OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) — The Maryland Coastal Bays Program says 14 migratory bird nests that included 40 gull eggs have been illegally removed from a hotel in Ocean City.

Media outlets report that in May, the manager of the Comfort Inn on the Ocean City boardwalk ordered maintenance staff to remove all bird nests from the roof. Some of the eggs were hatching at the time, but MCBP spokeswoman Sandi Smith says none of the birds survived.

For all but three species of migratory birds, house sparrows, pigeons and starlings, removal of nests is a federal offense under the Migratory Bird Treaty. Smith says hotel workers didn’t realize it was illegal to remove the nests.

The Natural Resource Police have ordered the hotel to appear in court and pay a $450 fine.
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