From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Oakland has come to love the squawking black-crowned night herons that have taken up residence downtown. City work crews leave them alone, and residents say they adore the colony’s rain-forest-like cacophony – a bit of nature amid the hardscrabble urban landscape.
But the shorebirds aren’t so cute to the U.S. Postal Service. Officials at the downtown post office ordered nearby trees trimmed Saturday because nesting birds were defecating on the mail trucks.
The result, witnesses said, was a feathery massacre that ended with nests – and baby birds – fed through a wood chipper, hysterical neighbors protesting in the street, and a call to Oakland police officers, who ordered the trimmers to stop.
Now, state and federal wildlife officials are investigating the matter, because the nest destruction and bird deaths may have violated the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act.