapment in open pipes, bollards, or fence posts

Under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, LANL mitigates these risks by integrating migratory bird conservation principles, measures, and best managment practices (pdf) into all activities. This is accomplished by focusing on key risk factors associated with LANL activities such as:

  • Installation of avian-safe power poles and transmission lines
  • Scheduling construction activities around migratory bird nesting seasons
  • Invasive weed species eradication
  • Installing caps on any open pipes, bollards, or fence posts that have the potential to trap birds