Migratory Bird Management

Evening waterfowl flyoff at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, Willows, Calif. Photo Credit: USFWS

The Pacific Southwest Region’s Migratory Bird Program works together with a diversity of partners to assess, manage and conserve migratory bird species and their habitats in California, Nevada and the Klamath Basin of southern Oregon. We also issue permits and regulations for states, local governments and individuals to participate in activities such as hunting, scientific research, rehabilitation or injured birds, educations, falconry, and taxidermy.

The Service's Migratory Bird Program provides national and international leadership in the conservation and management of migratory birds by promoting, among the Service and its partners, science-based management of both populations and habitat on and off Service lands in support of national and internation bird plans and initiatives.

Learn more about the Migratory Bird Program...

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Bald Eagle. Credit: USFWS

Current News and Information

Proposed Changes to Service’s Comprehensive Eagle Conservation and Management Program: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently opened a 60-day public comment period on proposed improvements to the agency’s comprehensive eagle conservation and management program. The proposed changes include modifications to the regulations governing permits for incidental take of bald and golden eagles that will protect eagle populations during the course of otherwise lawful human activities. Learn about all the proposed changes and commenting procedures here.

Eagle Permits and Wind Energy: As the nation seeks to increase its production of domestic energy, wind energy developers and wildlife agencies have recognized a need for specific guidance to help make wind energy facilities compatible with eagle conservation and the laws and regulations that protect eagles. Learn more on our Eagle Permits page.

Bald and Golden Eagle Permits: The Service published the final rule on two new permit regulations that will allow the "take" of eagles under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Read the Final Rule from the Federal Register.

About the Muscovy Duck: The Muscovy duck now occurs naturally in southern Texas, so it has been added to the list of birds protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This species has been introduced in other areas throughout the U.S. where it is an exotic species, and it is widely raised in captivity for food. To control the spread of Muscovy Ducks in areas outside their natural range, new Service regulations allow for control of feral Muscovy ducks, their nests, and eggs in areas outside their natural range (50 CFR 21.54). Other regulations finalized at the same time as the listing and Control Order that restrict possession of Muscovy Ducks and require a permit to sell captive-bred Muscovy Ducks for food will not be administered at this time because the Service plans to revise those regulations in the near future. Read the fact sheet and the final rule.

Bird Species Protected by MBTA Expands to 1,007: The most recent revisions to the list of bird species protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) are described in the latest ruling. Species on this list are governed under migratory bird hunting and permitting regulations concerning most aspects of possession, transportation, sale, purchase, exportation, and importation of protected species. The list, last updated in 2010, incorporates the latest taxonomic and scientific data for migratory birds. The latest changes include 186 new additions and 11 subtractions, bringing the total number of species protected under the MBTA to 1007. Read the Final Rule from the Federal Register / Questions and Answers.

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Sandhill cranes at Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge.  Credit: Dale Garrison/USFWS

Focal Species Strategy

In 2005, the Migratory Bird Program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) initiated the Focal Species Strategy to better measure its success in achieving its bird conservation priorities and mandates. The focal species strategy involves campaigns for selected species to provide explicit, strategic, and adaptive sets of conservation actions required to return the species to healthy and sustainable levels.

The Service is committed to landscape-scale, integrated bird conservation for the full array of species of management concern and developed the focal species strategy to provide the increased accountability required from all federal agencies. Campaigns have been launched for a subset of focal species since 2005 and includeded the creation of multi-agency and conservation organization working groups and the development of conservation action plans.

Birds of Management Concern

Focal Species in the Pacific Southwest Region

  • Black oystercatcher
  • Tricolored blackbird
  • Mountain plover
  • Marbled godwit
  • Snowy plover (non-listed population)
  • Long-billed curlew
  • Gull-billed tern (status assessment being developed)
  • Sandhill crane
  • Canada goose
  • Northern pintail

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    To expand, watch in YouTube.
    Video courtesy of Partners in Flight

    Partners In Flight

    Celebrate Partners in Flight's mission and approach to bird conversation with this 20th Anniversary video. Spectacular bird footage and vocalizations bring the message to life that we must continue to work together to effectively conserve the Western Hemisphere's amazing and diverse bird life.