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Multiple bald eagles poisoned after scavenging on deer carcass in Manchester, Md.

At least five bald eagles were poisoned Sunday after scavenging on a deer carcass in Manchester, Md.

One of the eagles is dead and four were taken to Phoenix Wildlife Center in Phoenix, Md.

According to Lauren Moses, public information officer for Maryland Natural Resources Police, “Our officers responded to the 4000 block of York Road in Manchester. When officers arrived, they met with a concerned wildlife photographer, who stated eagles nearby were acting strangely. According to the photographer, the eagles were feeding on a dead deer carcass. Suddenly, they began to fly strangely. One eagle also flew into a power line and died. As a result, the four remaining eagles were taken to Phoenix Wildlife Center for evaluation. Officers on the scene also properly buried the deceased deer to prevent any other wildlife from being potentially harmed.”

Photo courtesy of William Fauntleroy

Though there’s been no confirmation on what sickened the birds, lead poisoning is a common issue with bald eagles. The birds will often scavenge on the remains of deer that were shot with lead ammunition.

In order to protect the critically endanger California condor, the state of California banned lead ammunition.

Other states, such as Pennsylvania, are asking hunters to consider switching to non-lead ammunition.

The state of New Jersey has also encouraged its hunters to switch to non-lead ammunition, as well as bury carcasses/gut piles.

And there’s no shortage of appeals from wildlife rehabilitators asking hunters to switch including the following –

https://www.facebook.com/tristatebirdrescue/posts/6473939119297732

William Fauntleroy, of Manchester, is the wildlife photographer that found the eagles and called for help.

Suzanne Shoemaker, director of Owl Moon Raptor Center, was on the receiving end of Fauntleroy’s call. She immediately dispatched volunteer rescuers Rick Hamilton and Valerie Seger, then coordinated arrangements with Natural Resources Police.

Fauntleroy doesn’t think it was lead – he said it appeared the eagles were in a drunken state and unable to fly.

“They weren’t lead poisoned,” he said. “When five of them fall out of the sky in an hour, that’s not lead – that’s strictly my opinion.”

Fauntleroy thinks there might be more sick or dead eagles out there and he plans on checking in the morning.

“There were 10 eagles here this morning,” he said. “Five or more of them were downed.”

Whatever the poison, it definitely wasn’t a usual photography outing for Fauntleroy.

“It was really kind of distressing,” he said.

Photo courtesy of William Fauntleroy

Kathleen Woods, executive director of Phoenix Wildlife Center, was not available for comment as she was tending to the poisoned birds.

According to Moses, the “investigation is ongoing.”

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Update (11/29/2021) – Maryland Natural Resources Police confirmed another bald eagle (dead) was found in Manchester just days after four eagles were found sickened and one dead in the same area. This brings the total count to six eagles – four survived. According to Lauren Moses, NRP’s public information officer, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service “took possession of the that eagle for further evaluation.”

Update (11/10/2021) – According to Kathleen Woods, executive director of Phoenix Wildlife Center, “All four birds finally standing.” Woods also indicted samples from the birds were sent to PennVet’s lab at New Bolton Center for testing.

Update (11/9/2021) – According to Lauren Moses, public information officer for Maryland Natural Resources Police, “we are still actively investigating. However the officer did tell me he is to speak with the rehabilitation center sometime this week. So I will update you on that. However the four remaining eagles are reportedly doing better.”

Moses added the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be getting a sample from the remains of the deer.

Update (11/8/2021) – According to Kathleen Woods, executive director of Phoenix Wildlife Center, the four eagles brought to her Sunday were still alive as of 7 am Monday morning.

She doesn’t think it was lead poisoning.

“Lead doesn’t happen this way,” Woods said. “Lead is slow. They were showing classic signs of another type of poisoning – clenched feet, they can’t see properly and they become disoriented.”

She does have crop samples ready to go to a lab.

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This post will be updated to include the most recent information available.

Photos of eagles courtesy of William Fauntleroy.

Donna L. Cole is an award-winning investigative and multimedia reporter. In her spare time, she’s a volunteer bird of prey rescuer.




Bird-safe building bill introduced in Anne Arundel County aims to reduce window collisions

Warning – if you’re saddened by dead bird photos, skip this article

A bird-safe building bill has been introduced by Anne Arundel Councilwoman Lisa Rodvien – if passed, it would make Anne Arundel County the second county in Maryland, after Howard, taking action to reduce window collisions, a problem that kills and/or injures a lot of birds.

