One baby bird survived; the other 186 weren't so lucky. An angry boat owner likely is to blame for the deaths of 186 mud swallows — most of which were squashed — that called the boat slips at Gate 4 of the Lake Hefner marina home, police Sgt. Lori Osborn said. As many as 30 nests, which look much like little mud huts, were knocked down with a pole, Osborn said. "It's just horrendous,” she said of the site, which was discovered Sunday evening. "He actually called up to complain that there was a mess and we needed to clean it up.”
U.S., state officials investigateA shocked boat slip employee fielded the call from the man. The complaint was that there was a mess down by his dock, that it stank and someone needed to go clean it up, Osborn said. The man's name was not released because he was not arrested, Osborn said. But officers do know who he is. In fact, he even gave his name to the boat slip operators and seemed proud of what he had done, Osborn said. The woman working at the boat slips told the man there were babies in those nests. His reply to her was, "I know, but not anymore.” "He didn't like them flying around because he was afraid they were going to mess his boat up,” Osborn said. But he didn't get them all, she said. She rescued two, but one died Monday. The survivor's next stop is Oklahoma City animal control, with its final home possibly being the WildCare Foundation in Noble, Osborn said. Osborn said she was fascinated by the birds and their colonization of the boat docks. By Monday evening, officials from the state Wildlife Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were investigating the incident. If anyone is charged and found guilty, there could be a fine of $500 for each bird killed, Osborn said wildlife officials told her. The killings violate the federal migratory bird act, she said.
Oklahoma City police Sgt. Lori Osborn holds a baby mud swallow, the lone survivor of a weekend attack on bird nests at the Lake Hefner marina. Police said 186 of the birds were killed. BY John Clanton, THE OKLAHOMAN