(a) "Raptor" - means a live migratory bird of
the family Accipitriformes (excluding the American Bald Eagle), the family
Falconiformes, or the family Strigidae.
(b) "Take" - means to trap or capture, or
attempt to trap or capture a raptor for the purpose of falconry.
(c) "Falconry" - means the sport of taking
quarry by means of a trained raptor.
(d) "Service" - means the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of Interior.
(e) "State" - means the Tennessee Wildlife
Resources Agency (TWRA).
in captivity" or "captive-bred" - refers to raptors, including eggs, hatched in
captivity from parents that mated or otherwise transferred gametes in
(g) "Captivity" - means
a live raptor held in a controlled environment that is intensively manipulated
by man for the purpose of producing raptors of selected species, and that has
boundaries designated to prevent raptors, eggs or gametes of the selected
species from entering or leaving the controlled environment. General
characteristics of captivity may include, but are not limited to, artificial
housing, waste removal, health care, and protection from predators, and
artificially supplied foods.
(2) Examination - Before any Apprentice
Falconry Permit is issued, the applicant shall be required to answer correctly
at least 80 percent of the questions on a supervised examination approved by
the Service relating to the basic biology, care, and handling of raptors,
literature, laws, regulations, and other appropriate subject matter.
(3) Permit requirement - A valid state
falconry permit from Tennessee or another state meeting federal falconry
standards is required before any person may take, possess, or transport a
raptor for falconry purposes. Falconers from other states must obtain a
Tennessee permit within sixty (60) days of Tennessee residency in order to
continue the practice of falconry in Tennessee.
(4) An applicant who wishes to practice
falconry must submit an application, with appropriate permit fee, for a State
Falconry Permit to the Executive Director of the Agency.
Permit conditions - Every permit issued
shall be subject to the following:
permittee may not take, transport, or possess a bald eagle for falconry
(b) A permittee may trade
or transfer a raptor to another permittee if no money or other consideration is
involved, except as authorized under state and federal propagation permits. A
permittee may trade or transfer a raptor to another permittee in an interstate
transaction if prior written approval of the state which issued the permit is
obtained, stating that federal and their state legal requirements are being
(c) A permittee may not take,
possess, or transport a raptor in violation of restrictions, conditions, and
requirements of the Federal or State Falconry Permit Regulations.
Any change in ownership including, but
not limited to, take from the wild, transfer, death, and or escape, shall be
reported to the Service electronically at
within five (5) working days. A copy of such will be provided to the State
within the same amount of time.
(6) Permits will expire on June 30 of the
third year from date of issuance.
Classes of permits - Three classes of
falconry permits shall be issued, including:
Apprentice class - Conditions of this
1. An apprentice permittee
shall be at least fourteen (14) years old;
2. A sponsor who is a holder of a General or
Master Falconry Permit is required for the first two years in which an
apprentice permit is held, regardless of the age of the permittee. A sponsor
may not have more than three (3) apprentices at one time;
3. An apprentice permittee shall not possess
more than one raptor and may not obtain more than one raptor as a replacement
bird during any twelve-month period; and
4. An apprentice permittee may only possess a
wild American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) or a Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo
jamaicensis) captured by the apprentice, or a captive-bred raptor from a legal
Class - Conditions of this class include:
general permittee shall be at least eighteen (18) years old;
2. A general permittee shall have at least
two years' experience in the practice of falconry at the apprentice level or
3. A general
permittee may not possess more than three raptors and may not obtain more than
two raptors from the wild as replacement birds during any twelve-month period;
4. A general permittee may not
take, transport, or possess any species listed as Threatened or Endangered by
the Service, except as provided by the State and Federal Falconry
Class - Conditions of this class include:
An applicant must have at least five years' experience in the practice of
falconry at the General class level or its equivalent;
2. A master permittee may not possess more
than five raptors, and may not obtain more than two raptors taken from the wild
for replacement birds during any twelve-month period;
3. A master permittee may not take, transport
or possess any species listed as Endangered by the Service except as provided
by the State and Federal Falconry Regulations.
Except as provided by the State and
Federal Falconry Regulations, a master permittee may not take, transport, or
possess as part of his five-bird limitation, more than one raptor listed as
Threatened by the Service and/or State, or listed as In Need of Management by
the State, and then only in accordance with Federal Regulations, 50 CFR 17
, and 22
, and/or current State Proclamation "Proclaiming the Taking of Raptors
for the Purpose of Falconry."
Facilities and equipment - Before any
falconry permit is issued, the applicant's raptor housing facilities and
falconry equipment shall be inspected and certified by a representative of the
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency as meeting the following standards:
Facilities - The primary consideration
for raptor housing facilities whether indoors (mews) or outdoors (weathering
area) is protection from the environment, predators, or undue disturbance.