According to the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) website, “Each year up to 1 billion birds die after hitting glass surfaces in the United States.”

A 2014 study done by Smithsonian’s Migratory Bird Center and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Division of Migratory Birds found, “Building collisions, and particularly collisions with windows, are a major anthropogenic threat to birds, with rough estimates of between 100 million and 1 billion birds killed annually in the United States. However, no current U.S.
estimates are based on systematic analysis of multiple data sources. We reviewed the published literature and acquired unpublished datasets to systematically quantify bird–building collision mortality and species-specific vulnerability. Based on 23 studies, we estimate that between 365 and 988 million birds (median ¼ 599 million) are killed annually by building collisions in the U.S., with roughly 56% of mortality at low-rises, 44% at residences, and ,1% at high-rises. Based on .92,000 fatality records, and after controlling for population abundance and range overlap with study sites, we identified several species that are disproportionately vulnerable to collisions at all building types.”

Other places in United States and beyond have passed similar, bird-safe building laws including San Francisco, Toronto and New York City.

Rodvien’s bill incorporates a threat factor rating system developed by ABC and a team of architects.

Birds only see the reflection on windows, not the glass itself – they fly into glass thinking there’s nothing between them and the trees, bushes or sky.

Shortly after the bill was introduced in Anne Arundel County, Cheryl Thomas found a golden-crowned kinglet at the base of a commercial official building at 888 Bestgate Road in Annapolis – a building with a lot of reflective glass.

Photo courtesy of Cheryl Thomas

Twitter user @JennDeLMck also saw a window collision victim recently at 888 Bestgate. She Tweeted, “I saw a dead bird there the other morning that had obviously struck the window. It was a migrating warbler :(”

Nancy Tait emailed, “For years I was part of a group that worked out around sunrise at Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s beach off Herndon in Annapolis. This gorgeous warbler was the first black throated blue warbler I’d ever seen – victim of a window strike at their glassed Bay-view building. Pic is not great but I was in the midst of a workout when I saw it!”

Photo courtesy of Nancy Tait

According to Tait, “The black throated blue warbler was seen on May 2, 2015. We saw other birds over time there: a ruby throated hummingbird, a Carolina chickadee, and at least two or three others. We were there 3-4 times a week for about 8 years.”

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) Annapolis headquarters building, located on the Severn River in Annapolis, is called the Philip Merrill Environmental Center – it opened in 2001 with a lot of eco-friendly design elements, but bird collisions still happened.

The building has since been outfitted with additional protection to guard against bird collisions.

“We don’t get bird strikes at the Merrill Center,” explained from Willy Agee, CBF’s vice president of administration “We put silhouettes on the windows years ago. It’s not a problem here.”

Window collisions aren’t just an issue for songbirds.

In March 2020, a red-shouldered hawk was injured after colliding with a window at an office building on Somerville Road in Annapolis. Owl Moon Raptor Center Volunteer Nancy McDonald rescued the bird.

In July of this year, a Cooper’s hawk died after a colliding with a window at Severna Park High School – the school opened in 2017, replacing an older school. The new design features a lot of glass at the school’s entrance, where the hawk was found.

Photo courtesy of Katrina Williams

While Rodvien’s bill addresses new construction of non-residential buildings, there are preventive measures that can be incorporated on all buildings, including bird-safe glass, film/decals/tape and other options.

In 2018, the Annapolis headquarters of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources was outfitted with Acopian BirdSavers – paracord at the recommended guidelines to reduce the number of birds from flying into windows. Bird collisions had been an ongoing issue at DNR for years before the install.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Department of Natural Resources

A program of the National Audubon Society called Lights Out, which has a nationwide network, including in Baltimore, is focused on preventing bird collisions with buildings.

According to the Light’s Out Baltimore Facebook page, “Our goal is to make Charm City safe for migratory birds by turning out decorative lighting in the city during peak migration seasons, between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., and to advocate for bird-safe building design that makes glass and windows visible to birds. A core group of volunteers walk downtown Baltimore during fall and spring migration to rescue injured birds from window collisions and collect dead birds. Injured ones are taken to Phoenix Wildlife Center and dead ones are taken to the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum. Lights Out Baltimore strives to advocate for bird-friendly building design, making glass bird-friendly, and educating the public about bird collisions.”

