Eastern Kentucky Man Pleads Guilty to Selling Protected Birds

A Breathitt County man faces two years in prison over charges that he sold a federally protected bird.

Danny Gayheart of Noctor admitted that he sold the three Red-Tailed Hawks to an undercover agent in Winchester for $50 each earlier this year. But he’ll end up paying more than that to rehabilitate the two surviving birds—Gayheart agreed to more than $1600 in costs associated with rehabilitating the birds and releasing them into the wild.

Red-Tailed Hawks are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, so people aren’t allowed to take, transport or sell the birds while they’re passing through.

Gayheart will be sentenced in February.