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Migratory Bird Protection


The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. §§ 703–712) was enacted to implement the convention for the protection of migratory birds between the United States and Great Britain (acting on behalf of Canada). The law makes it unlawful to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill or sell migratory birds. The law does not distinguish between live or dead birds and also grants full protection to any bird parts including feathers, eggs and nests. Narrow exceptions to the act, known as the eagle feather law, are enacted in Federal regulations to regulate the taking, possession, and transportation of bald eagles, golden eagles, and their "parts, nests, and eggs" for "scientific, educational, and depredation control purposes; for the religious purposes of American Indian tribes; and to protect other interests in a particular locality." Enrolled members of Federally recognized tribes may apply for an eagle permit for use in "bona fide tribal religious ceremonies."

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