Man Shoots Woodpecker
A Marion County man ended up in jail after shooting and killing a red bellied woodpecker.
The main reason the man killed the bird was because it was pecking holes into his plum trees and those trees mean a lot to him.
"I have to two trees that came from my 80 -year- old mom," said John Wayne Miller.
About five years ago, miller received two plum trees from his mother, but lately a feathered creature has been making itself comfortable in their branches.
Miller said the red bellied woodpecker has been lingering around his yard for several years and has already started destroying his trees. You can see where the bird pecked holes into his plum tree.
One neighbor said the same type of bird has been hanging around his yard as well.
"The bird has actually been in our neighborhood for about four years. I got a pecan tree that you can see the limbs it's rotting the limbs out where he has pecked on it," said Ken Lundoy.
After days, months and years of watching the red bellied woodpecker knocking on his trees, Miller said he'd had enough.
" I can't bear no fruit on my trees so I shot the woodpecker with a pellet gun and I regret it. I didn't know it was against the law," said Miller.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission received an anonymous phone call about miller shooting the bird.
Soon after an FWC officer stopped by Millers home.
When questioned about the bird, Miller admitted to killing the red bellied woodpecker.
Joy Hill with Florida Fish and Wildlife said this type of bird is federally protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
You are not allowed to kill the red bellied woodpecker, no matter the season.
"If you are having problems like this with any kind of wildlife species, you can call out office and we can help you with some ideas and things you can do to discourage this type of behavior," said Hill.
Making it best to find a solution, without killing a native species.
"I don't think he did it maliciously. I think he just did it to save his trees is what he did," said Lundoy.
The State Attorneys Office issued a warrant for Miller, but he later turned himself into the Marion County Jail.
He was released after bonding out of jail and is charged with a second degree misdemeanor.
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