Woman Concerned About Man Seen Killing Birds At Public Park

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A time in the park turned into a gruesome lesson in man vs. nature for one woman.

A park-goer said she witnessed someone killing a bird and tossing it into the trash, along with its nest.

It happened at the Homestead Park near Hilliard.

Plain City resident Heidi Olberding said she was at the park to relax and enjoy nature and listen to the birds, when she says she witnessed something by the bluebird box that she can only describe as "disturbing."

“He broke the bird's neck. He broke the bird's neck and disposed them like they're trash in the Dumpster,” said Olberding.

She said she confronted the man, who told her he was a park volunteer and was helping with bluebird conservation by killing invasive, non-native sparrows.

“The thing that bothered me the most is that I asked him, ‘There were people here at the park, a lot of children. Did you look before you did what I watched you do?’ And he said, ‘No, very nonchalantly. Nope,’” said Olberding.

Bird experts say ridding the bluebird boxes of sparrows is all part of keeping the bluebird population alive in Ohio.

“While it is startling, I would agree it could be that way to see that, it is something that each monitor handles differently,” said Bethany Gray with the Ohio Bluebird Society.

“If a sparrow was allowed to just nest over here, they would just attack the eggs and possibly the parent in the nest, and kill the parent,” said Gray.

That is one reason why Gray said it's so important to keep a close eye on the box.

But, Olberding still believes there's a better way of doing this.

“If we can't care for the things around us, are we really caring for each other? It's just troubling to me,” said Olberding.

Olberding said she is going to give the bird a proper burial.

10TV contacted the director of the park for her response.  

She says she is looking into the incident, but does not condone the volunteer's actions.

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