Wild Raptor Take (Capture) and Importing Raptors to Minnesota

Wild Raptor Take (Capture)

  1. Take Time Periods
    1. Eyases
    2. Passage Raptors
  2. Species Restrictions
  3. Trapping
  4. Take and Reporting Requirements
    1. Wild Raptor Transfers
    2. Recapture of Falconry or Propagation Birds
    3. Capture of birds with other banding types, research markings, or transmitters
    4. Falconry birds acquired from a permitted rehabilitator.

Importation

  1. Importing Raptors
    1. Raptors Native to Minnesota
    2. Hybrid Raptors and Raptors not Native to Minnesota

 

Wild Raptor Take (Capture)

A raptor removed from the wild is always considered a wild raptor regardless of how long the bird is held in captivity or whether the bird is transferred to another permittee or permit type (although, it is only considered taken from the wild by the person who originally captured the raptor).

Wild raptors must not be purchased, sold, traded, or bartered; they may only be transferred to another permit or permittee or released.

 

1. Take time periods

A. Eyases:

  • May only be taken from the wild from May 27 through July 31.
  • A person must be a General or Master falconer to take eyases from the wild.
  • A permittee must not take more than two eyases during a calendar year.
  • At least one eyas must be left in a nest from which other eyases are taken.

B. Passage Raptors:

  • May only be taken from the wild from August 21 through February 28.
  • Must be less than 1 year old.
    • Except for American kestrels and great horned owls
    • Except for any raptor, other than state or federally listed endangered or threatened species, taken under a depredation or special purpose permit under Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.401, and used for falconry by a  General or Master falconer.

 

2. Species Restrictions

Birds that may be taken from the wild as falconry birds include species in the family Falconidae (examples include peregrine falcon, gyrfalcon, or American kestrel), the great horned owl (Bubo virginianus), or a bird of the family Accipitridae other than the bald eagle (examples include Northern goshawk, Cooper's hawk, or red-tailed hawk).

EXCEPTIONS:

  • Endangered raptor species may not be taken from the wild in Minnesota.
  • In Minnesota, only Master falconers may take threatened raptor species with authorization if federal and state regulations allow them to do so.  If permission is granted, they must obtain federal and state endangered species permits and may take no more than one raptor that is threatened. 
    • Some states may allow both General and Master falconers to take threatened and endangered raptor species with authorization.  Please see federal and other state regulations for more information.
  • Bald and golden eagles may not be taken from the wild in Minnesota.
    • Some states allow golden eagle take, but only with separate permits under a federal livestock or wildlife depredation order.  Please see federal falconry regulations for more information on golden eagle take.
  • Peregrine Falcon take lottery
    • Currently, in total for the state, only one passage peregrine falcon under one year of age is allowed to be taken per year.
    • The bird must be unbanded.
      • EXCEPTION: Falcons with transmitters may be possessed for up to 30 days if the falconer contacts the researcher and the researcher wishes to replace the transmitter, batteries, or have the transmitter removed (the bird may be kept as part of the lottery if the researcher wishes to permanently remove the transmitter).
    • The lottery is restricted to Master falconers.
    • The lottery is generally conducted between mid-September to mid-October.
    • Minnesota's peregrine take is allocated through the Mississippi Flyway Council.  There are 12 permits total allotted to all of the flyway states (14 states: MN, WI, MI, IA, IN, IL, MO, OH, KY, TN, AR, LA, MS, AL). 

 

3. Trapping

  • When trapping, transporting, working with, or flying raptors, the permittee must have their permit or legible copies of their permit  in their immediate possession.
  • A trap used to capture raptors must be attended at all times.
    • EXCEPT: a trap that entirely encapsulates the raptor within a protective cage must be checked at least once every 24 hours.
  • Permittees may not intentionally capture a raptor species that their classification as a falconer does not allow.
  • If the permittee accidentally captures a bird that they are not allowed to possess, they must release it immediately.
  • If a raptor is injured while a permittee is attempting to take the raptor, the permittee must
    • Report the injury to the Falconry Coordinator. 
    • Have the raptor's injuries treated by a veterinarian or a permitted wildlife rehabilitator.
    • Pay for the costs of care and rehabilitation of the bird.
    • Either:
      • Put the raptor on their falconry permit, in which case it counts against their  take and possession limit
      • Give it directly to a veterinarian, a permitted wildlife rehabilitator, or an appropriate wildlife agency employee, in which case it does not count against either their possession limit or take limit.
  • Permits under this chapter do not authorize trespass.
  • Permittees must not take raptors from private property without permission from the property owner.
  • Permittees must not take raptors within state parks, state scientific and natural areas, state wildlife management areas, or state game refuges unless specifically authorized in a permit.
  • On some tribal lands and in some states, there may be state, tribal, or federal restrictions on the take of certain species, and tribal or State permits may be required to capture a bird.

