Falconry

Nongame Wildlife Program


Care, Facilities, and Inspections

Federal and state minimum care and facilities requirements are outlined below. Please see the Minnesota Facilities Inspection Form* to preview the form that a Conservation Officer, Nongame Specialist or the Falconry Coordinator will use to inspect facilities and the Minnesota Facilities Handbook* for examples and descriptions of the required items.

*NOTE: THE FACILITIES INSPECTION FORM AND FACILITIES HANDBOOK ARE CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION. PLEASE CONTACT THE FALCONRY COORDINATOR FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Topics in this section include:

  1. Raptor Care Expectations
  2. Facilities and Equipment Standards
    1. Mews (indoor housing)
    2. Weathering Area (outdoor housing)
    3. Equipment
  3. Facilities on Property not Owned by Permittee or Facilities not Located at Permittee's Primary Residence
  4. Moving-Reporting Requirements
  5. Temporary Facilities
    1. Transporting and hunting with raptors
    2. Temporary facilities
    3. Part-year residents
  6. Temporary Raptor Care
    1. Raptor Care by Permitted Individuals
    2. Raptor Care by Non-permitted Individuals
    3. Temporary Care of Propagation Nestlings

1. Raptor Care Expectations

2. Facilities and Equipment Standards

The facilities and equipment outlined below, along with permit records, may be inspected in the presence of the permittee during business hours on any day of the week by state officials to ensure compliance with regulations and the health and welfare of the raptors in the permittee's possession.

Because of the extreme weather changes in Minnesota, permittees are required to have both a mews and weathering area. The intent of this requirement is that the mews should be able to protect the bird from windy, cold, and freezing temperatures during the winter and the weathering area provides the bird with an area that is cooler during the hot, sunny summer months.

All facilities, whether permanent or temporary, must:

A. Mews (indoor housing)

The purpose of the mews is to provide the raptor with a safe, secure "home" where it is protected from predators, domestic animals, and the environment, especially during the cold, windy winter months. In addition to the minimum requirements that permanent and temporary facilities must have (listed above), an indoor facility should be well ventilated, but keep the raptor relatively free from drafts during the winter (certain species may also need supplemental heat or insulation). The structure should be soundly constructed and entirely enclosed, and the floor should be dry or well drained and easily cleaned. Falconry facilities should be dedicated to falconry; not shared with pets or livestock.

Acceptable indoor facilities include:

Please see the Minnesota Facilities Handbook for more information and examples of acceptable facilities.

B. Weathering area (outdoor housing)

The weathering area is a fenced "yard" for the raptor that allows it to enjoy the outdoors, particularly in the sunny, warm summer months. In addition to the minimum requirements that permanent and temporary facilities must have (listed above), outdoor facilities:

New types of housing facilities and/or husbandry practices may be used if they satisfy the requirements above and are approved by the Falconry Coordinator.

Falconry raptors may be kept outside in the open if they are continuously watched, by the falconer or a family member, at any location. They may also be watched by a designated individual in a weathering yard at a falconry meet.

Please see the Minnesota Facilities Handbook for more information and examples of acceptable facilities.

C. Equipment

Although a falconer may need many items to care for their raptor, the only required items are:

Other common items that a falconer may need are:

Please see the Minnesota Facilities Handbook for more information and equipment examples.

3. Facilities on Property not Owned by the Permittee or Facilities not located at Permittee's Primary Residence

Falconry facilities may be on property not owned by the permittee:

Regardless of location, the raptors must be maintained in a humane and healthy manner, and the facilities must comply with federal regulations.

When facilities are on property not owned by the permittee, the property owner must sign and date a statement showing that they agree that the falconry facilities and raptors may be inspected by State authorities at any reasonable time of day in the presence of the property owner; except that the authorities may not enter the facilities or disturb the raptors unless the permittee is present.

4. Moving-Reporting Requirements

5. Temporary Facilities

A. Transporting and Hunting with Raptors

When raptors are being transported, used for hunting, or are away from home, permittees must ensure that the bird has a suitable perch and is protected from extreme temperatures, wind, and excessive disturbance. A “giant hood” or similar container is acceptable for transporting or housing a raptor when away from the permanent facilities. When trapping, transporting, working with, or flying raptors, the permittee must have their permit or legible copies of their permit in their immediate possession.

B. Temporary Facilities

Temporary facilities that will house the bird for longer than a hunting weekend, such as during a move or during temporary work assignments, must provide the raptor with a suitable perch and protection from predators, domestic animals, extreme temperatures, wind, and excessive disturbance (see "Facilities and Equipment Standards" for a list of minimum requirements all facilities, whether permanent or temporary, must have).

A raptor may be held in temporary facilities:

After 120 days:

C. Part-year Residents

6. Temporary Raptor Care

A permitted raptor, including a nestling, may be temporarily held by a person other than the permittee. The permittee must inform the Falconry Coordinator, in writing, within ten days of the transfer, specifying:

  1. Where the raptor is to be held.
  2. The reason for the transfer.
  3. Who is to care for the raptor.
  4. What that person is allowed to do with the raptor.
  5. Approximately how many days the raptor is expected to be in the care of the person.

A. Raptor Care by Permitted Individuals

Falconry raptors may be cared for by another permitted falconer:

Propagation raptors may be cared for by another permittee:

B. Raptor Care by Non-permitted Individuals

Falconry raptors may be cared for by someone who does not have a falconry permit:

Propagation raptors may be cared for by someone who does not have a permit:

C. Temporary Care of Propagation Nestlings

Propagation nestlings may be cared for by someone who does not hold a migratory bird permit:

The above information is a brief summary of the state and federal falconry regulations. For complete falconry regulations, consult Minnesota Rules Chapter 6234.0800, Chapter 6238, and Federal Regulations 50-CRF 21.29 and 50-CRF 21.30.