GRAND HAVEN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A western Michigan man faces charges in the fatal shootings of three sandhill cranes.
The Grand Haven Tribune reports Tuesday that state officials received a tip last week on a poaching hotline.
Conservation Officer Ivan Perez tells the newspaper that the cranes were shot after a neighbor chased some of the birds from his yard to the property owner’s yard in Grand Haven Township, northwest of Grand Rapids.
Perez says the man “claimed he thought he could treat them as varmints” and didn’t know the migratory birds are protected.
The man also faces up to 90 days in jail and up to $1,500 in restitution. His shotgun was confiscated.
Sandhill cranes are tall, grey birds reaching heights up to 4 feet, with wingspans of 6 to 7 feet.