The windows at the Patuxent Research Refuge visitor’s center in Laurel were outfitted with perforated film that appears completely transparent when looking out the windows. The project was done by Lights Out Baltimore, with support from the Baltimore Bird Club, Friends of Patuxent Research Refuge and Patuxent Research Refuge.

Photos courtesy of Lynne Parks/Lights Out Baltimore

Lights Out Baltimore will be starting an install at Arlington Echo, Anne Arundel County Public Schools outdoor education center, in late November.

A public hearing for the bird-safe building bill will be held November 15 at 7 pm at the Arundel Center’s County Council Chambers, 44 Calvert Street, Annapolis. Testimony from the public begins at 6:30 pm.

For those interested in providing testimony (in person or online), sign up in advance here – https://www.aacounty.org/services-and-programs/county-council-meeting-participation?fbclid=IwAR31QuMbzweucZTj7T5z7xVOqCHVJqa4ky3zvTQF08dDtBFVCTCqoHfYUSI

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Update (November 17, 2021) – the bird-safe building bill was defeated at the Anne Arundel County Council meeting on November 15. Councilwoman Rodvien (the sponsor of the bill) and Councilwoman Lacey voted for it, the rest of the council voted against it.

Update (November 5, 2021) – Councilwoman Rodvien replied to request for statement. She wrote, “

I learned about this issue from a fellow legislator and friend, Deb Jung, who serves on the Howard County Council. She introduced – and with her colleagues passed – legislation to require builders to use materials and designs that deter birds from flying into windows and buildings.  As you may know, a 2017 study indicated that the bird population in North America dropped from roughly 10 billion birds in 1970 to about 7 billion birds in 2017. This represents a roughly 30% decline in our nation’s bird population and is a staggering loss.  That raises the questions: why should we care?  and what can we do? I’ll start with the first question: besides the fact that birds reflect an enormously diverse slice of the animal kingdom, are beautiful to see and hear, and simply amazing creatures, birds play an important role in our ecosystem.   They play an important role in our ecosystems by keeping insect populations in check.  This is good for farmers who fight insects/pests as well as anyone who enjoys outdoor activities. Birds also serve as pollinators, help disperse seeds, and participate in scavenging carcasses.  They can also serve as a food source for humans and other animals.

So what does this have to do with my legislation?  As many as one billion birds die every year from window strikes.  As many as 500 million more are injured.  Changes in designs and materials can stop bird collisions altogether.  Many of these changes are free or extremely low cost.  Asking builders to make small, low-cost or no-cost changes can make an enormous difference in the number of birds in our ecosystem.  Furthermore, those same changes often dramatically increase energy efficiency, affording big savings in heating and cooling costs.  This is common sense legislation that is good for our ecosystem, our environment, and our pocketbooks.”

Donna L. Cole is an award-winning investigative and multimedia reporter. In her spare time, she’s a volunteer bird of prey rescuer.




Two ospreys dead after tornado in Edgewater and an eagle nest damaged

Fortunately no humans were killed as a result of the EF-2 tornado that hit Edgewater and Annapolis Wednesday with 125 mph winds, however the same can not be said for birds – in Edgewater, one osprey died from its injuries, another was euthanized because its injuries were too severe and an unoccupied bald eagle nest was damaged.

Those are just the birds that are known about.

The osprey that died almost immediately after the tornado was found on the sidewalk near PNC Bank on Solomons Island Road in Edgewater, directly across the street from an osprey nest.

A video shows the tornado approaching the same area with a juvenile osprey in the nest – it’s believed this might have been the same osprey that was killed.

Joshua Giles, of Solomons Island, was driving, saw the bird on the sidewalk, realized it shouldn’t be on the ground and stopped to help it.

Giles contacted Suzanne Shoemaker, director of Owl Moon Raptor Center – she asked if he could bring the bird to me.

Full disclosure – I’m a volunteer bird of prey rescuer for Owl Moon Raptor Center and I live in Edgewater.

The bird was dead by the time it arrived at my house.

It was an extremely sad moment as Giles and I stood in my garage while I quickly examined the lifeless bird – it appeared to have impact injuries.

