Professional golfer Tripp Isenhour learned a very important lesson the other day. You can shoot a birdie --- but you can't kill one.

Tripp has run afoul of an animal rights group for killing an endangered bird. It happened during the taping of a tv show at the Grand Cypress Golf Club. He flubbed a shot thanks to a noisy hawk. According to the Associated Press, Tripp was about 300 yards from the bird, when he opened fire --- hoping to scare it away.

But it seems that Tripp was a pretty good shot and one of the golf balls nailed the bird right on his noggin. Witnesses said the hawk dropped to the ground, bleeding from his beak. It was entombed at the golf course.

As you might imagine, animal rights groups are in a dither. The Humane Society went so far as to compare Tripp to Michael Vick.

Tripp feels really bad about the whole thing and apologized--- but it seems that he's in a bit of trouble. The bird was an endangered species -- of course, now it's just dead. He's been charged with cruelty to animals and killing a migratory bird.

Tripp says he loves animals and his family owns three cats. I'm not too sure that revelation will go far in appeasing bird lovers.

It's a bit of unfortunate business for the golfer and bird --- but I've gotta say --- that must have been one heck of a shot.