Initiatives in the field
29.06.2007

Quarry staff and European Bee-eaters learn to live in harmony

 

The story began when European Bee-eaters decided to nest in unused sand stockpiles at the Lazard Quarry.  The former quarry owner enjoyed the birds and decided to give them their own stockpile of sand to make sure they would keep on calling the site their home. When Colas bought the Ets Lazard quarry in 2002, the tradition was carried on.

Every year, the European Bee-eaters make their nests in sandpiles or on the quarry face which is only 1 meter high, meaning that the birds are at the mercy of a number of predators.  In 2007, the colony moved over to the south bank of the settling pond, a choice that is a win-win for both the quarry staff and the birds: not only is their new location less accessible to foxes and snakes that come around when the site is not operating, but it also keeps the birds out of harm's way during unloading!

The quarry staff quickly adapted to the new situation:

  •  During nesting season, the pond is scraped from the north bank, which has not been colonized by the European Bee-eaters.
  •  Sand stockpiles are handled frequently in April and May to keep the birds from building their nests in materials that are destined to be shipped out during nesting season.   
  •  The office building is also home to: 
  • Barn swallows: a nest in 2007 under the awning at the front door; 
  • House sparrows: long-standing nests under the roof tiles.
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