Banding and Reporting

Topics in this section include:

  1. Raptor Banding or Tagging
  2. Raptor Acquisition of Disposition Reporting
    1. State and Federal Requirements
    2. When raptor reporting is required
      • Acquisition
      • Disposition
      • Transfers (includes information on propagation transfers)
      • Loans
      • Loss
      • Death (includes feather and carcass disposition requirements)
      • Reband or microchip
  3. Other Reporting Requirements
    1. Change in Sponsorship
    2. Temporary Care
    3. Change of Address
    4. Annual Report Form


1. Raptor Banding or Tagging

All propagated and wild raptors for falconry or raptor propagation must be banded.  Bands must be placed so that the inside diameter is small enough to prevent loss or removal of the band when the raptor is grown without causing serious injury to the raptor or damaging the band's integrity or one-piece construction.

  1. Propagation Bands: Captive bred nestlings must be banded with a numbered, seamless metal United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) leg band provided by the USFWS.  Bands must be placed on captive bred nestlings within 2 weeks of hatching. Do not band wild raptors with a seamless band.
    • A nestling may be banded with more than one band of different sizes if the proper size band cannot be determined when banding the nestling. All except the correctly sized band must then be removed and destroyed before the nestling is 5 weeks old.
  2. Falconry Bands: Propagated raptors that have been transferred to another permit type, permittee, or that have lost their propagation band and wild raptors must be banded with a permanent, non-reusable, numbered plastic USFWS leg band supplied by Heidi Cyr, Falconry Coordinator. Bands must be placed on raptors immediately after capture.
  3. Eagle Bands: Eagles must be banded with an eagle band provided by the USFWS.
  4. ISO-Compliant Microchips: International Organization for Standardization (ISO)-compliant microchips (134.2 kHz) may be used in conjunction with the bands.  Microchips may not be used alone unless the permittee provides documentation of health issues or injury that prevents the use of the bands and authorization is granted by the Falconry Coordinator (for wild goshawks, Harris's hawks, peregrine falcons, or gyrfalcons the microchip will be provided by the USFWS).


2. Raptor Acquisition or Disposition Reporting

You must report the acquisition or disposition of a bird within ten (10) days unless noted below. 

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 (or offered for sale, purchase or barter); they may only be transferred to another permit or permittee or released.

Captive-bred raptors marked with seamless propagation bands may be sold, purchased, bartered, or transferred (or offered for sale, purchase, or barter) to other permittees who are authorized to possess them.  Captive bred raptors may not be released in Minnesota without direct authorization and a separate permit.

The number of wild-caught or captive-bred raptors transferred to or from permittees is not restricted, but permittees may not exceed their possession limit (see Falconry Classes, Raptor Propagation, and Using Raptors for Wildlife Abatement for limits).


a) State and Federal Requirements

  • State reporting: When acquiring or disposing of a bird, you must download form 3-186A (please contact the falconry coordinator if you are unable to download the form, and paper copies will be mailed to you).   Please mail or email a copy of the completed form to [email protected].  You must also keep a copy for your records for at least five years; however, you may want to retain your records longer if you want to get another migratory bird permit, a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora permit, or a Wild Bird Conservation Act permit.  Records, along with facilities and equipment, may be inspected in the presence of the permittee during business hours on any day of the week by state officials to ensure compliance. Falconers: Do not send the 3-186a to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife.
  • Federal Reporting: You must also report your raptor acquisitions and dispositions on the federal database using the following steps:
    1. When logging into the Federal Database for the first time you must have a Federal ID number. If you do not know your federal ID number (it will start with an A, followed by five numbers), please contact Heidi Cyr, Falconry Coordinator.
    2. Go to the Federal Falconry Database on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website to register, create your user name, and password.
    3. After registering and getting a federal ID number, falconers should login to the Federal Database whenever raptor reporting is required.


b) When Raptor Reporting is Required

The above steps must be completed within ten (10) days (unless noted otherwise) whenever a permittee:

