A man who took peregrine falcon eggs from a nest by abseiling down a quarry cliff face has been jailed for 18 weeks.
Christopher Wheeldon, of Lime Grove, Darley Dale, Derbyshire, took the eggs at Bolsover Moor Quarry, in the county on 23 April last year.
The eggs are often taken to order for the middle eastern avian market and can fetch thousands of pounds.
District Judge Stephen Flint said the defendant’s actions were “deplorable”.
Southern Derbyshire Magistrates Court’ heard on Monday that a hidden wildlife camera, which was monitoring the nest, captured Wheeldon abseiling down the quarry face to reach and take the eggs.
The court heard he had been helped by a second person, as he is heard asking someone to help pull him back up, but no-one else was arrested.
Derbyshire Police recognised Wheeldon after officers were shown the footage by investigators from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).
The footage shows an adult bird guarding a nest – thought to contain three eggs – and then fleeing in panic and calling out in distress as Wheeldon abseils down.
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