This image was lost some time after publication.

Early celebrity sex tape innovator Rob Lowe once again finds himself at the center of unwelcome controversy, as a well-intentioned round of golf at the Principal Charity Classic Pro-Am in Des Moines has resulted in the the Brothers and Sisters star committing unpremeditated goldfinchicide. His shot struck and killed not just a bird, but the state bird of Iowa:

Lowe's shot appeared to hit the bird in flight and landed about 50 yards short of the green. As the rest of the players in his group — including Iowa athletic director Gary Barta — broke out in laughter and applause, the 43-year-old actor raised his arms in mock celebration.

"This is my birdie," Lowe said after examining the fallen bird, which was on the ground and not moving as his group walked toward the green.

"That's unbelievable," Lowe said as he walked onto hole No. 6. "Who comes here and kills the state bird? Only me."

Lowe might not have realized just how apropos his "birdie" joke was, as legend has it that an ornithological offing was precisely what gave the one-under-par score its nickname in the first place. Still, while his ability to self-deprecatingly make light of a freak tragedy is probably enough to satisfy Iowa preservationists, Hollywood's far more militant PETA factions are considerably more difficult to assuage. The actor might want to make some phone calls to see if he can get a Goldfinch Memorial Celebrity Golf Tournament underway, unless he'd rather see a series of "ROB LOWE: BIRDKILLER" billboards popping up around town, featuring the disturbing image of a Lowe lookalike gleefully taking a nine-iron to a cardboard crate full of fuzzy, adorable hatchlings.