The Feds Say They Caught a Dallas Man Smuggling Dead Hummingbirds from Mexico

USGSDeadHummingbird.jpg
USGS
You can, provided you're willing to break a handful of federal laws and international treaties and locate a willing buyer, sell a dead hummingbird. A well-preserved specimen of certain varieties will fetch upward of $350 on the U.S. black market, according to federal prosecutors.

Who, you might wonder, would pay $350 for a dead hummingbird? We have no clue, and federal prosecutors don't say in a five-count wildlife-smuggling indictment handed down in Sherman on Wednesday. The feds do offer an answer as to who would sell a dead hummingbird: a 53-year-old Dallasite named Carlos Delgado Rodriguez.

Rodriguez, according to the indictment, smuggled 61 dead hummingbirds into the U.S. from Mexico between February 2013 and January 2014. Most of these (55) were of the ruby-throated or black-chinned variety. Five were violet-crowned hummingbirds, and one was an Allen's hummingbird.

This, as we mentioned, is illegal. It was also illegal -- albeit under a different federal statute -- when he actually sold the smuggled hummingbirds.

If convicted, Rodriguez faces a maximum 20 years in federal prison.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.


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17 comments
basiphes11b
basiphes11b

dead hummingbirds. seriously? who fucking cares. where's the victim in this case? there is none.

TexasWheels
TexasWheels

I'm just glad to hear they caught this guy. It was a very important stop for our Federal investigators, we'll show those Mexicans that you can not bring illegal substances across our borders in Texas and get away with it! 

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

It makes a really good main course when preceded by Lark's Breath Soup and followed by Candied Eye of Newt.

tspena21
tspena21

Dead hummingbirds are used as love amulets and sold openly in Mexico in stores called Boticanas. You are supposed to keep it close to your heart to attract love. Who knows what the intended purpose of these little birdies was. I just know I never wanted to have to explain the bird corpse in my bra.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

"Is that a small, dead bird in your pocket, or are you just not very happy to see me?"

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

What restaurant was he bringing them to?

Maybe Basking Robins?

Greg820
Greg820

Looks stunned to me.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

Couldn't find an image of the Monty Python parrot?

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@tspena21

Odd custom.

I would think that keeping any dead animal on your person to attract a suitor would lessen the chances of such with each passing day, especially in the Mexican heat.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Careful, they charge sumpin fierce when angered.

tspena21
tspena21

@TheRuddSki  It's not decomposing. It's already mummified and wrapped up with only the head exposed. I would however assume that the tiny feathers would fall off with continued use, but your not supposed to carry it there forever. That is supposed to be the charm/attraction of the "power" of the humming bird to bring someone to you where you could not on your own.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@tspena21

There's something just not right with the phrase The power of the hummingbird

Kinda like The brutality of the gnat, it just doesn't work.

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