Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

October 1973


Migratory birds found in North America are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which implements migratory bird conventions between the United States and Great Britain and the United States and Mexico. An amendment to the Act in 1972 placed all migratory bird species except for exotic species such as Starlings, Pigeons, and House Sparrows in a protected status. There are sections within the Act that allow for the issuance of permits to take protected species. Those sections that are of the most concern to the pest control operator deal with certain blackbird species that cause agri- cultural crop damage and those dealing with the issuance of special purpose permits. For instance, under Parts 11 and 16 of Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, permits may be issued authorizing the killing of protected birds that are committing serious depredations on crops, property, or other interest when the injury in substantial and can be abated only by killing some or all of the offending birds. In addition, all species of Blackbirds, Cowbirds, Grackles, and Crows may be killed without a permit when such birds are committing or about to commit depredations on shade or ornamental trees or agricultural crops.