(1) Among other actions, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) (16 U.S.C. 703et seq.) prohibits any person from capturing from the wild, possessing, purchasing, bartering, selling, or offering to purchase, barter, or sell raptors (vultures, kites, eagles, hawks, caracaras, falcons, and owls) listed in § 10.13 of this chapter unless the activities are allowed by Federal permit issued pursuant to this part and part 13 of this chapter, or as permitted by regulations in this part.
(i) This section covers all “native” raptors (accipitriformes, falconiformes, and strigiformes listed in § 10.13 of this chapter), and applies to any person who possesses one or more wild-caught, captive-bred, or hybrid raptors protected under the MBTA to use in raptor propagation, except that neither bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) nor golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) may be propagated under these regulations or any other permit regulation listed in part 21 of this chapter.
(ii) You must have a Federal raptor propagation permit before you may capture from the wild, possess, transport, import, purchase, barter, or offer to sell, purchase, or barter any raptor, raptor egg, or raptor semen for propagation purposes. Your State may require that you also have a State permit.
(2) Other regulations, such as those for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the Wild Bird Conservation Act, and State regulations, may affect propagation-related activities. In cases in which more than one set of regulations affect raptor propagation, the most restrictive requirements affecting the activity will apply.
(b)Species available for raptor propagation. If you have a raptor propagation permit, you may attempt to propagate any species of raptor listed in § 10.13 of this chapter, with the following exceptions:
(1) You may not propagate bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) or golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) under a raptor propagation permit or any other permit regulation listed in part 21 of this chapter.
(2) If you are authorized by your Regional Migratory Bird Permit office to do so, you may possess and attempt to propagate threatened or endangered raptor species. See paragraphs (f) and (u) of this section.
(c)Facilities used for raptor propagation. In addition to the general conditions found in part 13 of this chapter, raptor propagation permits are subject to the following additional conditions:
(1) You must maintain any tethered raptor you possess under this permit in accordance with the facilities and standards requirements in § 21.29, unless you obtain a written exception to this requirement from your Regional Migratory Bird Permit Office.
(2) For untethered raptors, your breeding facilities must be soundly constructed and entirely enclosed with wood, wire netting, or other suitable material that provides a safe, healthy environment.
(i) Your facilities must minimize the risk of injury by providing protection from predators, pets, and extreme weather conditions.
(ii) Your facilities must minimize the risk of raptor injuries due to collision with interior or perimeter construction materials and equipment, such as support poles, windows, wire netting, perches, or lights.
(iii) Your facilities must have suitable perches and nesting sites, fresh air ventilation, a source of light, a well-drained floor, and ready access for cleaning. Each bird must have access to a pan of clean water unless weather conditions, the perch type used, or some other factor makes access to a water pan unsafe for the raptor.
(iv) You do not need to house your propagation raptors separately from other raptors you hold. However, you must keep raptors that you are not authorized to propagate separated from those you use in propagation.
(d)Inspection. In the presence of the permittee, Federal or State officials may inspect propagation raptors, facilities, equipment, and records during business hours on any day of the week.
(e)Banding of raptors used for propagation. —(1) Certain species. You must band a goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), Harris's hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus), peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), or gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) that you take from the wild to use in captive propagation.
(i) You must use a nonreusable band that we provide.
(ii) You may purchase and implant an ISO (International Organization for Standardization)-compliant 134.2 kHz microchip in the raptor in addition to banding it.
(iii) You must report the information on the raptor (including information identifying the microchip, if you implant one, and where it is located) at http://permits.fws.gov/186A or by submitting a paper FWS Form 3-186A form to your State or tribal agency that governs propagation, if applicable, and to us.
(2)Banding nestlings. Unless a particular nestling is specifically exempted, you must band every captive-bred raptor within 2 weeks of hatching.
(i) You must use a numbered, seamless band that we will provide.
(ii) You must use a band with an inside diameter that 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.
