Officials: California man shot 130 hawks, birds of prey

In this photo taken March 11, 2018 and released by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife are some of the over 140 carcasses they collected of mostly raptors, other birds and mammals near Standish, Calif. A Northern California man illegally shot more than 130 hawks and other birds of prey on his land, leaving the carcasses to pile up at the foot of trees and telephone poles, wildlife officials said Wednesday, March 14, 2018. California Department of Fish and Wildlife managers believe the discovery near the rural town of Standish in Lassen County marks the largest poaching case involving raptors on record for California, agency spokesman Capt. Patrick Foy said. (California Department of Fish and Wildlife via AP)

SAN FRANCISCO - A Northern California man shot more than 130 hawks and other legally protected birds of prey on his land, leaving the carcasses to pile up at the foot of trees and telephone poles, wildlife officials said Wednesday.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife managers believe the discovery near the rural town of Standish in Lassen County, on the border with Nevada, marks the largest poaching case involving raptors on record for the state, spokesman Capt. Patrick Foy said.

Wildlife officers alerted by an anonymous tip from someone who reported watching a man shooting down a hawk "just started finding one bird after the next," Foy said.

Wildlife officers don't know what motivated the shootings, he said.

Authorities booked property owner Richard Parker, 67, into the Lassen County jail on charges including take of birds of prey and take of migratory non-game birds protected by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The website of the county jail did not show whether Parker had a lawyer to comment on the charges.

Birds of prey are broadly valued by farmers and others for helping keep down rodent populations. State law bars killing them.

All of the birds appear to have been shot, Foy said. Most were red-tailed hawks, but they also included an owl, at least one magpie songbird, and North America's largest hawk, the migratory ferruginous hawk.

David Bess, chief of law enforcement for the state wildlife agency, called the scale of the raptor killings "unprecedented" for California.

It could take years for the local raptor population to recover, Bass said in a statement.


chris-george
GEORGE: Protesting the future: It didn't work in 1920 and it ain't gonna work now either...
  OPINION The tight integration between oil companies, governments, and the rest of the economy has led to chaos in the oil markets recently and will have predictable effects in the months and years to come. Those makin

Top News