N.J. man charged with killing hawks

Robert Losasso to undergo tests.
Robert Losasso to undergo tests.
Posted: August 25, 2013

An Atlantic County man was charged Friday with shooting and killing six migratory birds between December and April, violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Robert Losasso, 68, of Somers Point, used a .22-caliber rifle and a .17-caliber pellet gun, both equipped with scopes, to kill four species of hawk, according to a complaint filed by the U.S. attorney in New Jersey.

The federal act affords protections to migratory birds under international conventions.

Between August 2010 and April 7, Losasso's neighbors reported seeing more than 40 dead or injured birds in their yards, according to the complaint.

Losasso is accused of killing three red-tailed hawks, one sharp-shinned hawk, one red-shouldered hawk, and one Cooper's hawk. Breeding red-shouldered hawks are considered endangered in New Jersey, and sharp-shinned hawks are listed as a species of special concern on the state's Endangered and Threatened Wildlife list.

Breeding populations of Cooper's hawks are given special consideration.

Losasso could face a maximum of six months in prison and a $15,000 fine for each of the six counts. Bail was set at $10,000.

On Friday, U.S. Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in Newark ordered Losasso to undergo mental-health testing and treatment as needed, U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Matthew Reilly said. The judge also ordered Losasso to surrender his firearms and firearms permits.


Contact Andrew Seidman at 856-779-3846, aseidman@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @AndrewSeidman.

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