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Woman looking at $500 fine and jail time because 11 year old daughter saved a woodpecker

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posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 09:15 PM
reply to post by spinkyboo

I'm replying to my own post as I just saw the post above.
I'm glad that they apologized.
There's hope yet.

posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 09:34 PM
reply to post by Whitecat

On June 13, a special agent with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service observed a woman carrying a cage that contained a woodpecker at a home improvement store in Fredericksburg, Virginia. As possession of a bird may potentially violate the federal Migratory Bird Species Act, the agent initiated an inquiry to determine whether a potential violation had occurred.

Upon speaking with Ms. Capo, on June 27, the agent determined that no further action was warranted. A citation that had been previously drafted by the agent was cancelled on June 28.

Unfortunately, the citation was processed unintentionally through an automated system despite our office’s request to cancel the ticket. The Service has contacted Ms. Capo to express our regret. The Service is also sending Ms. Capo a formal letter explaining the clerical error and confirming that ticket should never have been issued. The ticket is null and void.

USFWS Northeast reigon

Sorry but, their explanation stinks to high Heaven.

How, if the citation was unintentionally processed after the agent "determined no further action was required", did that same agent end up on the poor woman's doorstep escorted by a state trooper? The original story says she attempted to issue the citation on the spot but, the mother refused to sign it.

Clerical error my ass!

Its an obvious attempt to save face after the media attention this story generated. If the media hadn't gotten hold of this story, you can be sure they would have prosecuted the woman to the fullest extent of the law and given their agent a medal for oppressing the masses.

edit on 8/2/11 by FortAnthem because:

posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 09:59 PM
reply to post by FortAnthem

How, if the citation was unintentionally processed after the agent "determined no further action was required", did that same agent end up on the poor woman's doorstep escorted by a state trooper? The original story says she attempted to issue the citation on the spot but, the mother refused to sign it.

Thanks FA. I had intended to speak to this myself, but was busy working on other projects. It was frustrating while working on them to think this canard was allowed to go uncontested. Fortunately you were on the job and speaking to truth.

There is certainly a contradiction between the first part of the story and the second. Someone is lying, and if we have to guess who those liars are, I am not willing at all to guess it was the little girl and her mother lying.

posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 10:18 PM

Originally posted by dolphinfan
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (WUSA) -- Eleven-year-old aspiring veterinarian, Skylar Capo, sprang into action the second she learned that a baby woodpecker in her Dad's backyard was about to be eaten by the family cat.

"I've just always loved animals," said Skylar Capo. "I couldn't stand to watch it be eaten."

Skylar couldn't find the woodpecker's mother, so she brought it to her own mother, Alison Capo, who agreed to take it home.

"She was just going to take care of it for a day or two, make sure it was safe and uninjured, and then she was going to let it go," said Capo.

But on the drive home, the Capo family stopped at a Lowes in Fredericksburg and they brought the bird inside because of the heat. That's when they were confronted by a fellow shopper who said she worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

"She was really nervous. She was shaking. Then she pulled out a badge," said Capo.

The problem was that the woodpecker is a protected species under the Federal Migratory Bird Act. Therefore, it is illegal to take or transport a baby woodpecker. The Capo family says they had no idea."

"But roughly two weeks later, that same woman from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service showed up at Capo's front door. This time, Capo says the woman was accompanied by a state trooper. Capo refused to accept a citation, but was later mailed a notice to appear in U.S. District Court for unlawfully taking a migratory bird. She's also been slapped with a $535 fine"

This is your government at work and an example of one of the critical functions that exist that we can ill afford to cut or reform.

Not withstanding that the girl should have been commended for her actions, it likely cost more than $500 to get the paperwork drawn up, coordinate with Fish and Wildlife and visit this home to harrass the woman and her daughter.

If the government had no real impact on the lives of others, their incompetence, false priorities and idiocy would be comical. Unfortunately the government does have real impact on the lives of others and thus this stuff, while at first blush this is humorous, but it is not funny. We see about 1/1000th of the events like this that occur in the country.

Ultimately the folks who responded with such an innappropriate response, like the folks who shut down lemonade stands should be summarily dismissed for misuse of public funds and made fools in the media.

It would seem that a requirement for being employed by some of these enforcement arms of the government is to have absolutely no judgement or common sense.

