Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Osprey found shot in Shore Acres


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 [email protected] 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

  1. Review: Bruno Mars' charisma glitters like gold at Tampa's Amalie Arena


    Nothing in this world should be as easy as Bruno Mars makes it look. Not singing, not dancing, and certainly not playfully seducing more than 17,500 starry-eyed Tampa fans with one of pop music’s best bands at your back.

    Bruno Mars performed at Tampa's Amalie Arena on Oct. 19, 2017.
  2. Mikhail Sergachev scores twice as Lightning shuts out Blue Jackets (w/ video)

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Mikhail Sergachev said he blacked out for a few seconds after his first NHL goal Thursday night, a rocket slap shot from the point.

    Mikhail Sergachev, front, looks like he’s very in the moment with teammate Dan Girardi after scoring his first NHL goal, though he says he blacked out for a bit. He scores again in the second.
  3. Dodgers rout Cubs 11-1 to win pennant, head to World Series for first time since '88


    CHICAGO — Enrique Hernandez put a Hollywood ending on an LA story three decades in the making.

    The Dodgers celebrate their Game 5 victory Thursday night over the Cubs at Wrigley Field, putting Los Angeles in the World Series for the first time since 1988.
  4. Another suspicious death in Tampa's Seminole Heights


    TAMPA — Police were investigating what they were calling a suspicious death in southeast Seminole Heights Thursday night, near the location of two fatal shootings last week.

    Interim Tampa police Chief Brian Dugan addresses reporters about the latest suspicious death in southeast Seminole Heights Thursday night. [JONATHAN CAPRIEL | Times]
  5. Duke tops preseason coaches' basketball poll; Gators No. 7


    Duke has been tabbed basketball's preseason No. 1 for the second straight season in the coaches' poll, released Thursday.

    Florida point guard Chris Chiozza launches the shot of last season’s NCAA Tournament, a winning 3
against Wisconsin that put the Gators into the Elite Eight. Chiozza returns to lead a UF team that’s getting its share of preseason attention, including a No. 7 ranking in the coaches’ poll.