3-200-10b: Migratory Bird Rehabilitation

This permit is required to take, transport, and/or temporarily possess sick, injured, and orphaned migratory birds for rehabilitation purposes. Species of birds listed in the 50 CFR Part 10 require a Federal migratory bird permit.

Who Needs It

You must be at least 18 years of age with a minimum of100 hours of hands-on experience, gained over the course of at least 1 whole year, rehabilitating each type of migratory bird you intend to rehabilitate (e.g., water birds, songbirds, raptors). Up to 20 hours of the 100-hour time requirement may be fulfilled by participation in migratory bird rehabilitation seminars and courses.

The Good Samaritan provision (50 CFR 21.31(a)) allows any person who finds a sick, injured, or orphaned migratory bird to take possession of the bird in order to immediately transport it to a permitted rehabilitator. However, any individual(s) regularly transporting birds directly to your facility or from your facility directly to another facility must either be listed under your permit as a sub-permittee or possess their own rehabilitation permit.

Your Federal permit is not valid unless you are also in compliance with State requirements, which may be more restrictive. This means that if your State requires you to have a permit to possess migratory birds for rehabilitation purposes, 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.

What is covered by this permit?

Birds may not be held for more than 180 days unless approved by the Regional Migratory Bird Permit Office. If a bird needs greater than 180-days for care or placement, you may request an extension from the Regional Migratory Bird Permit Office at least 30-days prior to the end of the 180-day period. You must release all releasable recuperated birds to the wild in appropriate habitat as soon as seasonal conditions allow. You must place non-releasable birds as soon as possible. Repeat extensions may not be provided for placement reasons.

No. This permit does not authorize you to possess birds for educational purposes. You must release all recuperated birds to suitable habitat following the recovery of the bird as soon as seasonable conditions allow. However, any bird that, after rehabilitation, cannot be released to the wild may be, with prior authorization of your Regional Migratory Bird Permit Office, transferred to a Migratory Bird Special Purpose Possession permit if the bird is suitable for use in educational programs, or may be transferred to another type of permit or exempt facility under 50 CFR 21.12(b) as deemed appropriate.


To Submit an Application

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

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Application Fee

  • Fee: $50
  • 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).


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