Its a good thing the woman did not attempt to video tape the official from Fish & Game. Then she really would be jammed up.
edit on 2-8-2011 by dolphinfan because: (no reason given)

Anyone seeing a common denominator between this incident and the liars who stole that basketball setup?

posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 11:13 PM
Sad story really. Way to confuse a young person, who was in with intention of the right action. Fining/jail is the common new direction I've seen;hear of lately. As a child her age, I rescued and worked with domestic and wild animals to place in homes and rehabilitate for re-release, in cases where family and I could not, through wildlife Vets and centers.

Next time as advice for anyone in a similar situation, make sure to call your local wildlife center or not tell a soul but remain vigilant on achieving help. Small wild birds in particular rarely survive an attack, as well as have metabolism and shock if not in a comfortable situation where they can eat, and more.

I've already had one of my Veterinarians be reported/fined for owning an exotic wild animal, even had the right papers but because the animal being "spotted" in public(on the way to the clinic) they were turned in. Indeed, we do hear of the cases X times faster than ever before and at all in some situations, but it does happen, when it comes to fines and jail time for helping wildlife.
edit on 2-8-2011 by dreamingawake because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 11:16 PM
reply to post by FortAnthem

You are clearly right. Their explanation makes absolutely no sense and the timeline between the initial encounter, 6/13 and the date the ticket was canceled, 6/28 does not jive what so ever to what the official explanation is. Far more likely is

The agent sees the woman in the store gives her a load of nonsense about the endangered woodpecker.

The woman tells the agent its no big deal and to essentially piss off

The agent leaves, gets angry and then shows up at the woman's house to give her a ticket for the woodpecker whereby the woman again tells the agent to piss off

The agent leaves and returns with an armed trooper in an attempt to give the woman a ticket for having the woodpecker

Its far more likely that some petty ass enforcement officer got irked because someone told them their job was about as important as sitting in a room sharpening pencils all day and to get a life than it is that there was a clerical issue in an automated system that took 15 days to materialize.

posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 11:23 PM
The system is teaching people to accept death and forget about compassion toward people and animals alike. Money speaks, not life. This is truly a sign of the time: heartless zombies aiming to shut down nice people.

posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 12:14 AM
Wildlife regulations are never something to trifle with, federal regulations such as the Migratory Bird Treaty Act doubly so and ignorance of the law is never a sound defense.

With that said I have little faith from my brief dealings with any federal bureaucracy to make a just call however the local Oregon state fish and wildlife enforcement officers have my complete respect.

They are all sworn state troopers who specialize in wildlife natural resource laws. They carry firearms, drive vehicles with cages in the back and have the same power to arrest someone in violation of the law just like their highway patrolling peers.

A quick glance on the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife FAQ About Young Wildlife seems to afford its citizens a bit more grace in exercising their own judgment in these circumstances...

I found a newborn bird on the ground; should I bring it to a wildlife center?

A fledgling or nestling bird should be taken from its habitat only as a last resort. In captivity, it has no opportunity to learn the skills it needs to live in the wild, giving it only a slim chance of survival. A nestling should be gently and quickly returned to the nest. Resist the urge to keep checking on it; give the mother time and space to return. If the bird is a fully feathered fledgling, it may just be learning to fly. The mother bird will feed it on the ground until it “gets its wings.” A fledgling may be returned to the nest if there are cats or dogs in the area. Keep pets confined or indoors at this time. Visit the Audubon Society for more information.


What if a bird flies into a window and appears hurt?

Birds don’t recognize glass and are confused by reflective surfaces, causing then to occasionally fly into windows. If you find a bird that has been stunned as a result of hitting a window, put the bird in an uncovered box with a towel on the bottom. Keep it in a quiet place away from pets and check back in a couple of hours. If the bird has recovered, it will have flown off. If not, contact a local ODFW office or your local wildlife rehabilitator.


Is removing young wildlife from the wild a crime?

Under state rules administered by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and enforced by Oregon State Police, removing or “capturing” wildlife from the wild and keeping them in captivity without a permit are considered Class A misdemeanors, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $6,250 fine. In 2006, OSP cited nine people for one of these offenses. Wildlife laws (pdf)

I'm happy to see the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service exercise some reason although I have the suspicion that it was the Agents intent to issue the citation and prosecute the family and that the media attention forced the agency to cancel the ticket as a public relations measure.