(iii) You may band a nestling with more than one band of different sizes if you cannot determine the proper size when you band the nestling. You must then remove and destroy all but the correctly sized band before the nestling is 5 weeks old.
(iv) You may submit a letter requesting an exemption from the banding requirement for any nestling or fledgling for which the band causes a problem. If you demonstrate that the band itself or the behavior of the raptor in response to the band poses a hazard to the raptor, we may exempt that raptor from the banding requirement. You must destroy the band after you remove it.
(3) You may purchase and implant an ISO-compliant 134.2 kHz microchip in the raptor in addition to a band. You must report information to identify the microchip and where on the raptor the chip is implanted when you report your acquisition of the raptor.
(4) If a captive-bred raptor is not banded with a seamless band, or if you must remove the seamless band from a captive-bred raptor, you must band the bird with a nonreusable band that we provide.
(f)Taking and transferring raptors or raptor eggs from the wild to use in propagation. You may take no more than two raptors or raptor eggs from the wild each year to use in propagation.
(1) The State `must authorize you to take the raptor(s) or egg(s) from the wild.
(2) You must comply with all State laws in taking raptor(s) or egg(s) from the wild.
(3) You may take a raptor listed in § 17.11(h) of this chapter as “endangered” or “threatened” from the wild only if you have a permit under part 17 of this chapter (See paragraph (u) of this section.).
(4) You may transfer a raptor taken from the wild for propagation to any other person authorized to possess it, except that you must comply with the prohibitions in § 21.29 on a transfer to a falconer.
(g)Transfer, purchase, sale, or barter of captive-bred raptors, eggs, or semen.
(1) You may transfer, sell, or barter a lawfully possessed captive-bred raptor to another person authorized to possess captive-bred raptors if the raptor is marked on the metatarsus by a seamless, numbered band that we provide.
(2) You may transfer, sell, or barter a lawfully possessed raptor egg or raptor semen produced by a raptor held under your captive propagation permit (including a raptor taken from the wild) to another raptor propagation permittee.
(3) You may not purchase, sell, or barter any raptor eggs or any raptors taken from the wild in the United States or its territories or possessions, any semen collected from a raptor in the wild in the United States or its territories or possessions, or any raptor hatched from eggs taken from the wild in the United States or its territories or possessions.
(h)Required paperwork. You must have a copy of a properly completed FWS Form 3-186A (Migratory Bird Acquisition and Disposition Report) for each raptor you acquire or that is transferred to you.
(1) You do not have to submit or have a copy of an FWS Form 3-186A for raptors you produce by captive propagation if you keep the raptors in your possession under your propagation permit.
(2) If you sell, trade, barter, or transfer a raptor held under your captive propagation permit, even if the transfer is to a falconry permit you hold, you must complete an FWS Form 3-186A and send it to us within 5 calendar days of the transfer.
(i)Care of a propagation raptor by another person—
(1)Care of a propagation raptor by another permittee. The regulations in this paragraph pertain to care of propagation raptors by persons other than the permittee. Another person who can legally possess raptors may care for a propagation raptor for you for up to 120 calendar days.
(i) The person must have a letter from you authorizing him or her to care for the birds, beginning on the date of your letter.
(ii) The raptor will remain on your raptor propagation permit. If the person who temporarily holds it for you is a falconer or a captive propagator, the raptor will not be counted against his or her possession limit on raptors held for falconry or propagation. However, the other person may not use the raptor in falconry or in propagation.
(iii) If you wish to have someone else care for a propagation raptor for more than 120 days, or if you wish to let another person use the raptor in falconry or captive propagation, you must transfer the raptor to that person and report the transfer by submitting a completed FWS Form 3-186A.
(2)Care of a propagation raptor by an individual who does not have a propagation or falconry permit. Another person may care for propagation raptors you possess for up to 120 consecutive calendar days.
(i) The raptor(s) will remain on your propagation permit.
(ii) The raptors must remain in your facilities.
