UPDATE: Moving of Osprey Nest In Beaufort County Ruled Not Illegal

By: Natalie Kaplan Email
By: Natalie Kaplan Email

According to Beaufort County Wildlife Officers the man who moved an Osprey nest did not break the law.

The huge nest is resting on top of a barge parked at McCotters Marina in Washington. That barge was sitting about a half a mile away in Broad Creek for the past six months, it was moved to the marina last Monday.

The barge’s owner, Ivan Sawyer says when the barge was moved the Osprey was nowhere to be found and there weren’t any babies in the nest; however, some marina residents say that’s not true.

After an investigation, authorities determined Sawyer did not violate the law and no charges will be filed against him. Wildlife Officer Anthony Cox tells WITN News the Osprey bird is protected but it’s not endangered, threatened, or have special concerns.

The nest will remain at the marina for a few more days to see if the birds return, if they don’t, officers say Mr. Sawyer can then do as he pleases.


-Previous Story-

Wildlife Officers are investigating the move of an Osprey nest in Beaufort County and whether it was illegal. According to the U.S Fish & Wildlife Service it is illegal to remove or move an active nest.

The huge nest is currently resting on top of a barge parked at McCotters Marina in Washington. That barge was sitting about a half a mile away in Broad Creek for the past six months, it was moved to the marina on Friday.

The barge’s owner, Ivan Sawyer says when the barge was moved the Osprey was nowhere to be found and there weren’t any babies in the nest; however, some marina residents say that’s no true.

When Regina Dickens went for her normal walk on Saturday morning she told WITN News she saw a man trying to shake the nest off of the top of the barge. Dickens says the Osprey was literally swooping down from the nest towards the man trying to protect her children. Dickens says she called local authorities to handle the situation.

On Sunday a Wildlife Officer climbed to the top of the barge, looked into the nest, and realized there weren’t any babies inside. Officers say an investigation is now underway.

Sawyer tells us he moved the barge because he needs to use it for his business, but will comply with authorities and leave it untouched until an investigation is complete.

According to the U.S Fish & Wildlife Service website someone caught moving an active Osprey nest could face up to 6 months in jail and a $15,000 fine.


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  • by Anonymous on Jul 21, 2010 at 06:46 AM
    I used to work with Ivan a few years back. That barge is his life, if he cant move his barge/excavator he can't work. You people are idiots if you think he should leave his barge sitting there, not making any money because of one birds nest.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 9, 2010 at 12:18 PM
    Cactus I think your right common sense is gone.. I will be the first to say the nest should not have been knocked out of a tree or off a marker post in the river but if it were on my equipment and I needed the peice of equipment that bird would have to find somewhere else and start over.....
  • by Ted Location: Grimesland on Jul 7, 2010 at 06:25 AM
    To: Audra Location: SoCal - Just so we're clear, it's not that I am uneducated or do not understand what a protected species is, I understand perfectly well. I just don't CARE.
  • by Audra Location: SoCal on Jul 7, 2010 at 02:44 AM
    Marty: LOL. Thank you again. ;-) To "Hey witn", asking about the TOS... did you not know that they aren't required to release every single post, regardless of content? It's at the moderator of the moment's discretion. We've all had perfectly innocuous posts disappear. We're not landowners on this site, or even renters - we're only guests.
  • by MARTY Location: GOLDSBORO on Jul 6, 2010 at 02:26 PM
    Dang Audra I like your style.It is unorthodox yet effective.
  • by Hey witn on Jul 6, 2010 at 01:41 PM
    WITN I would like to know what your rules are for the posts here?> I have read the terms of service and yet no detail. I would like to know where I can see this ouline...I post things and I never see them and there is nothing bad in the comments, whats up WITH this witn???????really
  • by SBK Location: Belhaven on Jul 6, 2010 at 01:07 PM
    Yankee busybodies. Good grief!
  • by AMANDA on Jul 6, 2010 at 01:04 PM
    Pretty soon we won't even be able to dig up a fire ant hill in our yards! OR worse yet, KILL A MOUSE!
  • by Audra Location: SoCal on Jul 6, 2010 at 12:17 PM
    Oh, forgot to say.. the reason you're seeing a discrepency in the story by it's wording is because they're caving to public pressure. They said he can move it in a few days if the birds don't return. Think about that for a minute. They're trying to shut the outrage up by saying he didn't break the law. If he really didn't, he'd be allowed to move it right now - birds or no birds. This isn't rocket science. Someone must be running for office....
  • by Audra Location: SoCal on Jul 6, 2010 at 12:14 PM
    One thing that a lot of people seem to be missing is that a species does not have to be endangered, or even threatened, to be protected. If it is protected - and they ARE - then you DO have to deal with Fish & Game. Any grown person that is so uneducated that they don't know that just needs to get a clue. It is a bird of prey. It is protected. It isn't about the animal having more or less rights than a human person. It is simply a matter of obeying the law. These laws are in place to PREVENT endangerment and extinction from occuring. There is no difference between it being in a tree or being on a barge. The law is very clear in this matter. A phonecall is easy and cheap to make in order to find out answers to a situation. If you're not a wildlife expert, you have no business trying to relocate an animal or part of it's environment. If he had done this right in the first place there would be no story and no issue. It's that simple.
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