I cant say I've had a similar experience but I have had a similar fear of unjust prosecution by Federal wildlife laws.

My spouse was given a golden eagle feather by a friends friend (we have a macaw so I guess they assumed we liked feathers?
). She accepted it and brought it home without realizing she could be breaking a federal law and risking a $100,000 fine under The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act .

The Eagle Act was passed in 1940, and prohibits the “take; possession; sale; purchase; barter; offer to sell, purchase, or barter; transport, export or import, of any bald or golden eagle, alive or dead, including any part, nest, or egg, unless allowed by permit.”

Eagle feathers, however, have had spiritual significance to Indian tribes long before the federal government began passing acts. So in the 1970s, the National Eagle Repository was established to provide feathers of bald and golden eagles to tribal members for ceremonial purposes...

...Anyone who possesses an eagle feather, and doesn’t meet the requirements, could face fines up to $100,000 and a year in prison under the Eagle Act. A second offense is upgraded from a misdemeanor to a felony, and carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The act also provides for a civil penalty of up to $5,000.

I was skeptical of its authenticity (it looked like it could have come from a goose) but a quick internet search confirmed it was indeed a golden eagle.

We thought about just not saying anything and keeping it but my understanding is the eagle feather laws are actively enforced.

It seemed like the kind of thing you'd forget all about and then 15 years later somebody see's it in a box in your garage and makes a fuss.

We thought next about just taking it to the local Fish and turning it in but we had a suspicion that would result in a visit from a Federal Wildlife agent wanting to know where we got it. We didn't want a hassle for ourselves or the folks that gave it to us so considered that option out.

We ended up gifting it to a friend's friend who was also a Umatilla tribal member who used eagle feathers to make religious totems. ( Some native americans are exempted under the Eagle feather law for religious purposes)

It turns out to have been quite the score, apparently it was from an immature golden eagle which is the most highly prized.

“It’s not even the bald eagle feathers that are the most popular items in the underground feather market,” Anquoe said. “It’s the feathers from the immature golden eagle. They’re the ones you see that have a base and quill that are white and a black tip.”

Eagle feather laws still in place

That is a lot of stress to go through over a bird feather.

If you made it this far, Thanks for reading

posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 12:46 AM

Originally posted by dolphinfan
Who cares what the other side of the story was?

I was astounded by the blind hatred until I read this, then I understood.

Thanks to this person though:
reply to post by tjack

If you're a fan of freedom and liberty you should always care about the other side of the story. Something about fair trials and rights or something...

posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 12:53 AM
Debt reduction: cut spending to get rid of useless pieces of meat like these, or raise taxes to hire more of them. Choices, choices.

Glad it finally worked out. It shouldn't have gone that far in the first place. The game warden should've just taken the bird and given it care professionally.


posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 01:19 AM
reply to post by dolphinfan

here's an another example of how assinine things have gotten. there was a chinese resteraunt in maine that had a koi fish in a tank. the owner was told he had to get rid of the fish because the possibility existed that the fish could someday be released into the wild and cause problems w/the eco system. never mind that the fish had been in the tank for years and the owner never intended to set it "free". the whole incident made the state officials look like a bunch of idiots.

posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 03:38 AM
F the birds, save the children.
edit on 3-8-2011 by Amassuo because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 10:18 AM
reply to post by links234

Hatred? The fact that I don't think that there is any reason for an armed trooper to show up at a citizen's home over a woodpecker is hatred? Grow up. I don't care if she was looking to keep the bird, sell the bird, eat the bird, marry the bird. Who cares? The agent should have simply told her to cut the bird loose and have been done with it. Had she left the bird on the ground with the cat nearby there is a high probability that this woodpecker would have been dead by this time in any event.

