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January 2022


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Tag: migratory bird treaty act

FBI’s Feathers Are Ruffled Over Pesky Intruders at Salt Lake City Office

Steve Neavling

The FBI in Salt Lake City is dealing with some pesky intruders.

A variety of birds are nesting in the FBI’s parking garage – a problem that has plagued the bureau since moving into their new International Center Facility in 2012, FOX 13 reports.

“Because of the vast amount of waste left by the birds it was determined to hire an expert to mitigate the bird problem in the most humane and legal matter,” the FBI states.

Trouble is, some of those birds may be the protected swallow.

“The Barn Swallow in particular is a very suburban urbanized bird and has learned to use shelters, and bridge overhangs and so forth,” said Bill Fenimore, of the Department of Natural Resources. “They are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, so you want to make sure you don’t go out and cavalierly knock nests down and things of that nature.”

The FBI installed netting in the garage, which keeps new birds out but traps the existing birds in, according to Fox 13.

The FBI said it is sensitive to the swallow’s protected status.

“The company working on this issue has explicit rules about the treatment of swallows and understands the strict regulations regarding the treatment of swallows,” according to the FBI.

Ala. Man Pleads Guilty to Selling Bird Feathers


Anhinga bird/istock photo

By Danny Fenster

It ain’t the crime of the century. But it can still land  you in one heck of a lot of trouble. Ask Alexander D. Alvarez.

Alvarez  pleaded guilty to the selling and possessing of illegal migratory bird feathers, the Department of Justice announced on Wednesday.

Alvarez, of Atmore, Ala., entered a guilty plea in federal court to violating the Lacey Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), according to the Justice Department Environment and Natural Resources Division announced on Wednesday. The MBTA protects certain birds from being “killed, sold, bartered, transported or possessed,” with exceptions for some American Indian tribes. Alvarez was charged on the first of the month with two felonies and one misdemeanor, violations which carry a combined possible nine-and-a-half year sentence and up to $785,000 in fines. Sentencing is scheduled for May 22.

Court documents indicate that Alvarez emailed a Louisiana individual regarding the exchange of two Anhinga tails for a crested Caracara tail, a Harris’s hawk tail and $400, then sent 14 sets of Anhinga tail feathers to the individual, asking the recipient to photograph and offer the tails for sale via email. He later received payment for the tails.

Alvarez’s home was searched with a federal search warrant on March 11, 2009, where feathers from several migratory bird species were seized, according to the Justice Department.