FWC: Report illegal painted and indigo bunting bird traps
Painted and indigo buntings breed in North Florida, spend the winter primarily in South Florida and can be found throughout much of the state during spring and fall migration.
Poachers illegally trap these birds to sell them. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is asking the public to report traps to (888) 404-3922 or Tip@MyFWC.com. According to a news release, the traps normally used are elaborate, large devices found hanging from trees 2-4 feet above the ground in high grass, where the wintering birds like to seek cover. The traps are usually left for several hours before subjects check them. These actions are illegal and violate the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which protects birds from unlawful actions that harm them, according to the FWC.
“Although the MBTA dates back to 1918, many people may not realize that even owning a migratory bird like a painted or indigo bunting is illegal,” Maj. Alfredo Escanio, FWC regional commander, said in the news release. “We want to get the word out that these birds are protected, and ask the public to let us know if they see anyone trying to trap these birds.”