Migratory Bird Program
Conserving the Nature of America

BIRDS PROTECTED BY THE MIGRATORY BIRD TREATY ACT

Game Birds and Hunted Species

The migratory bird conventions with Canada and Mexico define "game birds" as those species belonging to the following families: Anatidae (swans, geese, and ducks), Rallidae (rails, gallinules, and coots), Gruidae (cranes), Charadriidae (plovers and lapwings), Haematopodidae (oystercatchers), Recurvirostridae (stilts and avocets), Scolopacidae (sandpipers, phalaropes, and allies), and Columbidae (pigeons and doves).

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which implements the conventions, grants the Secretary of the Interior the authority to establish hunting seasons for any of the migratory game bird species listed below. In actuality, the Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that hunting is appropriate only for those species for which there is a long tradition of hunting, and for which hunting is consistent with their population status and their long-term conservation. It is inconceivable, for example, that we will ever see legalized hunting of plovers, curlews, or the many other species of shorebirds whose populations were devastated by market gunners in the last decades of the 19th century.

Although the Migratory Bird Treaty Act considers some 170 species to be "game birds," less than 60 species are typically hunted each year. The Fish and Wildlife Service publishes migratory game bird regulations in the Federal Register. Those species for which hunting regulations have been established at some point during the past 10 years are designated with an asterisk (*) in the following list. However, such a designation does not necessarily indicate that a given species can be taken legally in your State or locality. For regulations specific to your locality, you should consult with your State's natural resource agency.

Source: The list of hunted species was taken primarily from Appendix 2 of the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement: Issuance of Annual Regulations Permitting the Sport Hunting of Migratory Birds (SEIS 88), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Alphabetical List

Taxonomic List


Alphabetical List:

Avocet, American, Recurvirostra americana
Brant, Branta bernicla*
Bufflehead, Bucephala albeola*
Canvasback, Aythya valisneria*
Coot, American, Fulica americana*
	Caribbean, Fulica caribaea
	Eurasian, Fulica atra
	Hawaiian (=American), Fulica alai (=americana)
Crake, Corn, Crex crex
	Yellow-breasted, Porzana flaviventer
Crane, Common, Grus grus
	Sandhill, Grus canadensis*
	Whooping, Grus americana
Curlew, Bristle-thighed, Numenius tahitiensis
	Eskimo, Numenius borealis
	Far Eastern, Numenius madagascariensis
	Least (see Curlew, Little)
	Little (=Least), Numenius minutus
	Long-billed, Numenius americanus
Dotterel, Eurasian, Charadrius morinellus
Dove, Inca, Columbina inca
	Mourning, Zenaida macroura*
	White-tipped, Leptotila verreauxi*
	White-winged, Zenaida asiatica*
	Zenaida, Zenaida aurita*
Dowitcher, Long-billed, Limnodromus scolopaceus
	Short-billed, Limnodromus griseus
Duck, American Black, Anas rubripes*
	Harlequin, Histrionicus histrionicus*
	Hawaiian, Anas wyvilliana
	Laysan, Anas laysanensis
	Masked, Oxyura dominica
	Mottled, Anas fulvigula*
	Ring-necked, Aythya collaris*
	Ruddy, Oxyura jamaicensis*
	Tufted, Aythya fuligula
	Wood, Aix sponsa*
Dunlin, Calidris alpina

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Eider, Common, Somateria mollissima*
	King, Somateria spectabilis*
	Spectacled, Somateria fischeri*
	Steller's, Polysticta stelleri*
Gadwall, Anas strepera*
Gallinule, Purple, Porphyrula martinica*
Garganey, Anas querquedula
Godwit, Bar-tailed, Limosa lapponica
	Black-tailed, Limosa limosa
	Hudsonian, Limosa haemastica
	Marbled, Limosa fedoa
Golden-Plover, American (=Lesser), Pluvialis dominicus(=dominica)
        Lesser (see Golden-Plover, American; and Golden-Plover, Pacific)
	Pacific (=Lesser), Pluvialis fulva (=dominica)
Goldeneye, Barrow's, Bucephala islandica*
	Common, Bucephala clangula*
Goose, Barnacle, Branta leucopsis
	Bean, Anser fabalis
	Canada, Branta canadensis*
	Emperor, Chen canagica*
	Greater White-fronted, Anser albifrons*
	Hawaiian, Branta (=Nesochen) sandvicensis
	Ross', Chen rossii*
	Snow, Chen caerulescens*
Greenshank, Common Tringa nebularia
Ground-Dove, Common, Zenaida passerina
	Ruddy, Zenaida talpacoti
Knot, Great, Calidris tenuirostris
	Red, Calidris canutus
Lapwing, Northern, Vanellus vanellus
Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos*
Merganser, Common, Mergus merganser*
	Hooded, Lophodytes cucullatus*
	Red-breasted, Mergus serrator*
Moorhen, Common, Gallinula chloropus*