Shortly before Giles arrived, another call had come in for another osprey.

Just north of the first incident and on the north side of the South River bridge, Deborah Schneider, a homeowner in the Shadow Point neighborhood posted on Facebook requesting help with a downed osprey in her backyard. This neighborhood was also in the direct path of the tornado and had a lot of downed trees.

I was tagged on the post and I made contact with Schneider.

I told her I would respond as soon as it was safe to do so – torrential rain and wind were still an issue.

A lull in the storm allowed me just enough time to travel the one mile between my house and Shadow Point.

Schneider had originally told me to look for her mailbox with the address on it – she then realized the mailbox had been taken down by the tornado. She also provided me a pair of boots – neither of us had realized the extent of the damage in Shadow Point and I was wearing shorts and sneakers.

Shadow Point neighborhood of Edgewater immediately after the EF-2 tornado
Some of the debris we had to climb through to get to the osprey in the Shadow Point neighborhood of Annapolis after the tornado.

With boots on and Schneider’s son, Gary Mitchell, leading the way, it took approximately 10 minutes to get to the osprey because of downed trees and debris in the way.

In a relatively unscathed corner of Schneider’s fenced backyard was the osprey. I quickly grabbed it and again, with the help of Mitchell, we climbed over downed trees and branches and got the the bird to my car.

Injured osprey in the Shadow Point neighborhood of Edgewater after the tornado.
Screenshot from video by Deborah Schneider.
Donna Cole rescuing a downed osprey in the Shadow Point neighborhood of Edgewater after the tornado. Screenshot from video by Deborah Schneider.

Because it was unsafe for anyone to travel Wednesday evening, the osprey was transported by fellow volunteer, Angela Mitchell, Thursday morning to Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research in Newark, De.

According to Lisa Smith, executive director of Tri-State, “Unfortunately, both the radius and ulna were badly fractured near the carpal joint, and the bird was euthanized.”

She added, “Thank you for rescuing this bird – it would have died a slow, painful death in the wild. Sometimes the best we can do is relieve their suffering.”

With the amount of trees down in Schneider’s yard, it’s not surprising the bird had severe injuries.

Schneider said it took, “seven guys seven hours” to clean up the debris.

She said an eagle nest she can see from her backyard was also damaged – eagle nesting season is over for this year and they will have time to rebuild or relocate in advance of next year – if they survived.

Schneider texted she’s, “A little concerned that I haven’t seen or heard them since the tornado.”

This is a video of the tornado as it crossed the South River – the narrator said “I just saw the leaves blowing and the birds just kind of going haphazard … they’re all sucked into it.”

Backing up in time, Wednesday morning had started off fairly quiet, At 12:13 pm, I got a call from Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research about an injured osprey in Queen Anne’s County. I knew I had a little time before the bad weather started to move in so I went.

I arrived at Piney Narrows Yacht Haven at 12:59 pm and quickly rescued that bird. I took it to the US-301 Bay Country Rest Area in Centreville, where I transferred it a Tri-State volunteer transporter who would transfer it to another volunteer transporter in Middletown, De., who would deliver it to Tri-State. Yes, these rescues/transports often require a lot of helping hands.

Donna Cole rescues an osprey at Piney Narrows Yacht Basin Wednesday before the bad weather. Courtesy photo.

I was in the car in Kent Narrows when I got the call from my daughter who told me she had just gotten the tornado warning.

I was on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge when I saw the tornado in the area of the South River – not far from my house. I called my daughter back to ensure she and our dog were in the basement and I stayed on the phone with her until I got home – I was panicked for her, but I didn’t tell her why or that I had seen the tornado and this was a horrible feeling.

From my house to Shadow Point is about a mile. From my house to the area of Annapolis that got hit badly is a little under two miles.

We were lucky we didn’t have damage/destruction, but others weren’t so lucky – here’s how you can help them.

Although I’ve been rescuing birds for over two years, I had, fortunately, not encountered any dead birds until this tornado. I wasn’t even sure what to do with the dead osprey that was brought to me – there is a protocol for eagles, but not ospreys.

I asked Shoemaker – she said to return it the wild, in the woods, where it can benefit other wildlife.

Every time I drive by the osprey nest on Solomons Island Road, I look for the ospreys – it was getting late in the season for a bird to still be in the nest and I’d comment to my daughter each time that it should be going south to its winter home.

