DNR: Macomb Township man shot, killed 3 Cooper’s hawks when utility company refused to cut down tree

‘All birds of prey are protected at both the state and federal level’

MORONGO VALLEY, CA - APRIL 11: An Cooper's hawk roosts on a charred tree near a desert marsh as recovery from a 2005 wildfire continues at Big Morongo Wildlife Preserve on April 11, 2007 in Morongo Valley, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images) (David McNew, 2007 Getty Images)

MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. – A Macomb Township man pleaded no contest after shooting three young Cooper’s hawks out of a tree because a utility company refused to cut it down, according to the DNR.

Arthur Anderson, 65, owes $4,500 ($1,500 per bird) to the state and $475 in fines and costs. He will be placed on probation for six months and the shotgun he used to kill the birds was confiscated.

“The Michigan Department of Natural Resources greatly appreciates the court system’s support in this case,” said Chief Dave Shaw, DNR Law Enforcement Division. “All birds of prey are protected at both the state and federal level and are an important and enjoyable part of Michigan’s natural environment.”

According to the DNR, Anderson hired a utility company to remove trees on his property in June. The utility company refused to cut down the tree because the birds were living there. That’s when Anderson retrieved a shotgun from his house and shot the nest at least five times. Three dead hawks fell to the ground.

An anonymous tip was reported to the DNR’s Report All Poaching Hotline. Conservation Officer Brad Silorey received the anonymous tip.

COs Sydney Griffor, Chris Knights and Sgt. Seth Rhodea met Silorey at Anderson’s Macomb Township home, where they interviewed him and collected evidence.

At first, Anderson said he was shooting nuisance squirrels. The DNR said he eventually confessed that he was angry the utility company wouldn’t remove the tree due to the nest. His firearm was seized at that time.

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