Nationals Spring Training 2012: Great horned owl nests at Viera ballpark

The great horned owl is a federally protected migratory species. (Photo: Peter Manadis)

VIERA, Fla. (AP) - The Washington Nationals have attracted a new fan at their spring training home in central Florida. A great horned owl is nesting high atop the right field lights.

Florida Today reported Monday that there isn't much Space Coast Stadium officials can do. Owls are federally protected as a migratory species.

The owl is nesting on a metal platform officials installed to coax ospreys away from the left field lights where they gathered last season.

Officials attempted to move the ospreys to keep them from dropping twigs, prey parts and bird dropping on fans.

But the owl took up residence, pushing the osprey to yet another set of lights.

Stadium officials say they've never had any incidents of the ospreys - or the owl - flying close to fans.