A musician who stole 299 rare bird skins from the Natural History Museum in Hertfordshire has been given a 12-month suspended prison sentence.
The brightly-coloured skins were taken from a collections area of the Tring museum on 24 June 2009 in a break-in.
US citizen Edwin Rist, 22, who admitted burglary and money-laundering at a previous hearing, was described as a James Bond fantasist by his solicitor.
St Albans Crown Court heard he acted on his “obsessive interest in birds”.
The court was told that Rist suffers from Asperger’s syndrome. His prison sentence was suspended for two years.
Some of the skins were sold on eBay and he made an estimated $17,000 US dollars (£10,400). The court heard Rist used the money to buy a new flute.
Hertfordshire Police said most of the birds had been recovered.