'Wildlife lover' turned poacher and killed more than 150 protected birds of ...

A self-styled wildlife lover was later revealed to be one of the bloodiest bird poachers in California history after going on an animal killing spree for years.

Richard Parker massacred more than 150 birds of prey around his home in Standish, a remote town in Lassen County, Northern California - although authorities fear his killing spree could have gone on for years undetected. 

When confronted, Parker claimed he was culling raptors to prevent them from killing off local game birds such as water fowl. 

Parker was arrested in 2018 after officials from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife - acting on an anonymous tip - found nine rotting bird carcasses at his home.

After staking out his property, the officer observed Parker taking potshots at protected raptors and swiftly moved in.

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A  grid search of Parker's 80-acre property with specialist cadaver dogs found nearly 150 birds in varying states of decomposition, as well as two dead bobcats, a taxidermied mountain lion, and other nongame birds - all suspected of being unlawfully killed.  

Richard Parker with poaching in excess of 150 birds of prey such as red-tailed hawks and other wildlife

Richard Parker with poaching in excess of 150 birds of prey such as red-tailed hawks and other wildlife

While executing a search warrant on Parker's 80-acre property near Standish, California, California Department of Fish and Wildlife found carcasses of more than 135 birds and mammals, including the hawks and taxidermy mountain lion pictured here

While executing a search warrant on Parker's 80-acre property near Standish, California, California Department of Fish and Wildlife found carcasses of more than 135 birds and mammals, including the hawks and taxidermy mountain lion pictured here

In April of 2019, Parker, then 68, pleaded guilty to crimes associated with poaching in excess of 150 birds of prey and other wildlife. 

He was sentenced to three months in jail, a $75,000 fine, and five years' probation. Terms of his probation forbid him from possessing firearms or engaging in hunting or fishing of any kind. 

Kyle Kroll, the local fish and game warden, told The Guardian he feared the true death toll was much higher. 

'Who knows what the true extent was,' Kroll said.

'We uncovered a hundredfold more than we assumed we'd find. But things don't last long in the wild. The true extent of the carnage was probably much greater.'

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The dead birds found on Parker's property were in various stages of decomposition

The dead birds found on Parker's property were in various stages of decomposition

A red-tailed hawk - similar to the one pictured above - was the most common target for Parker's predatory poaching

A red-tailed hawk - similar to the one pictured above - was the most common target for Parker's predatory poaching

Officials from California's Department of of Fish and Wildlife made the shocking discovery at Parker's property in Standish, Norther California

Officials from California's Department of of Fish and Wildlife made the shocking discovery at Parker's property in Standish, Norther California

Todd Kinnard, an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, went to carry out an informal inspection of Parker's 80 acre property in March 2018 after receiving an anonymous tip, The Guardian reported.

Parker was not at home, but Kinnard was greeted by the horrifying sight of nine dead raptors at

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