(iii) This care may be extended indefinitely in extenuating circumstances, such as illness, military service, or for a family emergency. The person(s) caring for your raptors may not fly them for any reason.
(j)Care of nestlings by an individual who does not hold a migratory bird permit. Another person may temporarily care for and band nestlings you hold from the time they are hatched until they are fully feathered. You may allow the other person to keep the nestlings at another location. You must give the individual a letter authorizing him or her to care for the nestlings, beginning on the date of your letter. The care might be part of each day during the nestling period so that the nestlings can be fed, or it might be a series of full days if transport to and from the breeding facility is not practical or needed.
(k)Disposition of molted feathers from a live raptor or carcasses of raptors held under your permit.
(1) You may donate the body or feathers of any species you possess under your propagation permit to any person or institution exempt under § 21.12 or authorized by permit to acquire and possess such parts or feathers.
(2) For any raptor you hold under your propagation permit, if the bird was banded or microchipped prior to its death, you may keep the body to have the feathers available for imping or to have the body mounted by a taxidermist. You may use the mount in propagation activities or in giving conservation education programs. If the bird was banded, you must leave the band on the body. If the bird has an implanted microchip, the microchip must be placed inside the mounted bird.
(3) If you do not wish to donate the bird body or feathers or keep it or them yourself, you must burn, bury, or otherwise destroy it or them within 10 days of the death of the bird or after final examination by a veterinarian to determine cause of death. Carcasses of euthanized raptors could pose a risk of secondary poisoning of eagles and other scavengers. You must take appropriate precautions to avoid such poisonings.
(4) If you do not donate the bird body or feathers or have the body mounted by a taxidermist, you may possess the flight feathers for as long as you have a valid raptor propagation or falconry permit. However, you may not buy, sell, or barter the feathers. You must keep the paperwork documenting your acquisition of the bird.
(l)Raptor products. You may possess addled or blown eggs, nests, and feathers from raptors held under permit, and may transfer any of these items to any other person authorized to possess them.
(m)Release to the wild. You may release a captive-bred raptor to the wild if it is allowed by the State or territory in which you wish to release the raptor, except that you may not release a hybrid raptor to the wild. You must leave the captive-bred band on any raptor you release to the wild.
(n)Conservation education programs. You may use a raptor you possess for raptor propagation in conservation education programs presented in public venues.
(1) You do not need a Federal education permit to conduct conservation education activities using a propagation raptor.
(2) You must use the raptor primarily for propagation.
(3) You may charge a fee for presentation of a conservation education program. The fee may not exceed the amount required to recoup your costs.
(4) In conservation education programs, you must provide information about the biology, ecological roles, and conservation needs of raptors and other migratory birds, although not all of these topics must be addressed in every presentation. You may not give presentations that do not address falconry and conservation education.
(5) You are responsible for all liability associated with conservation education activities you undertake (see § 13.50 of this chapter).
(o)Permit restrictions. With limited exceptions, you may use raptors held under your captive propagation permit only for propagation or keep them to transfer or sell. You must transfer a raptor used in captive propagation to a falconry permit before you or another person may use it in falconry. If you transfer a raptor used in captive propagation to another permit, you and the recipient of the raptor (which might be you) must complete an FWS Form 3-186A and report the transfer. You do not need to transfer a bird from your falconry permit (if you hold one) if you use the bird for fewer than 8 months in a year in captive propagation, but you must do so if you permanently transfer the bird for propagation. The bird must then be banded as required in paragraph (e).
(p)Training propagation raptors. You may use falconry training or conditioning practices such as, but not limited to, creance (tethered) flying, lures, balloons, or kites in training or conditioning captive-bred progeny of raptors you hold under your permit.
(1) Until the raptors are 1 year old, you may use captive-bred offspring in actual hunting as a means of training them. To do so, you will not need to transfer them to another permit type. You may not use them in hunting after their first year if they are held under your captive propagation permit.
(2) Any hybrid raptor that you fly free must have at least two attached radio transmitters to help you to locate the bird.