 

4. Take and Reporting Requirements

  • Permittees may take no more than two raptors from the wild each year to use in falconry.
  • Propagators must not take more than two passage raptors from the wild per year under their Propagation Permit, which also counts against the annual wild raptor take limit under their General or Master Falconry Permit.
  • Apprentice falconers may not possess more than 1 wild red-tail hawk, General falconers may not possess more than two wild raptors, and Master falconers may not possess more than 3 wild raptors at a time (for a possession total of 5 birds).
  • Propagators must not possess more than six wild raptors total, including the number of wild raptors possessed under their General or Master Falconry Permit
  • Raptors must be banded immediately and the take must be reported within 10 days (see Falconry Banding and Reporting).

 

A. Wild Raptor Transfers

The person who takes a bird from the wild must report the take even if he or she promptly transfers the bird to another permittee.

  • The bird will count as one of the raptors the original permittee is allowed to take from the wild that year; it will not count as a capture by the recipient, though it will always be considered a wild bird.
  • For such transfers, the person who removes the bird from the wild must be a General or Master Falconer.
  • EXCEPTION: If the permittee is present at the capture site, and another permittee captures the bird for them, they are considered the person who removes the bird from the wild and are responsible for reporting the take. This would occur, for example, if another person climbs a tree or rappels down a cliff, takes a nestling, and then gives it directly to the permittee at the site. The bird will also count against their allowed take of wild raptors for the year.
  • EXCEPTION: If a permittee with long-term or permanent physical impairment that prevents them from attending the capture of a raptor has a General or Master falconer capture a bird for them, they are considered the person who removes the bird from the wild and are responsible for reporting the take.  The bird will also count against their allowed take of wild raptors for the year.

 

B. Recapture of Falconry or Propagation Birds

Any permittee, at any time, may recapture a falconry or propagation bird with a plastic falconry or seamless metal propagation band, a transmitter, or any other item identifying it as a falconry bird, even if they are not authorized to possess the species.

  • The Falconry Coordinator must be notified within 5 working days after the capture.
  • The bird will not count against the permittee's wild take limit for the year.
  • If the bird was previously lost by the permittee, they must submit reporting forms for the recovery.
  • If the bird was previously lost by someone else:
    • The bird must be returned to the person who lost it if they want the bird and are allowed to possess it.
    • If that person cannot possess the bird or does not wish to possess it, the permittee may keep it if they are legally allowed to possess the bird.
    • Otherwise, disposition of a bird whose legal possession cannot be determined will be at the discretion of the State.
    • While in possession of the recaptured bird, the bird does not count against the possession limit for the permittee unless they are allowed to keep it.  They must then submit reporting forms for the possession within 10 days of being notified that they can keep the bird.

 

C. Capture of birds with other banding types, research markings, or transmitters

Permittees that capture a raptor with any other banding type, research markings, or transmitter attached, must promptly report the band numbers and all other relevant information to the Federal Bird Banding Laboratory at 1-800-327-2263.

  • Birds with transmitters may be possessed for up to 30 days if the falconer contacts the researcher and the researcher wishes to replace the transmitter, batteries, or have the transmitter removed.  Disposition of the bird will be at the discretion of the researcher and the State.  Possession of the bird will not count against the permittee's possession limit.

 

D. Falconry birds acquired from a permitted rehabilitator

A bird acquired for falconry from a permitted rehabilitator:

  • Must be of a species the permittee is allowed to possess.
  • Must be banded and the transfer reported.
  • Will count as one of the raptors the permittee is allowed to take from the wild that year.

 

Importation

A. Importing Raptors Native to Minnesota

Permittees that wish to import raptors native to Minnesota into the state must:

  • Submit reporting forms within 10 days.
  • Obtain the required Board of Animal Health Certification from a veterinarian before importation and submit a copy to the Falconry Coordinator with their reporting forms.

 

B. Importing Hybrid Raptors and Raptors not native to Minnesota

Permittees that wish to import hybrid raptors or raptors not native to Minnesota into the state must:

  • Notify the Falconry Coordinator 10 days prior to obtaining the raptor.
  • Submit reporting forms within 10 days of obtaining the raptor.
  • Obtain the required Board of Animal Health Certification from a veterinarian before importation and submit a copy to the Falconry Coordinator with their reporting forms.

 

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.