I'll tell you something that I do hate and that is this ridiculous overhead we have dealing with the most inane priorities when there are significant issues that need to be dealt with. Now, just on this bird business, which the officials suggest was always a mistake, but the the facts show they are lying here's at least who you have involved:

-The agent
-The trooper
- Dispatch workers on both the fish and wild life and state trooper side of the business
-The managment at the fish and wildlife service, since the matter was escalated to at least his level if not higher
- The folks involved in the "clerical error" we'll be kind and suggest that there is one person involved here, but likely at least 2
-Probably a public relations person to review the press release
-Both the local government and fish and wild life will get letters and e-mails about this which they will respond to if that is their policy
-At the agents next fitness report time, she and her supervisor will discuss this again. How it was handled, how it could have been better handled in the future, etc

Now thats something to hate. The foolish, blind waste of resources all for some woodpecker.

Were there a road accident and it took extra time to get a trooper to the scene because he was on some little girl's porch, chest puffing his chest out to intimidate her for handling a woodpecker and someone died that would be OK?

This is exactly the problem with government. When everything is important, nothing is important. When everything is a priority, everything gets treated equally. When the expanse of government continues to grow, nobody is served, despite ironically it is growing for the sole purpose to serve more folks in more ways.

That the fish and game person would even think to write a ticket and coordinate with troopers to serve it should cost her her job. She misused public funds and clearly has too poor of judgement to be in any type of role where she is interfacing with the public.

posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 09:39 PM
I'm reading this thread. Here's what I have so far:

Mom and Dad divorced. Kid is visiting dad, catches a bird, asks dad to keep it, dad says not here, ask your mother. Mother says sure, (knowing that captive birdies only live for like three days in captivity), but I can't get the whole Lowe's slant. Wouldn't they go to Petsmart or a pet store? If they don't have internet, why not look in the yellow pages? Besides that, what women goes into Lowe's by herself? Then also, wouldn't the birdie be in a box, like a shoebox or something? Is the girl holding it in her hands? Fondling a wild animal, especially a bird, will kill it quicker than mother nature would. Bacteria from our human hands wreak havoc on a wild birdie, and their immune system can't cope. Do NOT touch a wild animal with your BARE hands. Use gloves. Get a towel, a sheet of newspaper, anything that provides a barrier between your germs and the animals.

At this point I decide it's a sensationalized story. The facts don't fit. If my 11 year old kid is going to bring home a bird, it's gonna be in a box. I'd let them carry the box into Lowe's, but I wouldn't go to Lowe's to look for a birdcage. I may go to Lowe's for some chicken wire, to build a cage, but only if it was a raven or a hawk or an eaglet. A frikken woodpecker? A frikken DNR agent on the scene that can identify endangered species at a glance? Most birdies won't get identifying plumage until adolescence.

Now a crow or raven would be obvious, as well as a hawk or eaglet. Then the DNR agent should've stepped in, because the idiot mom let a child bring a wild animal into a bacteria infested slimy human establishment of disease and pestilence. A woodpecker? Then thinking they were saving it by parading it around a shopping center? C'mon, what a good story. If the cat had eaten the bird, fate accomplished, no story. Mother Nature none the wiser.

But no, they were transporting it. The letter of the law says endangered birds. Rare ones. A migratory bird. I had to chuckle at that point. Migratory birds migrate to find food and breed. There is no way to get an accurate count on a migratory species. If a count is low in a specific area, the &$*%ed Audubon Society petitions the DNR to flag a species, and wait for endangered.

They never said what kind of woodpecker it was.

Woodpeckers: Woodpeckers are usually a nuisance when they are banging on a gutter or house siding. In the spring, especially, these birds can be quite the drummers as they ring out their invitation for a mate or warn other males that they have staked out a territory. Whenever a woodpecker becomes a problem, the first thing every homeowner should do is have their house inspected for insect infestations. Sometimes woodpeckers are pecking through your wood siding to feed on grubs, termites, carpenter ants or carpenter bee larvae. Take the warning seriously! If you are sure there is no insect infestation, then it's a strong bet that the male woodpecker is just showing off! There are four species of woodpeckers that are the usual culprits here. The downy, red-bellied and red-headed woodpeckers are the smallest of the four and can cause damage, but not nearly to the extent that Virginia's largest woodpecker, the pileated woodpecker, can. At just over 16 inches tall, this bird can cause extensive damage to wood-sided houses. The solutions below are useful for all woodpecker species. Please remember, all woodpecker species are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Act and it is against the law to harm the birds in anyway. Scare tactics are legal within the limits of local ordinances. Attach one end of several 3-foot pieces of metallic ribbon (or metal pie pans suspended by string) around the eaves of the house where the woodpecker is banging. Leave the lower end of the ribbon to flap in the wind. The reflective ribbon scares the bird away. Place a fake owl or rubber snake strategically near the edge of the roof where the woodpecker is pecking. You must move the owl/snake periodically, however, or the woodpeckers will become accustomed to its presence and ignore it. Scaring the bird with a loud noise or water hose can be effective. Residents will have to be persistent using this method. If time allows, continue this behavior each time pecking begins and eventually the woodpecker will give up for the season.

