Presented by the
Ornithological Council

Member organizations of the Ornithological Council

American Ornithologists' Union

Association of Field Ornithologists


Cooper Ornithological Society

Neotropical Ornithological Society

Pacific Seabird Group

Raptor Research Foundation

Society of Canadian Ornithologists ~ Société des Ornithologistes du Canada

Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds

The Waterbird Society

Wilson Ornithological Society
Page Last Updated
Sun, Jan 25, 2009

Contact Webmaster:
Robert.Curry @

© 1997-2009, The Ornithological Council, All Rights Reserved

DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript

State permit policies & procedures

Back to US State index



    Massachusetts Division of Wildlife and Fisheries:



    Bob Arini
    MA Department of Fisheries, Wildlife & Law Enforcement
    251 Causeway Street, Suite 400
    Boston, MA 02114-2151
    Phone (617) 626-1575

Is a permit required for banding?

Yes. See the application form, below, and the regulation:
(4) Categories of Permits. Permits which may be issued pursuant to G.L. c. 131, Sec. 4(2) may   include, but not be limited to, bird-banding, salvage, and scientific collecting permits, or letter permits incorporating specialized authorizations.

Permit application forms

  • Application Form - Scientific collecting: the current form available here or found here:

    However, the Ornithological Council learned in April 2009 that the application form will be revised in 2009, and scientists are advised to call Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife to request a permit application. We will post the new application form as soon as it is available.

    Banding: this permit application is not available online.

    The Ornithological Council has been informed that the application form is being revised. Scientists are advised to call Massachusetts Division of Wildlife and Fisheries to request a permit application. We will post the application form as soon as it is available.
  • Salvage - same form; specify that you plan to salvage

State lands

To be determined

Prior notice

Check permit conditions. Even if not expressly required to do so, you should always contact the manager of that particular state land unit or with the owner of private land before your arrival. You want to be aware of the hunting seasons, and, of course want to be sure that your activities will not interfere with the activities of that park, wildlife management area, or other state land unit, and that your activities will not adversely affect public use of the land or with the activities of private landowners.


321 Code of Massachusetts Regulations

Scientific collecting and banding

02: Permits to Take or Possess.

(1) Definitions. For the purposes of 321 CMR 2.02, and unless the context requires otherwise, the following words shall have the following meanings:

    Board means the Fisheries and Wildlife Board established pursuant to M.G.L. c. 21, Sec. 7.

    Director means the Director of the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, with principal offices at 100    Cambridge Street, Leverett Saltonstall Building, Boston, MA 02202.

    Person means any named individual, partnership, corporation, whether profit or non-profit, firm, business, or other commercial or non-commercial entity, club, organization, or association.

(2) Authority of Director. In accordance with the provisions of M.G.L. c. 131, Sec. 4(2), the director may take or in writing authorize employees of the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife or other persons to take and possess fish, fish spawn, birds, the nest and eggs thereof, mammals, reptiles and amphibians at any time or in any manner for the purposes of observation, research, control or management, and, in his discretion, excuse certain persons so authorized from any licensing provision of M.G.L. c. 131.

(3) Scope. The provisions of 321 CMR 2.02 set forth certain special permits which may be granted pursuant to M.G.L. c. 131, Sec. 4(2) and establish procedures for the granting of special permits or exemptions to certain classes of persons. 321 CMR 2.02 does not apply to permits or licenses issued pursuant to other provisions of M.G.L. c. 131 or c. 131A.

(4) Categories of Permits. Permits which may be issued pursuant to G.L. c. 131, Sec. 4(2) may include, but not be limited to, bird-banding, salvage, and scientific collecting permits, or letter permits incorporating specialized authorizations. The director may establish reasonable standards and conditions for each category of special permit, consistent with the intent and purpose of the permit, and such standards and conditions shall be construed as limiting the authority of the permit to such extent. The director may further require a permittee to keep certain records or submit certain reports as a condition of the permit, or renewal thereof, and failure to keep or submit such records or reports, when required, may be cause for suspension, revocation, or non-renewal of the permit.

Threatened and Endangered Species
10.04: Taking and Possession of Species on State and Federal Lists

(1) Prohibitions. Except as otherwise provided in 321 CMR 10.04(2) and (3), no person may take, possess, transport, export, process, sell or offer for sale, buy or offer to buy, nor shall a common or contract carrier knowingly transport or receive for shipment, any plant or animal or part thereof on the state list or federal list; provided, however, that ownership, sale, or purchase of real property on which such plant or animal occurs is not prohibited.

(3) Permits for Taking and Possession of Species. Any violation of a permit is a violation of M.G.L. c. 131A, Sec. 2.
(a) Scientific and Educational Use Permits. The Director may in accordance with provisions of M.G.L. c. 131, Sec. 4 and c. 131A, Sec. 3 permit the taking, possession, purchase, sale, transportation, exportation or shipment of any species on the state list for scientific or educational purposes, including but not limited to scientific collecting, educational use, wildlife rehabilitation, salvage, or bird banding.

Listed bird species
Common Loon Gavia immer SC
Pied billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps E
Leach's Storm petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa E
American Bittern Botaurus lentiginosus E
Least Bittern Ixobrychus exilis E
Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus E
Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus T
Sharp shinned Hawk
Accipiter striatus SC
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus E
King Rail Rallus elegans T
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus SC
Piping Plover Charadrius melodus T
Upland Sandpiper
Bartramia longicauda E
Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii E
Common Tern Sterna hirundo SC
Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea SC
Least Tern Sternula antillarum SC
Barn Owl Tyto alba SC
Long eared Owl Asio otus SC
Short eared Owl Asio flammeus E
Sedge Wren Cistothorus platensis E
Golden winged Warbler Vermivora chrysoptera E
Northern Parula Parula americana T
Blackpoll Warbler Dendroica striata SC
Mourning Warbler Oporornis philadelphia SC
Vesper Sparrow Pooecetes gramineus T
Grasshopper Sparrow Ammodramus savannarum T
Henslow's Sparrow Ammodramus henslowii E