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Oldsquaw, Clangula hyemalis*
Oystercatcher, American, Haematopus palliatus
	Black, Haematopus bachmani
Phalarope, Red, Phalaropus fulicaria
	Red-necked, Phalaropus lobatus
	Wilson's, Phalaropus tricolor
Pigeon, Band-tailed, Columba fasciata*
	Plain, Columba inornata
	Red-billed, Columba flavirostris
	Scaly-naped, Columba squamosa*
	White-crowned, Columba leucocephala*
Pintail, Northern, Anas acuta*
	White-cheeked, Anas bahamensis
Plover, Black-bellied, Pluvialis squatarola
	Common Ringed, Charadrius hiaticula
	Great Sand, Charadrius leschensultii
	Little Ringed, Charadrius dubius
	Mongolian, Charadrius mongolus
	Mountain, Charadrius montanus
	Piping, Charadrius melodus
	Semipalmated, Charadrius semipalmatus
	Snowy, Charadrius alexandrinus
	Wilson's, Charadrius wilsonia
Pochard, Baer's, Aythya baeri
	Common, Aythya ferina
Quail-Dove, Bridled, Geotrygon mystacea
	Key West, Geotrygon chrysia
	Ruddy, Geotrygon montana
Rail, Black, Laterallus jamaicensis
	Clapper, Rallus longirostris*
	King, Rallus elegans*
	Virginia, Rallus limicola*
	Yellow, Coturnicops noveboracensis
Redhead, Aythya americana*
Redshank, Spotted, Tringa erythropus
Ruff, Philomachus pugnax

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Sanderling, Calidris alba
Sandpiper, Baird's, Calidris bairdii
	Broad-billed, Limicola falcinellus
	Buff-breasted, Tryngites subruficollis
	Common, Actitis hypoleucos
	Curlew, Calidris ferruginea
	Least, Calidris minutilla
	Marsh, Trings stagnatilis
	Pectoral, Calidris melanotos
	Purple, Calidris maritima
	Rock, Calidris ptilocnemis
	Semipalmated, Calidris pusilla
	Sharp-tailed, Calidris acuminata
	Solitary, Tringa solitaria
	Spoonbill, Eurynorhynchus pygmeus
	Spotted, Actitis macularia
	Stilt, Calidris himantopus
	Terek, Xenus cinereus
	Upland, Bartramia longicauda
	Western, Calidris mauri
	White-rumped, Calidris fuscicollis
	Wood, Tringa glareola
Scaup, Greater, Aythya marila*
	Lesser, Aythya affinis*
Scoter, Black, Melanitta nigra*
	Surf, Melanitta perspicillata*
	White-winged, Melanitta fusca*
Shoveler, Northern, Anas clypeata*
Smew, Mergellus albellus
Snipe, Common, Gallinago gallinago*
	Jack, Lymnocryptes minimus
	Pin-tailed, Gallinago stenura
	Swinhoe's, Gallinago megala
Sora, Porzana carolina*
Stilt, Black-necked, Himantopus mexicanus
Stint, Little, Calidris minuta
	Long-toed, Calidris subminuta
	Red-necked (=Rufous-necked), Calidris ruficollis
	Temminck's, Calidris temminckii
Surfbird, Aphriza, virgata
Swan, Trumpeter, Cygnus buccinator*
	Tundra, Cygnus columbianus*
	Whooper, Cygnus cygnus
Tattler, Gray-tailed, Heteroscelus brevipes
	Wandering, Heteroscelus incanus
Teal, Baikal, Anas formosa
	Blue-winged, Anas discors*
	Cinnamon, Anas cyanoptera*
	Falcated, Anas falcata
	Green-winged, Anas crecca*
Turnstone, Black, Arenaria melanocephala
	Ruddy, Arenaria interpres
Whimbrel, Numenius phaeopus
Whistling-Duck, Black-bellied, Dendrocygna autumnalis*
	Fulvous, Dendrocygna bicolor*
	West Indian, Dendrocygna arborea
Wigeon, American, Anas americana*
	Eurasian, Anas penelope
Willet, Catoptrophorus semipalmatus
Woodcock, American, Scolopax minor*
	Eurasian, Scolopax rusticola
Yellowlegs, Greater, Tringa melanoleuca
	Lesser, Tringa flavipes