AND LINK. Nuisance wildlife.

SO what kind was it?

Virginia Laws:
In Virginia it is illegal to:
molest or destroy a woodpecker nest and/or eggs. §29.1-521.
trap any woodpecker§29.1-530
kill a woodpecker anytime other than during a defined hunting season. §29.1-100,§29.1-513
poison any animal (including woodpecker) on your property. 4VAC15-40-50

It is a Federal offense to:
possess, sell, deliver, carry, transport, or ship a Red-cockated woodpecker since it is an endangered species (Endangered Species Act)
possess, sell, deliver, carry, transport, or ship any woodpecker or woodpecker part since they are classified as a migratory species. (Migratory Bird Treaty Act)

Now if they said it was a Red-cockated Woodpecker, yep, them are rare. I didn't see those there facts posted.

Here's the link to Virginian Woodpeckers, So go HERE. Read up on your woodpeckers, then ask yourself if a DNR agent could spot an adolescent on the spot.

Ok, I'm done ranting......

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 12:45 AM

Originally posted by dolphinfan

Your hatred of government is apparent. Your insistence that a random woman's story is always preferred to that of the other side, the governments side, shows your absolute disdain for government.

If you're an anarchist, fine, I can deal with that and I'll leave you be. You have every right to feel that way.

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 09:10 AM
reply to post by links234

I don't hate the government at all. Government is an absolute necessitity for an orderly society and I respect those who in many cases choose to serve their country through government service.

I do hate the notion which is popular amongst many in government that the citizens are somehow subordinant to the government. The citizens are the clients of government. This fish and wildlife person should have provided a bit of customer service to the woman - her first bias should have been to both do the intent of her position which was to protect wildlife and to serve the citizen. Done with sensitivity, good judgement and competence both could have been accomplished.

I also hate the creep of government into all facets of our lives so far beyond what was orginally intended that what we consider government today is not recognizable from original intent. The attitude of government is that we are subjects to be ruled rather than citizens to be served.

My gut reaction in believing the woman was correct as evidenced by the appology by the government. Same reaction when they shut down a lemonade stand, garage sale, farmer's market, fly planes over neighborhoods to look for what might be unliscenced pets, shut down organic farmers, beat/harrass citizens recording police activity. But, take it down to the 25% of what the government is doing today that it is supposed to be doing and I have enormous respect for both the functions and the people who perform them. For those folks employed by the government in the other 75% of the things the government does, when they act as a servant of the citizen I have respect for them as well. They are doing a job. My issue is that the job should not exist or if it does should be carried out by private entities, not public.

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 05:13 PM

Originally posted by korathin
Anyone seeing a common denominator between this incident and the liars who stole that basketball setup?

Okay, I'm lost on something. What basketball setup?

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 06:32 PM
reply to post by Jessicamsa

""MARCH SADNESS": Watch Delaware Cops Lie To An Upset Family As They Take Away Their Basketball Hoop"

"With no college basketball until Saturday night, hoops fans are riveted over this video of Delaware police and DOT officials — armed with a front-end loader and a massive dump truck — tearing a basketball hoop out of a family's front yard and carting it away, despite the protests of the angry parents."

Just another tid-bit about our "customer friendly" government

posted on Aug, 6 2011 @ 12:21 AM
reply to post by dolphinfan

thank you for posting that. I totally hadn't heard about that one yet. very interesting.

posted on Aug, 6 2011 @ 12:33 AM
Well look folks. Yes it's just one baby woodpecker, one injured almost destroyed by a cat baby woodpecker that this woman saved.

But this woman broke the law. The shaky fish & game lady and Mr Friendly State Trooper have their 'policies' and

this woman is a criminal and she needs locked up obviously.


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