Man charged with shooting protected birds
Published: Tuesday, May 1, 2007 at 11:52 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, May 1, 2007 at 11:52 a.m.
BARTOW - A Central Florida man who was just trying to get rid of some noisy birds could be facing fines and even jail time.
Travis Grace, 34, of Bartow, shot two adult ospreys nesting in his yard with a .17-caliber pellet rifle, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Both birds, which are protected by law, died from their wounds.
Grace told neighbors that he shot the birds because he was annoyed by the sounds they made, FWC spokesman Gary Morse said. Grace also was concerned that the Spanish moss the birds used to line their nest would kill his trees.
Grace admitted shooting at the birds but said he didn't know it was illegal.
"I had no idea that you could get in this type of trouble for shooting at a bird. I mean, I was really kind of dumb to the fact of wildlife and that kind of stuff, which is no excuse," Grace told The Tampa Tribune.
"I was only trying to get the birds to leave the area, and I have no other way of trying to get to the birds other than throwing rocks or something."
Grace shot the first bird on April 19 and the second on April 23, Morse said.
Grace faces two misdemeanor counts of taking a migratory bird. The maximum sentence is a $500 fine and 60 days in jail.
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