In 2020, almost 11,000 cormorants nested on the Astoria-Megler Bridge. An intense culling campaign on nearby East Sand Island from 2016-2018 caused one of the largest Double-crested Cormorant colonies in the world to collapse. More than 35,000 birds abandoned the island, and a good chunk of that colony wound up nesting on the bridge. To a cormorant, the bridge is the perfect habitat. The structure provides plenty of real estate and the cover of the bridge and traffic noise keep bald eagles, a frequent predator, at bay. On top of that, they are in a place where humans can't shoot them. The original culling was implemented to protect endangered salmon from predation, but now the cormorants are living further upriver, closer to the salmon runs. Recent studies have shown salmon now make up a higher percentage of their diet.