Dead swallows under investigation at Union Hill School |

Dead swallows under investigation at Union Hill School

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating the death of cliff swallow fledglings at Union Hill School federal officials said Monday.

All swallows are included under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 and are protected by state and federal regulations.

The school denies any wrong doing and says it has a hands-off approach to the birds until after the fledglings have left the nests.

“We don’t disturb the birds, period,” said Tom Butcher, maintenance supervisor for the Union Hill School District.

Volunteers from a local animal rescue organization say the school is mismanaging the cliff swallows that regularly build their mud huts in the eaves of the school.

Reports of birds dying after being caught in netting and maintenance crews hosing down nests were called into a Wildlife Rescue and Rehab volunteer on Friday, said Janey Powers, president of the group.

A pile of about thirty dead birds was found at the school site over the weekend, said “rehabber” Sharon Cuva, who is caring for two babies that were found alive but dehydrated at the school. Other birds are being cared for by a volunteer in Auburn.

A special agent from Fish and Wildlife is expected to visit the county on Wednesday, Powers said.

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