A Dunedin man who shot a kererū from his backyard has been ordered to do 175 hours of community work.
Truck driver Travis Jamie-Lee Parsons, 22, told the Otago Daily Times after charges were laid that it was simply a case of bad luck.
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The defendant said he was shooting at a target, missed and the bullet inadvertently hit the native wood pigeon.
His mother, too, was keen to have a say.
"It's lots of drama over nothing," she said.
"It's just a bloody pigeon. I don't care what you call it."
The position changed some months later when Parsons pleaded guilty to charges of hunting protected wildlife and discharging a firearm near a dwelling.
The Dunedin District Court heard this week that kererū numbers were on the rise in the city but the removal of one bird could have a ripple effect among the local population.
A Department of Conservation report for the court stressed New Zealand was the only country where kererū — voted the national Bird of the Year in 2018 — were found and they were seen as an important species for "forest health and diversity".
''I've no doubt you knew what you were shooting at,'' Judge Michael Turner said.
The court heard Parsons was at the back of his home which bordered Woodhaugh Gardens on December 11.
He had set up targets along a fence and after shooting at them he took aim at the native bird which sat in a tree of a neighbouring property.
The slug hit the kererū in the chest, it fell from the tree and landed on top of a shed.
It was taken to the Department of Conservation for treatment but was euthanised several days later because of damage to its wing.
Counsel Brendan Stephenson said it came down to a "very foolish decision that's been made on the day".
His client had no previous convictions, he said, and shortly after the incident went to a DoC office and made a $150 donation.
Should a fine have been imposed it would have been nearly $10,000, Judge Turner said.
"But I'm not satisfied a fine brings home to you the seriousness of what you did," he said.
As well as imposing the community work, he made an order for forfeiture of Parsons' weapon and ammunition.