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Red Shouldered Hawk Death Underscores Need For Improved Environmental Education And Conservation

The National Audubon Society today condemned the killing of a red-shouldered hawk by a professional golfer whom news reports indicate viewed the bird as a nuisance.

"We face so many hurdles when it comes to protecting birds. Migratory birds are already facing a host of environmental challenges ranging from pollution to loss of habitat to global warming. Acts of violence toward federally protected birds simply make the situation worse and cannot be tolerated," said Betsy Loyless, Audubon's Donal O'Brien Chair for Policy and Advocacy.

The golfer, Tripp Isenhour, who plays on the developmental Nationwide Tour, was charged with cruelty to animals and killing a migratory bird. The charges carry a potential jail term and fines.

Lynda White, EagleWatch Coordinator at Audubon Florida's Center for Birds of Prey said, "It's heartbreaking for those of us who spend our days working on these birds trying to rehabilitate the ones who are injured and also trying to preserve and protect the wild and healthy birds to hear of something like this happening. It's frustrating, it makes us angry, and we're certainly glad that charges are going to be filed."

"Red shouldered hawks are very loud but it's just a part of their nature and the fact that the bird was making noise certainly was no reason for this bird to be killed. The bird was just doing what comes naturally, and what a tragedy the he was killed for that," White continued.

According to reports, the hawk was making noise that disturbed Mr. Isenhour as he shot a video with a camera crew at a Florida golf course.

Visit Audubon Science for more on the red shouldered hawk at http://www.audubon.org/bird/BoA/F2_G2e.html.