(3) You may not hunt at any time with raptors you use in propagation.
(q)Hacking of propagation raptors. “Hacking” (temporary release to the wild) is an approved method to condition raptors. You may hack a raptor that you produce under your propagation permit.
(1) You may need permission from your State or tribal wildlife agency to hack a raptor you possess under your propagation permit. Check with your State or tribal agency that regulates falconry to determine if hacking is allowed.
(2) Any hybrid you hack must have two attached functioning radio transmitters during hacking.
(3) You may not hack a raptor near a nesting area of a federally threatened or endangered bird species or in any other location where the raptor is likely to harm a federally listed threatened or endangered animal species that might be disturbed or taken by your falconry raptor. You should contact your State or territorial wildlife agency before hacking a falconry raptor to ensure that this does not occur. Contact the Fish and Wildlife Service office in your State or territory for information on federally listed species.
(r)Transfer of propagation raptors and offspring if a permittee dies. A surviving spouse, executor, administrator, or other legal representative of a deceased raptor propagation permittee may transfer any bird, eggs, or semen held by the deceased permittee to another authorized permittee within 90 days of the death of the falconry permittee. After 90 days, disposition of a bird held under the permit is at our discretion.
(s)Records of captive propagation efforts. You must maintain complete and accurate records of all operations, including the following, for at least 5 years after the expiration of your permit. However, you may want to retain your records for a longer time 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.
(1) The acquisition of raptors, eggs, or semen you acquired from the wild or that were transferred to you.
(i) What you acquired, and the species, sex, age, and band number of each bird you acquired.
(ii) Whether you acquired the raptor, egg, or semen from the wild or you purchased it or it was transferred to you.
(2) The disposition of raptors, eggs, or semen you sell or transfer to another permittee. The information should include the band number of raptors you sell or transfer.
(t)Annual report. You must submit a completed FWS Form 3-202-8 to your Regional Migratory Bird Permit office by January 31 each year for January 1 through December 31 of the preceding year.
(u)Endangered or threatened species. If you wish to propagate endangered or threatened species, you must have at least 2 years of experience handling raptors in a propagation program or programs. You may also need an endangered species permit to propagate threatened or endangered raptors. See §§ 17.21 and 17.22 of this chapter for permit requirements to propagate threatened or endangered raptors.
(v)Applying for a Federal raptor propagation permit. Using FWS Form 3-200-12, you must submit your application for a raptor propagation permit to the appropriate Regional Director, to the attention of the Migratory Bird Permit Office. You can find addresses for the Regional Directors in 50 CFR 2.2. Your application must contain the general information and the certification required in § 13.12(a) of this chapter, a copy of your State permit authorizing raptor propagation, if your State requires one, and a description (including dimensions), drawings, and photographs of the facilities and equipment you will use.
(w)Criteria for issuing a permit. When we receive a completed application, we will decide whether we should issue a permit to you. We will consider the general criteria in part 13 of this chapter and the following factors:
(1) You must be at least 18 years old and have at least 2 full years of experience handling raptors.
(2) You must have a propagation permit or other authorization for raptor propagation from your State or Tribe, if your State or Tribe requires it.
(3) Your raptor propagation facilities must be adequate for the number and species of raptors to be held under your permit.
(x)Updating a raptor propagation permit after a move. If you move within your State or get a new mailing address, you must notify us within 30 days (see § 13.23(c) of this chapter). If you move to a new State, within 30 days you must inform both your former and your new (if applicable) Migratory Bird Permit Offices of your address change. If you have new propagation facilities, you must provide information, pictures, and diagrams of them, and they may be inspected in accordance with Federal or State requirements. Thereafter, no mandatory inspections of the facilities will continue.
(y)Permit expiration. Your Federal permit may be valid for up to 5 years from when it is issued or renewed. It will expire on the same day as your State permit, unless your State permit is for a period longer than 5 years, or unless we amend, suspend, or revoke it.