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U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act

The U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) makes it illegal to hunt or possess (own) native North American birds and their parts (eggs, nests, and feathers). Almost all native North American bird species are protected under this act, including birds that are not usually considered migratory. For example, chickadee species are not considered migratory, but are fully protected by the U.S. MBTA. This act also determines the North American bird species that can be hunted. These are mainly ducks and geese, some shorebirds, and pigeons and doves, many of which are migratory. The U.S. government allows hunting of less than 60 species of North American birds each year and most native North American birds are protected under this act.

Some birds that are not native to North America are also protected under this act because it is a cooperative agreement with other countries (Canada, Mexico, and Japan) to protect their native birds.

University of Michigan Museum of ZoologyNational Science Foundation

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BioKIDS is sponsored in part by the Interagency Education Research Initiative. It is a partnership of the University of Michigan School of Education, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, and the Detroit Public Schools. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DRL-0628151.
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