On Saturday, I had emailed BGE’s Communications Manager Richard Yost, about that nest – when ospreys nest on BGE’s equipment, it’s can be dangerous for the birds and the equipment.

I also alerted Yost that the osprey guard next to the nest platform at the base of the northside of the South River Bridge was hanging down.

In other words, these birds mean a lot to me.

The osprey killed in the tornado was returned to the wild in the woods in my backyard.

As for the osprey I rescued in Queen Anne’s County before the storm hit, Smith emailed, “It had a large, single-barbed fishing hook embedded in the skin over the left wing, with fishing line wrapped around the wing and entangled in the primaries. There was some swelling of the soft tissues, but overall, I think it has a good prognosis.”

Fortunately there’s no shortage of news reports about tornado damage incurred by humans – those reports can help the National Weather Service classify the intensity of the tornado and can communicate how others can help those who suffered losses.

There is, however, a shortage of information about what happens to birds and other wildlife during tornadoes – I’ve now seen it.

Donna L. Cole is an award-winning investigative/multimedia reporter. She’s also a volunteer bird of prey rescuer.




Despite heroic measures to save eagle hanging from a tree with fishing line in Southern Maryland, it didn’t make it

Monofilament fishing line took the life of a juvenile bald eagle found hanging from a tree in a state-owned Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Nanjemoy, Md.

The eagle was spotted August 20 by Ginger Azuree and Sue Kaspar who were on a boat, not far from their house.

“We immediately freaked out,” said Azuree.

Azuree said she and Kaspar returned to their home, gathered tools and their phones while also trying to find help from anyone including neighbors, Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) and wildlife rehabilitation facilities.

Only one neighbor could be found and with his help, the three were able to get the eagle down using a lopper pole. The bird, which had been caught up with fishing line, was still alive, but not in good shape.

Photo courtesy of Ginger Azuree
Photo courtesy of Ginger Azuree
Photo courtesy of Ginger Azuree

NRP Officer First Class James Edward Major arrived and helped box the eagle, but according to Azuree, he said he was unable to transport the bird because he was the only NRP officer on duty in Southern Maryland.

Azuree said she got in touch with Suzanne Shoemaker, director of Owl Moon Raptor Center who arranged to have Mary Hollinger, an Owl Moon volunteer rescuer/transporter, meet the women in Calvert County.

Despite all the heroic measures to save the young eagle, it died from its injuries.

Hollinger posted on Facebook, “I transport a lot of injured birds, but I’m making this post public, to show the horrors of discarded fishing line. This beautiful young bald eagle was found dangling from a tree, all tangled up in the stuff. Rescuers managed to get it down and cut most of the line off, but the damage was too severe, and it died on the way to wildlife rehabilitators. Such a tragic, unnecessary death.”

Photo courtesy of Mary Hollinger

According to Azuree, there’s been ongoing issues with debris, including fishing line, left at Nanjemoy WMA.

According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website, the mission of the Wildlife Management Area system is “To conserve and enhance diverse wildlife populations and associated habitats while providing for public enjoyment of the State’s wildlife resources through hunting and other wildlife-dependent recreation.”

The website continues, “WMAs are primarily managed for hunting, trapping and other wildlife-dependent recreational uses.”

This area is well-known for its wildlife.

“At Nanjemoy WMA you are likely to see a variety of wildlife ranging from turkey, deer and foxes in the forests to Great Blue Herons, Eagles, Turtles and Ospreys along the river and in the wetlands,” states DNR’s website.

Wildlife incidents involving fishing line happen frequently and in many places.

Azuree now questions if she should do more having seen the damage fishing line can do to wildlife.

“I’m devastated that she died,” said Azuree. “Should I visit the beach more? Do we need to be more aware?”

She also questions why other people aren’t cleaning up after themselves.

“It’s okay to fish – just clean up after yourself,” Azuree said. “Clean up your fishing line. It’s just incomprehensible to me that people are that irresponsible.”

Donna L. Cole is an award-winning investigative and multimedia reporter. She’s also a volunteer bird of prey rescuer.




Two vulture chicks removed from nest on construction site in DC, then killed by USDA APHIS WS

Two vulture chicks were recently removed from their nest at a construction site in Washington, D.C., then killed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Wildlife Services (USDA APHIS WS).

