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MACOMB TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A Michigan man was sentenced by a judge after pleading no contest to shooting and killing three birds, after a utility company refused to cut down a tree.

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The Michigan Department of Natural Resources said in a news release that Arthur Anderson was sentenced to six months of probation, had to surrender the shotgun he used to shoot the birds, and was ordered to pay $4,500 in reimbursement to the state, and $475 in fines and costs.

The fine adds up to $1,500 per bird, for the three young Cooper’s hawks that were found shot to death in June.

“The Michigan Department of Natural Resources greatly appreciates the court system’s support in this case,” DNR law enforcement division chief Dave Shaw said in a statement. “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.”

Prosecutors said that Anderson had hired a utility company to remove trees on his property but was frustrated when the company refused to disturb the trees because of the birds’ habitat. In response, Anderson allegedly got a shotgun from his home and shot the nest at least five times, killing three Cooper’s hawks.

Investigators said that Anderson initially lied and told officers that he had been shooting at nuisance squirrels, before eventually confessing and surrendering his firearm, according to the Detroit Free Press.