  1. Takes, purchases, or otherwise receives a raptor
    1. ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENT: If the raptor was acquired outside Minnesota, permittee must include a copy of the Board of Animal Health Certification from a veterinarian (must be obtained prior to importation).
    2. ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENT: If the raptor is a hybrid or not native to Minnesota, the permittee must notify the falconry coordinator at least 10 days prior to importation.
  2. Sells, barters or otherwise disposes of a raptor
    1. NOTE: Please verify that the recipient has all required permits to possess the bird.
    2. NOTE: Propagation Permittees only have 5 days to report the transaction.
  3. Transfers a raptor to another permit or permit type (their own or that of another permittee)
    1. NOTE: Falconers may use their own birds in their own propagation program for less than 8 months without transferring the raptor to their propagation permit.
    2. NOTE: Propagation Permittees only have 5 days to report the transaction.
    3. NOTE: Propagators cannot use their birds for falconry unless they transfer the bird to their falconry permit.
    4. NOTE: A wild-caught falconry bird may be transferred to a raptor propagation permit after the bird has been used in falconry for at least 2 years (1 year for a sharp-shinned hawk, a Cooper's hawk, a merlin, or an American kestrel).
      1. EXCEPTION: You may transfer a wild-caught bird to another permit type in less than 2 years (1 year for a sharp-shinned hawk, a Cooper's hawk, a merlin, or an American kestrel) if the bird has been injured and a veterinarian or permitted wildlife rehabilitator has determined that the bird can no longer be flown for falconry.  In addition to the standard reporting requirements outline above, a copy of the certification from the veterinarian or rehabilitator that the bird is not useable in falconry must be submitted to the Falconry Coordinator and to the Federal migratory bird permits office that administers the other permit type.
  4. Loans a raptor or has a raptor returned from a loan
    1. NOTE: Loans may only be for up to 120 days; after which, the bird must be returned or transferred.
    2. NOTE: The loaned raptor counts toward the limit of the original holder (if transferred, the raptor counts toward the limit of the recipient).
    3. SEE: "Temporary Care of Raptors"
  5. Loses the raptor
    1. EXCEPTION: Permittees have 30 days to report a lost raptor.
    2. EXCEPTION: Hybrid raptors and raptors not native to Minnesota that have been lost to the wild must be reported within 48 hours according to the invasive species rules under part 6216.0280.
  6. Has a raptor die while under a permit
    1. NOTE: Please provide a cause of death on the 3-186a if possible and necropsy report if one was obtained.  Necropsies are only a requirement in cases where the permittee is under review; in which case, the permittee will be notified of their status and any additional requirements.
    2. GOLDEN EAGLE: feathers (other than those held for imping) and carcasses (in their entirety) must be sent  to the National Eagle Repository without exception.
      1. The bodies of raptors banded or microchipped prior to death may be kept by the permittee so that the feathers are available for imping (band/microchip must be left in place).
      2. For imping: tail feathers and primary and secondary wing feathers for each species of raptor possessed or previously held may be kept by the permittee.
      3. Except for primary/secondary flight feathers, feathers that are molted or otherwise lost by a falconry bird do not need to be gathered; they may be left where they fall, stored for imping, or destroyed.
      4. For imping: feathers may be given to or received from other permitted falconers, wildlife rehabilitators, or propagators in the United States.
      5. The bodies of raptors banded or microchipped prior to death may be kept for mounting by a taxidermist (band/microchip must be left in place). Taxidermy mounts may be used when giving conservation education programs.
      6. Paperwork documenting the acquisition of raptors must be held for any feathers and parts held.
      7. The body or feathers of any other species of falconry raptor may be donated to any person or institution exempt under 50-CFR21.12 or authorized by permit to acquire and possess such parts or feathers. 
      8. Raptor parts and flight feathers not donated or kept must be burnt, buried, or otherwise destroyed within 10 days of the death of the bird or after final examination by a veterinarian to determine cause of death.
      9. Feathers and parts may not be purchased, sold, or bartered.
      10. Euthanized raptor carcasses could pose a risk of secondary poisoning of eagles and other scavengers; precautions must be taken to avoid such poisonings.
      11. Flight feathers and body parts may be possessed only as long as the permittee has a valid falconry permit (except those mounted by a taxidermist). If the permit expires or is revoked, the permittee must: donate any raptor feathers or parts to any person or any institution exempt from the permit requirement under § 21.12 or authorized by permit to acquire and possess the feathers and parts or burn, bury, or otherwise destroy them.
  7. Rebands or microchips a raptor
    1. EXCEPTION: Removal of the old band must be reported in 5 days.
    2. NOTE: Reporting form must include the old number and new number or microchip number.


Other Reporting Requirements

  • CHANGE IN SPONSORSHIP: Junior Apprentice and Apprentice permittees must notify the falconry coordinator within 10 days of a change in sponsorship.  Their new sponsor must submit verification that they will be the Junior Apprentice or Apprentice's new sponsor.  Junior Apprentices and Apprentices must have a sponsor to remain permitted.
  • Temporary Care of Raptors: Temporary care of permitted raptors, including nestlings, is allowed provided the permittee contact the falconry coordinator in writing within 10 days.  The permittee must specify where the raptor is to be held, reason for the transfer, who is caring for the raptor, and what that person is allowed to do with the raptor, and approximately how many days the raptor is expected to be in the care of the person.  Raptor acquisition and disposition reporting (above) are required if another falconer or propagator is caring for the birds.  Please see the section on Temporary Raptor Care for more information.
  • Change of Address: Permittees must notify the Falconry Coordinator within 5 days following a permanent change of address.   Raptors may not be housed in temporary facilities longer than 30 days without authorization from the falconry coordinator.  Even with authorization, raptors may not be kept in temporary facilities longer than 120 days.  Please see the section on Temporary Facilities for more information.
  • Annual Report: Annually or as requested, according to federal regulations, permittees must report current and historical (for at least the past 5 years) raptor and band acquisition, possession, and disposition data.  Please click here for a copy of the annual report form.  Required data that should be retained includes:
    • The acquisition of raptors, eggs, or semen that was acquired from the wild or that was transferred
      to the permittee. The information should include the species, sex, age, and band number of each bird acquired.  The information should also include whether the permittee acquired the raptor, egg, or semen from the wild or whether  it was purchased or transferred to the permittee.
    • The disposition of raptors, eggs, or semen that the permittee sells or transfers to another permittee. The
      information should include the band number of raptors sold or transferred.
    • All bands currently or historically in the permittee's possession.
  • Propagation Annual Report Form: In addition to the annual report form above, propagators must completed the FWS Form 3-202-8 and send it the Falconry Coordinator and to their Regional Migratory Bird Permit office by January 31 each year for January 1 through December 31 of the preceding year.
  • Abatement Annual Report: Permittees must submit a completed abatement form by January 31 of each year for January 1 to December 31 of the preceding year.  Your records should include a list of each raptor you acquired or disposed of under your permit, and those birds currently possessed under your permit, and an accounting of the abatement activities for which each bird was used (dates and locations of services).


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.

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