Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

October 1981


Legal problems in bird damage control can occur from two directions. First, most birds are protected by federal law; all birds are protected by some states and all birds can be protected by local governing agencies. Second, the method of control may be restricted by state or local governments. Some states require permits to use toxicants; shooting is prohibited in some areas by local government. The only practical solution is to know the federal and state regulations pertaining to each individual project and to check each time with local agencies for further restrictions. A federal permit is required to trap or kill any migratory bird (protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act) with some specific exceptions, such as, the blackbird group which can be controlled if they are doing or about to do damage. State permit requirements vary so much that each one has to be consulted individually.