“A WS biologist removed two juvenile vultures from a building that was to be torn down for safety reasons, emailed Tanya Espinosa, public affairs specialist for USDA APHIS. “The vultures were not close to fledging.  WS removed the nest and euthanized two immature birds under the authority of a depredation permit issued to Wildlife Services by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.”  

No wildlife rehabilitation facilities were contacted by APHIS WS about the young vultures, despite that the birds would’ve been able to live had this been done.

According to a 2016 Facebook post by Owl Moon Raptor Center, “These adorable big baby black vultures were separated from their parents when the old building their nest was in was demolished, and the surrounding landscape mowed down. They need to be raised by adult vultures to learn how to live in the wild. We have successfully fostered baby vultures into other black vulture nests in the past, and we are currently looking for nests to foster these chicks into …”

Suzanne Shoemaker, director of Owl Moon, said she renested five or six juvenile vultures just this year.

Even if a surrogate nest couldn’t be found, wildlife rehabilitation facilities are able to hold birds until they’re able to fly and while following protocols to avoid human imprinting.

If transportation to a wildlife rehabilitation facilities was an issue for APHIS WS, many rehabilitators have volunteer transporters.

Jim Monsma, director of City Wildlife in Washington, D.C., heard about the removal of the chicks, but did not know what happened to them.

In an August 23 email, Monsma wrote, “I heard through various channels that within the past month, APHIS Wildlife Service removed a pair of vulture chicks (unknown whether Black or Turkey) from a shed at a construction site in DC. They say they have relocated the chicks, but they did not come to City Wildlife …”

The depredation permits that allow USDA APHIS WS to kill wildlife are authorized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – this includes birds protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, such as vultures and ospreys.

This license to kill doesn’t just happen in this area – it’s nationwide.

After the Calvert County osprey incident, Steve Regele, president of Audubon Yellowstone Valley emailed, “Our organization and affiliates have been struggling for 12 months with a similar agency driven osprey killing situation here in Montana.”

A 2014 article in The Washington Post about APHIS Wildlife Services states, “At least two members of Congress have called Wildlife Services secret and opaque for failing to provide more information, and there are mounting calls for an investigation into how it operates.”

As mentioned in an editorial about the Calvert County ospreys and subsequent public outrage, there’s no shortage of accessible information about APHIS WS, what they do and why they do it. In being tasked with handling wildlife and human conflicts and with depredation permits in hand, the wildlife is not always victorious.

Federally elected officials are the only ones with oversight of USDA APHIS WS, although the judicial system has been used many times with lawsuits.

As for the reason why the vulture chicks were killed, it was the same as the Calvert County ospreys – APHIS WS considered many factors, just not the lives of two chicks.

Adult black vulture

Espinosa’s email stated, “The most common problems associated with vultures are structural damage, loss of aesthetic value and property use related to offensive odors and appearance, depredation to livestock and pets, and air traffic safety.  As trained and dedicated wildlife management professionals, WS carefully considers the decision to remove individual birds and lethal removal is done with consideration for the population of the species as a whole. “

In other words, it was two baby birds that happened to have been born in the wrong place at the wrong time and with a propensity for odor that comes from their extremely important role as nature’s clean-up crew.

As for who requested USDA’s help evicting and/or killing the vultures, Espinosa’s email didn’t offer an explanation, only that it was a request from a “cooperator.”

When asked, she emailed, “… I can’t release that information as it is protected by the Privacy Act.”

The cooperator in the Calvert County osprey incident happened to be the county itself and the incident would not have been publicized had it not been for Chris Hoffman, a wildlife photographer, who thought he was witnessing two birds at a public park being removed from a nest to be renested elsewhere.

There’s no shortage of frustration from local wildlife rehabilitators with now two cases where baby birds could have been spared death.

“We would have definitely rehabbed those and I feel kind of responsible because that’s D.C. – that’s our turf,” said Monsma. “We would’ve taken them in.”

“Once again, no rehabilitators were contacted and there’s enough of us around that one of us would have been happy to take the vulture chicks,” said Kathleen Woods, president of the Maryland Wildlife Rehabilitators Association.

(Cover photo by USFWS of two vulture chicks that are unrelated to this incident)

Donna L. Cole is an award-winning investigative and multimedia reporter. She’s also a volunteer bird of prey rescuer.