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Taxonomic List:

     Family ANATIDAE (Swans, Geese, and Ducks)
Dendrocygna bicolor, Fulvous Whistling-Duck*
 autumnalis, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck*
 arborea, West Indian Whistling-Duck
Cygnus columbianus, Tundra Swan*
	cygnus, Whooper Swan
	buccinator, Trumpeter Swan*
Anser fabalis, Bean Goose
	albifrons, Greater White-fronted Goose*
Chen caerulescens, Snow Goose*
	rossii, Ross' Goose*	
	canagica, Emperor Goose* 
Branta bernicla, Brant*
	leucopsis, Barnacle Goose
	canadensis, Canada Goose*
	(=Nesochen) sandvicensis, Hawaiian Goose 
Aix sponsa, Wood Duck*	
Anas crecca, Green-winged Teal*
	formosa, Baikal Teal	
	falcata, Falcated Teal
	rubripes, American Black Duck*
	fulvigula, Mottled Duck*
	platyrhynchos, Mallard*
	wyvilliana, Hawaiian Duck
	laysanensis, Laysan Duck
	bahamensis, White-cheeked Pintail
	acuta, Northern Pintail*
	querquedula, Garganey	
	discors, Blue-winged Teal*
	cyanoptera, Cinnamon Teal*
	clypeata, Northern Shoveler*
	strepera, Gadwall*	
	penelope, Eurasian Wigeon
	americana, American Wigeon*
Aythya ferina, Common Pochard
	valisneria, Canvasback*
	americana, Redhead*	
	baeri, Baer's Pochard	
	collaris, Ring-necked Duck*
	fuligula, Tufted Duck	
	marila, Greater Scaup*
	affinis, Lesser Scaup*
Somateria mollissima, Common Eider*
	spectabilis, King Eider*
	fischeri, Spectacled Eider*
Polysticta stelleri, Steller's Eider*
Histrionicus histrionicus, Harlequin Duck*
Clangula hyemalis, Oldsquaw*
Melanitta nigra, Black Scoter*
	perspicillata, Surf Scoter*
	fusca, White-winged Scoter*
Bucephala clangula, Common Goldeneye*
	islandica, Barrow's Goldeneye*
	albeola, Bufflehead*	
Mergellus albellus, Smew
Lophodytes cucullatus, Hooded Merganser*
Mergus merganser, Common Merganser*
	serrator, Red-breasted Merganser*
Oxyura jamaicensis, Ruddy Duck*
	dominica, Masked Duck	
              

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     Family RALLIDAE (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
Coturnicops noveboracensis, Yellow Rail
Laterallus jamaicensis, Black Rail
Crex crex, Corn Crake		
Rallus longirostris, Clapper Rail*
	elegans, King Rail*		
	limicola, Virginia Rail*	
Porzana carolina, Sora*		
	flaviventer, Yellow-breasted Crake
Porphyrula martinica, Purple Gallinule*
Gallinula chloropus, Common Moorhen*
Fulica atra, Eurasian Coot	
	alai (=americana), Hawaiian (=American) Coot		
	americana, American Coot*	
	caribaea, Caribean Coot	

     Family GRUIDAE (Cranes)
Grus canadensis, Sandhill Crane*
	grus, Common Crane		
	americana, Whooping Crane	

