3-200-78: Native American Tribal Eagle Aviary

A Tribal Eagle Aviary permit authorizes a tribal entity engaged in Indian religious activities to possess lawfully acquired Bald Eagles and/or Golden Eagles for their tribe’s religious use. This permit authorizes the long-term possession of live, non-releasable eagles to be used in religious ceremonies and to collect and distribute naturally molted feathers to members of federally recognized tribes.

Who Needs It

You must be a federally recognized tribal entity under the Federally Recognized Tribal List Act of 1994, 25 U.S.C. 479a-1, 108 Stat. 4791 (1994). The Tribal Eagle Aviary facility must be under the control of the tribal governing body.

Permit Requirements

What is covered by this permit?

  • Eagle Aviary permits do NOT authorize public exhibition of eagles, such as use for non-tribal or offsite exhibition. If you are interested in exhibition, please contact us.
  • Eagle handling is limited to religious and medical management purposes only. This restriction is intended for the safety of the handler as well as the eagle. Tribal members may hold eagles if it is part of a traditional religious ceremony.
  • Molted eagle feathers and carcasses or parts of deceased captive eagles may be distributed at the discretion of the tribe to enrolled members of federally recognized tribes.

What is not covered by this permit?

  • Eagles may not be used in a manner that implies personal use and may not promote or endorse products or organizations except your own religious activities.

Caretaker Experience

  • A primary caretaker must be designated.
  • This individual must be at least 18 years of age and have 300 hours of experience gained over 2 years. This experience should include handling eagles (capturing, restraining, and transporting), daily husbandry, care, and feeding, as well as medical management.

Enclosure Requirements

  • Each eagle aviary must be humane and healthful.
  • We recommend a minimum enclosure of 12'L x 10'W x 9'H for a non-flighted eagle and a minimum enclosure of 40'L x 10'W x 9'H for a flighted eagle.
  • Aviary permits cannot be issued prior to enclosures being completed. However, we strongly encourage you to contact us during the design phase to work together to meet regulatory requirements.

Acquiring or Transferring Eagles

  • All live non-releasable eagles will first be placed with aviaries as space is available, in accordance with our Trust responsibility (see MBPM-6).
  • To acquire a non-releasable eagle for an aviary, an Acquisition and Transfer Request Form 3-202-12 is completed and submitted with a vet letter to the Migratory Bird Permit Office.
  • An Acquisition and Transfer Request Form is also used to notify us if an eagle dies.


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?


Application Fee

  • $0


Native American Tribal Agency or Organization - Federally Recognized
Native American Tribal Member or Agency - Federally Recognized
Native American Tribal Governments - Federally Recognized
ePermit ID