Newport Beach Files Charges in Destruction of Protected Bird Nests

Stephen John Esser, 47, of Dana Point and David Roger Stanley, 40, of Downey face up to 18 months in jail if convicted of misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty, unlawful possession and destruction of bird nests/eggs, unlawful taking of migratory nongame birds and harassing a bird or mammal. The men were charged with causing the deaths of five protected species birds when they illegally cut down a tree in Newport Beach.

According to the prosecutor, there were about eight to nine nests of snowy egrets and black-crowned night herons in the tree and about a dozen nestlings tumbled out of the tree, prosecutors said. Five of the newborn birds died.