     Family CHARADRIIDAE (Plovers and Lapwings)
Vanellus vanellus, Northern Lapwing
Pluvialis squatarola, Black-bellied Plover
	dominicus (=dominica), American (=Lesser) Golden-Plover
	fulva (=dominica), Pacific (=Lesser) Golden-Plover
Charadrius mongolus, Mongolian Plover
	leschensultii, Great Sand Plover
	alexandrinus, Snowy Plover
	wilsonia, Wilson's Plover	
	hiaticula, Common Ringed Plover
	semipalmatus, Semipalmated Plover
	melodus, Piping Plover	
	dubius, Little Ringed Plover
	vociferus, Killdeer		
	montanus, Mountain Plover	
	morinellus, Eurasian Dotterel
                

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     Family HAEMATOPODIDAE (Oystercatchers)
Haematopus palliatus, American Oystercatcher
	bachmani, Black Oystercatcher

     Family RECURVIROSTRIDAE (Stilts and Avocets)
Himantopus mexicanus, Black-necked Stilt
Recurvirostra americana, American Avocet

     Family SCOLOPACIDAE (Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies)
Tringa nebularia, Common Greenshank
	melanoleuca, Greater Yellowlegs
	flavipes, Lesser Yellowlegs
	stagnatilis, Marsh Sandpiper
	erythropus, Spotted Redshank
	glareola, Wood Sandpiper
	solitaria, Solitary Sandpiper
Catoptrophorus semipalmatus, Willet
Heteroscelus incanus, Wandering Tattler
	brevipes, Gray-tailed Tattler
Actitis hypoleucos, Common Sandpiper
	macularia, Spotted Sandpiper
Xenus cinereus, Terek Sandpiper
Bartramia longicauda, Upland Sandpiper
Numenius minutus, Little (=Least) Curlew
	borealis, Eskimo Curlew
	phaeopus, Whimbrel	
	tahitiensis, Bristle-thighed Curlew
	madagascariensis, Far Eastern Curlew
	americanus, Long-billed Curlew
Limosa limosa, Black-tailed Godwit
	haemastica, Hudsonian Godwit
	lapponica, Bar-tailed Godwit
	fedoa, Marbled Godwit	
Arenaria interpres, Ruddy Turnstone
	melanocephala, Black Turnstone
Aphriza virgata, Surfbird
Calidris tenuirostris, Great Knot
	canutus, Red Knot	
	alba, Sanderling	
	pusilla, Semipalmated Sandpiper
	mauri, Western Sandpiper
	ruficollis, Red-necked (=Rufous-necked) Stint
	minuta, Little Stint	
	temminckii, Temminck's Stint
	subminuta, Long-toed Stint
	minutilla, Least Sandpiper
	fuscicollis, White-rumped Sandpiper
	bairdii, Baird's Sandpiper
	melanotos, Pectoral Sandpiper
	acuminata, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
	maritima, Purple Sandpiper
	ptilocnemis, Rock Sandpiper
	alpina, Dunlin	
	ferruginea, Curlew Sandpiper
	himantopus, Stilt Sandpiper
Eurynorhynchus pygmeus, Spoonbill Sandpiper
Limicola falcinellus, Broad-billed Sandpiper
Tryngites subruficollis, Buff-breasted Sandpiper
Philomachus pugnax, Ruff
Limnodromus griseus, Short-billed Dowitcher
	scolopaceus, Long-billed Dowitcher
Lymnocryptes minimus, Jack Snipe
Gallinago gallinago, Common Snipe*
	stenura, Pin-tailed Snipe
	megala, Swinhoe's Snipe
Scolopax rusticola, Eurasian Woodcock
	minor, American Woodcock*
Phalaropus tricolor, Wilson's Phalarope
	lobatus, Red-necked Phalarope
	fulicaria, Red Phalarope

     Family COLUMBIDAE (Pigeons and Doves)
Columba squamosa, Scaly-naped Pigeon*
	leucocephala, White-crowned Pigeon*
	flavirostris, Red-billed Pigeon
	inornata, Plain Pigeon
	fasciata, Band-tailed Pigeon*
Zenaida asiatica, White-winged Dove*
	aurita, Zenaida Dove*	
	macroura, Mourning Dove*
Columbina inca, Inca Dove
	passerina, Common Ground-Dove
	talpacoti, Ruddy Ground-Dove
Leptotila verreauxi, White-tipped Dove*
Geotrygon chrysia, Key West Quail-Dove
	mystacea, Bridled Quail-Dove
	montana, Ruddy Quail-Dove

                

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Last updated: April 11, 2012