The U.S. Postal Service is undergoing an investigation by another federal agency -- but not for anything related to the service's ability to deliver the mail. Last week, a post office in Oakland, California hired a third-party contractor to trim a group of trees surrounding the building's parking lot, in hopes of preventing the black-crowned herons who nest there from defecating on mail trucks. There was just one problem with that plan: the birds USPS hoped to get rid of are protected by federal law.
"Someone can't tell me [the workers] didn't know it," Stephanie Benavidez, Oakland's supervising naturalist, told the San Jose Mercury News. "You can hear the babies." Additionally, the shorebirds have become so common in the area, the city avoids cutting trees in order to protect them. Benavidez wasn't the only one outraged by the USPS's actions: several Oakland residents called local police to come stop the tree-trimming as it was going on, fearful that the contractors would kill the black-crowned herons nesting in the branches.