An Idaho woman charged with killing a falconer’s bird in January now faces up to 6 months in jail and a maximum of $5,000 in fines. According to the New York Daily News, 60-year-old Patti McDonald said she was upset that the falconer was hunting ducks with an 8-year-old falcon named Hornet in Kootenai County, so she decided to attack the bird when it landed. McDonald allegedly took off a heavy beaded scarf and proceeded to pummel the falcon, which was raised around humans and did not fly away. Eventually Hornet’s owner, Scott Dinger, found the bird dead from a fractured skull and broken leg.

Dinger, who was 500 yards away when the attack occurred, said he confronted the woman and identified himself as a licensed falconer.

“She just goes ‘I just beat the shit out of your falcon,'” Dinger told the Coeur d’alene Press. “It became clear that my bird was hurt. I grabbed the duck and walked away from the lady because once she told me that, my only thought was getting my bird back.”

Dinger found his bird an hour later crumpled on the ground. At around the same time, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game received a call from McDonald in which she stated that she had “beat the crap” out of a falcon as it was holding onto a duck. Wildlife officials investigated the case and sent their findings to Kootenai County Prosecutor Barry McHugh, who decided to pursue a misdemeanor charge for intentionally injuring or harassing an animal. Dinger however, who says that he raised Hornet from a hatching, says the misdemeanor charge is far too light. The falconer is urging Game and Fish officials to pursue additional federal charges for the killing of a protected species.

The killing of protected raptor species is a federal offense and carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $15,000 fine.

File image from Steve Garvie on the Wikimedia Commons

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  • Fatman6

    Why is there a picture of a Goshawk being used when it says a falcon was killed? She should have to pay the cost of a new falcon as well! That could be tens of thousands more in punitive damages.

  • Keith

    I agree that that the Feds should go after this lady. What a complete moron…and she was proud of it too. I’m sure a civil suit can be filed and he takes her to the cleaners.

  • Max

    Nail her to the wall. What a pig! What if it was a wild situation? Does she have any leg to stand on? How could someone be so stupid? She needs to be under observation forever too. She’s an absolute lunatic!

  • tmac

    I agree that she should bear the cost of replacing the bird and the cost of training for that replacement bird. Civil court is likely the best avenue for pursuing such recourse.

    While she may be susceptible/liable for further prosecution under Federal law, I think that the prospect of 6 months in jail and a $5000.00 fine will make her reconsider any future actions.

    Yet another well-intentioned idiot.

    • Avatar910

      I agree with all you said with the exception of ” well-intentioned”. I hope Mr. Dinger gets a judgment so vast she has to file for bankruptcy.

  • Doghairs Storm

    I testing to see how to reply.

  • Doghairs Storm

    I just read about this after getting the petition to sign via email. I have mixed feelings because I see that so many pets get killed, etc. I am wondering if the duck was her duck. Maybe she was not thinking. Nature is so cruel! Falcons are used for hunting. Was he hunting for food? Don’t get me wrong. Doing that to the falcon was horrible but maybe she did it in the heat of anger because she loved ducks. I am sorry that his falcon was brutally beaten! I but no one wants to see a duck hurt. Ducks are not on the endangered list but some value their life as much.

  • Ginger Li

    I followed this story when it first occurred in 2015. On 10.1/15, this woman got 20 hours of community service and a $500 fine. These busy bodies are getting away with too much interference in others’ lives as it is. Examples need to be made of them. This was too little for the blatant cruelty she inflicted – on the man as well as the bird.