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Tree trimmer to face federal charges over birds

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- A San Francisco Bay Area tree trimmer is facing federal criminal charges for injuring five baby birds while he was trimming trees.

Jill Birchell, a special agent with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said Wednesday that her agency had completed its investigation and would recommend to the United States attorney's office that Ernesto Pulido be charged with misdemeanors for violating the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

The incident occurred May 3 in downtown Oakland, where a colony of egrets and black-crowned herons began roosted in the ficus trees.

Volunteers brought five baby night herons to International Bird Rescue, where they are undergoing treatment.

If convicted, Pulido could face a maximum $15,000 fine and up to six months in jail, but investigators are recommending he pay $1,500 because he has expressed remorse.

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