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RavensMassDOT crews and MassWildlife officials in late April converged on the I-190 bridge over the Quinapoxet River in Holden where ravens were nesting- and peregrine falcons were soon to join them.

The story begins in fall 2011 when a MassDOT District 3 bridge team spotted the raven nest in an area underneath the bridge deck.   They contacted the district Division of Fisheries and Wildlife office, and it turns out MassWildlife had been watching the nest from a trail that passes under the bridge. 

When spring weather arrived, MassDOT sent photos of the nest to MassWildlife, and officials expressed interest in getting direct access to the nest to place tracking bands on the ravens and also place a separate peregrine falcon nesting box in the same bridge area.

Peregrine Falcon MassDOT Crew 2MassDOT District 3 and District 2 bridge inspection crews provided the bucket truck needed to do the job, and on April 26, MassWildlife was able to band four raven chicks and install the peregrine falcon nesting tray beneath the I-190 bridge. 

MassWildlife says banding the ravens assists in research and understanding of the bird and its recent appearance as a nesting species in the Commonwealth.  The placement of the peregrine falcon nesting tray under the bridge may help establish a new nesting territory at the I-190 bridge, the tallest highway bridge in Worcester County and attractive to peregrines.

MassWildlife sent a letter thanking MassDOT employees Mickey Splaine, Jim Nicholson, Bill Drosehn, John Bieg, Don Pride, Mike Dygon and Thaddeus Gumala for working to place MassWildlife experts safely under the bridge to get the job done.

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