A far north Queensland man has faced court charged with killing protected birds by feeding them corn laced with poison.
The Department of Environment alleges more than 50 birds died from pesticide poisoning on a grazing and grain producing station near Cairns in 2011.
At least 10 were protected brolgas.
Richard Thiele, managing director of Osprey Australia which runs the 2,300 hectare station, has been charged with breaching the Nature Conservation Act.
Wildlife ranger Karen Dabinett on Tuesday told Cairns Magistrates Court that rangers found the bird carcasses on the property after a tip-off.
Small piles of corn were found dotted around the station and corn was found inside the birds, she said.
Thiele's lawyer argued that anyone could be responsible for the deaths as the large property is accessible to members of the public.
No motive was revealed in court.
The hearing is expected to finish on Wednesday.