Portsmouth man charged with shooting hawks

Robert Ferreira, faces charges for allegedly violating Migratory Bird Treaty Act

By Ted Hayes
Posted 10/3/23

A Portsmouth man has been charged with shooting several hawks in and around his property, in violation of the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Robert J. Ferreira, 64, allegedly shot at, …

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Portsmouth man charged with shooting hawks

Robert Ferreira, faces charges for allegedly violating Migratory Bird Treaty Act

Posted

A Portsmouth man has been charged with shooting several hawks in and around his property, in violation of the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Robert J. Ferreira, 64, allegedly shot at, injured, and /or killed Red-Tailed and Cooper hawks in an effort to protect squirrels, United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha confirmed Monday.

Prosecutors allege that between October 1, 2018, and April 18, 2021, Ferreira repeatedly used a pump-action pellet air gun to shoot at hawks in his back yard. Ferreira is alleged to have told a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent that he estimates that he shot at approximately 50 to 80 hawks, which he believed were a threat to squirrels that visited squirrel feeders on his property.

According to court documents, on various dates neighbors reported hearing popping sounds from the area of Ferreira’s property that were consistent with the firing of a weapon, and found approximately eight injured and deceased hawks on or near Ferreira’s property.

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) protects certain migratory birds, including the Red-Tailed hawk and Cooper hawk, and forbids hunting, capturing or killing these birds unless authorized by permit.

Ferreira is charged with four counts of hunting, taking, killing or attempting to kill migratory birds, a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. He is scheduled to appear for his arraignment on the information before a magistrate judge on Thursday, Oct. 12. The misdemeanor charge is punishable by up to six months in prison and fine of up to $15,000.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Denise M. Barton, and was investigated by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement.

 

 

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