Tree trimmer: No birds ended up in wood chipper

      SAN FRANCISCO (AP) The U.S. Postal Service and a tree trimmer hired by the agency to trim trees in Northern California are disputing witness accounts that birds were fed through a wood chipper during the operation.

      Ernesto Pulido, who supervised Saturday's tree trimming in Oakland, told the San Francisco Chronicle that he did not see any blood in the wood chipper. U.S. Postal Service spokesman Augustine Ruiz said a postal maintenance worker observed the work and reported that no birds were harmed.

      Witnesses, however, described a horrifying scene to the Chronicle in which the bird chicks and their nests were toppled to the ground. Some, they said, ended up in the wood chipper. Five black-crowned night heron chicks were taken to a bird rescue center. State and federal officials are investigating the incident.