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Man Who Poisoned Birds Is Fined

September 13, 2000

FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) _ A farmer who spread pesticide across a field and killed 27,000 migratory birds was fined $5,000 Wednesday and placed on three years’ probation.

Harvey Culli, 80, pleaded guilty in June to illegally taking migratory birds and misusing a pesticide.

Culli spread four gallons of wheat seed laced with pesticide across his sons’ field in Mascoutah in October, federal prosecutors said. He hoped to kill birds that were damaging his family’s crops.

The 20,094 red-winged blackbirds, 5,970 brown-headed cowbirds, 887 common grackles and 10 horned larks that died were protected under federal law.

The state has also sued Culli to recoup $1 million it says is needed to repair and repopulate the habitat.

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