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Birds in the News

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The purpose of this thread is to provide a place for us to share stories, videos, photos, etc., about birds, especially eagles and other raptors, we've run across in the news and social media but that don't really "fit" in the Forum's other threads.  Here's one, for starters.

This inaugural post is pretty rough, because it's about poaching and the black market in eagle parts.  Mercifully, there are no photos.  WARNING: If you're going to read the linked stories, you'll need a strong stomach, a box of tissues and your blood pressure meds.  It's all about the money.  It's always all about the money. 

In today's news, Willard Maldonado pleaded guilty to killing bald eagles and selling the feathers.  The story doesn't mention what the sentencing guidelines are, but the federal maximums include up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, per count.

At the end of that news release are references to 2 other, similar cases: U.S. v. Hawk and U.S. v. Wahchumwah.  Maldonado, Hawk and Wahchumwah are all members of the federally recognized Yakama tribe.

Alfred Hawk was charged with conspiracy, and taking, transporting, offering and selling eagles, and transporting and selling wildlife with a market value in excess of $350.  He was sentenced to 6 months in prison and 2 years probation, which he violated.  In addition, Hawk was also mentioned in Wahchumwah's case.

Ricky Sam Wahchumwah was convicted of the same crimes as Hawk and sentenced to serve 1 month in jail and 3 months home confinement followed by 2 years of probation, and to pay a $425 penalty.  Here's a court document that lays out the case against Wahchumwah in the "Statement of Facts," beginning on Page 1.

But, on another front, there's good news.  Really good news!  And the videos are great, too.

What does an eaglet smell like?  Fish!  LOL  Nice article about banding 2 eaglets.  Would you get a load of that nest?!!!

Avian flu and vaccinations.

Eaglet falls 80 feet and is uninjured!!!  A happy ending.  :)


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