Applicants shall have the following facilities, except that depending upon
climate conditions and sensitivity of the species, only one of the following
facilities may be required.
facilities (mews) shall be large enough to allow easy access for caring for
raptors housed in the facility. If more than one raptor is to be housed in the
facility, the raptors shall be tethered or separated by partitions and the area
for each bird shall be large enough to allow each bird to fully extend its
wings. There shall be at least one window, protected on the inside by vertical
bars, spaced narrower than the width of the bird's body and a secure door that
can be easily closed. The floor of the mews shall permit easy cleaning and
shall be well drained. Adequate perches shall be provided.
2. Outdoor facilities (weathering area) shall
be fenced and covered with netting or wire or roofed to protect the birds from
disturbances and attack by predators, except that perches more than 62 inches
high need not be covered or roofed. The enclosures shall be wide enough to
ensure that the birds' wings shall not strike the fence when flying from the
perch. Protection from excessive sun, wind, and inclement weather shall be
provided for each bird. Adequate perches shall be provided.
Equipment - An applicant must
possess the following before obtaining a permit:
1. Jesses - At least one pair of Aylmeri
jesses of pliable leather or suitable synthetic material to be used when any
raptor is flown free. Traditional type one-piece jesses may be used on raptors
when not being flown;
and swivels - At least one flexible, weather resistant leash and one strong
swivel of acceptable falconry design;
3. Bath container - At least one container, 2
to 6 inches deep and wider than the length of the raptor, for drinking and
bathing for each raptor;
perches - At least one weathering area perch of an acceptable design shall be
provided for each raptor; and,
Weighing device - A reliable scale or balance suitable for weighing the
raptor(s) and graduated in increments of not more than 2 ounces (15 grams)
shall be provided.
Maintenance - All facilities and equipment shall be kept at or above the
preceding standards at all times.
(d) Transportation - A raptor may be
transported or held in temporary facilities, which shall be provided with an
adequate perch and protection from extreme temperatures and excessive
disturbance, for a period not to exceed thirty (30) days.
(9) Marking - All raptors held within this
state, except those held for scientific, rehabilitation, or zoological
purposes, shall have a numbered, seamless, non-reusable marker supplied by the
Service and available via the State. In the instance of raptors acquired after
the effective date of these regulations, markers shall be attached immediately
upon acquisition. Alteration, counterfeiting, or defacing of a marker is
prohibited, except that permittees may remove the rear tab on markers and may
smooth any imperfect surface, provided that the marker and the number are not
affected. Loss or removal of any band must be reported to both the Service and
the State within five (5) business days of the loss. The band must be replaced
within thirty (30) days by a like band issued by the Service and available
through the State.
restriction - Raptors may be taken only in accordance with the appropriate
proclamations promulgated by the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife
(a) Any person who possesses a
lawfully acquired raptor before the effective date of these regulations and who
fails to meet the permit requirements shall be allowed to retain the raptors.
All such birds shall be identified with markers supplied by the Service and
cannot be replaced if death, loss, release, or escape occurs.
(b) Any person who possesses raptors before
the effective date of these regulations in excess of the number allowed under
his class permit shall be allowed to retain the extra raptors. All such raptors
shall be identified with markers supplied by the Service, and no additional
raptors can be obtained, until the number in possession is at least one less
than the total number authorized by the class of permit held by the
(c) A falconry permit
holder shall obtain written permission from the State before any species not
indigenous to this state is intentionally released to the wild. The marker of
any intentionally released bird shall be removed and surrendered to the
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency upon release. A standard Federal bird band
shall be attached to such birds by the state or authorized Federal bird bander
(d) A raptor
possessed under authority of a falconry permit may be temporarily held by a
person other than the permittee for maintenance and care for a period not to
exceed thirty (30) days. The raptor must be accompanied at all times by a
properly completed form provided by the State/Service designating the person
caring for the raptor as the possessor of record and by a signed, dated
statement from the permittee authorizing the temporary possession.
(e) Feathers that are molted or those
feathers from birds held in captivity that die, may be retained and exchanged
by permittees only for imping.
Interstate transport - Non-transfer,
interstate import and export conditions follow:
(a) Non-residents of this state who are
permit holders from states which are recognized as falconry states by the
Service may transport into this state raptors for personal falconry use (e.g.
meets) provided the laws and regulations concerning hunting and falconry are
observed, including the purchase of an appropriate Tennessee non-resident
hunting license prior to pursuit of wild prey by falconry in
(b) Residents of this
state who are falconry permittees may transport their raptors into other states
that are recognized by the Service as falconry states for personal falconry
use, provided all applicable hunting and falconry laws and regulations are