3-200-10a: Migratory Bird Special Purpose-Salvage

This permit is required for dead migratory birds, bird parts (such as feathers), abandoned nests, and nonviable eggs to be taken from the wild for conservation education purposes. The purpose of this permit is to allow legal acquisition of wild specimens to be donated to educational facilities, such as museums, schools, and visitor’s centers. Possession for personal use is prohibited. 

All migratory birds salvaged must be deposited with a repository designated on your permit within 6 months of acquisition and/or by December 31 of that calendar year.

State Compliance

Your Federal salvage permit is not valid unless you are also in compliance with State requirements. This means that if your State requires you to have a permit to salvage birds, you must hold a valid State permit in order for your Federal permit to be valid. It is your responsibility to make sure you comply with State permit requirements.


Each migratory bird salvaged must be tagged. Each tag should include the following information:

  • Date and location specimen salvaged,
  • Name of person who salvaged the specimen, and
  • The permit number under which the specimen was salvaged must be recorded in the permanent accession record.

Who is not covered by this permit?

  • Utilities: If you are salvaging birds associated with utility, tower, or other infrastructure, a Utility permit is more appropriate.
  • Scientists: If you are salvaging as part of a scientific research design, a Scientific Collecting permit is more appropriate.
  • Educators: If you are salvaging to expand your educational collection, this authorization can be added to an Education permit. However, if you are an institution exempt from needing an Education permit but wish to salvage specimens, apply for a Salvage permit using this form.

This permit does not allow anyone to salvage or possess migratory birds for personal use. All migratory birds salvaged must be transferred to a public scientific or educational institution, zoological park, museum or scientific society as defined in 50 CFR 10 or a Migratory Bird Special Purpose Possession permit issued under 50 CFR 21.27.

This permit does not authorize you to salvage specimens on Federal or State lands or other public or private property without additional prior written authorization, permission, or permits from the appropriate Federal or State agency, landowner, or custodian.


To Submit an Application

To submit an application online or through the mail, follow the instructions on our ePermits site

Need to submit your annual report?

Download report form 3-202-3 to mail in.

Application Fee

  • Fee: $75*
  • Application fee is non-refundable.
  • Federal, Tribal, State, and local government agencies, and those acting on the behalf of such agencies, are exempt from the processing fee (documentation may be required).


Educator/Education Facility


ePermit ID