Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Osprey found shot in Shore Acres

ST. PETERSBURG

When Gary Davis saw drivers slowing near his Shore Acres home, he assumed they were looking at a house that has been for sale. ¶ It turned out an injured osprey had caught their attention. ¶ The bird had been shot, one of about eight similar incidents in the Tampa Bay area in recent months, said Barbara Walker of the Clearwater Audubon Society and a rescue volunteer.

Another osprey was shot in Palm Harbor in April, she said.

"Both of these birds were shot in residential neighborhoods, in very developed areas,'' she said. "It's shocking to me.

"I can't help but wonder what else they are shooting at."

Walker got a call last week from a passer-by about the injured osprey in Shore Acres. Davis and his wife, Dorothy Sabean-Davis, left their home to babysit the bird lying on the sidewalk.

"Initially she was very quiet. She seemed to be shocked," said Sabean-Davis, who has raised ornamental chickens and peacocks.

"We watched it for a while, because we didn't want her to move too much, because her wing was very obviously broken,'' she said. "We decided to get a straw laundry basket and put it over her so she could have privacy. I didn't want her to have too much stimulus from the outside."

The couple later slid a piece of cardboard under the covered bird and carried it into their garage. Their ministrations lasted for about two hours until Clearwater Audubon rescue volunteer Russ Ochs could get to their northeast St. Petersburg neighborhood. He transported the bird of prey to Busch Gardens, where it underwent surgery.

Kelly Heckinger, a spokeswoman for the theme park, said the park covered the cost.

Last week, the theme park also treated a broad-winged hawk that had been shot in Odessa, Heckinger said.

Friday morning, the osprey was taken to Save Our Seabirds sanctuary in Sarasota. With one of its wings partially amputated, the bird will not be able to fly and will have to live out its life at the sanctuary, Walker said.

The osprey had been shot twice, she said, once under each wing. "The vet thinks that she was shot at pretty close range."

The incident was reported to the state's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

"We are investigating the situation and we're determining what reward might be offered," spokesman Gary Morse said.

Walker and other private individuals have put together $1,650 for a reward, "hoping that somebody could come forward and give us information that would lead to the arrest and conviction of this individual, so we can stop this from occurring again," she said.

The Shore Acres couple, who did not learn until later that the osprey had been shot, are upset.

"I was disgusted," Davis said, who offered his own theory about what might have been behind the incident.

"We have ospreys nesting here and the bird makes a lot of noise. I hate to think this, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was annoying someone."

His wife agrees. "For the last week or two, she had been particularly vocal, of course, very early in the morning," she said.

Sadly, all is quiet now.

Waveney Ann Moore can be reached at wmoore@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2283.

fast facts

Report an injured bird of prey

Clearwater Audubon Society, (727) 442-9140

Wildlife Alert Hotline, toll-free 1-888-404-3922

Osprey found shot in Shore Acres 11/17/12 [Last modified: Saturday, November 17, 2012 11:37am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. From the food editor: 'MasterChef' winner Shaun O'Neale talks cooking at Epcot's International Food and Wine Festival

    Cooking

    There are certain reliable signs that fall is on the way. Nothing in the weather department, of course, but other markers that usher in the celebratory final months of the year. One of those things is the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, which happens annually in Orlando, seemingly longer and more jam-packed …

    Chicken Wings with Sweet Potato Puree. Photo by Michelle Stark, Times food editor.
  2. Mike Evans stands behind Michael Bennett

    Blogs

    Bucs receiver Mike Evans was signing autographs for children after Bucs practice on Saturday. As he signed, he talked about Seattle defensive and former Buc Michael Bennett, who last Friday sat during the national anthem and who says he will continue to do so to fight racial injustice.

    Mike Evans, left, hauls in a pass in front of cornerback Vernon Hargreaves.
  3. Man, I miss Planet Simeon

    Blogs

    Simeon Rice, right, works with Bucs defensive end Ryan Russell.
  4. Florida education news: HB 7069, solar eclipse, courtesy bus rides and more

    Blogs

    DISCORD: Employees of the Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association accuse the union of "less than fair and equitable" working conditions.