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FAQs for the MBCA


Question:  Why are some species of migratory birds such as pelicans, cormorants, hawks and owls, protected under provincial and territorial legislation rather than under the MBCA?

Answer: In 1916, when the International Convention was signed, it enabled legislation to be enacted to protect migrating birds which were considered either useful or harmless to humans. At the time of the signing, there were several species of migrating birds which were excluded from protection under the MBCA due to their "undesirability" to humans. For example, Pelicans, cormorants, hawks and owls, to name a few, were once considered pests and subsequently left unprotected. These birds have since been recognized for their importance to both humans and the environment and have therefore become protected under provincial and territorial legislation.

Question: Where can I obtain a list of federally protected migratory birds?

Answer: View list of federally protected migratory birds

Question: Can I take an American Robin that died from natural causes over to a taxidermist for mounting and then keep the bird for display at home?

Answer: No, migratory insectivorous birds such as the American Robin are protected in Canada under the Migratory Birds Convention Act of 1994. You are not allowed to possess the bird unless so authorized by a permit issued by the Canadian Wildlife Service. Permits may be issued by the Canadian Wildlife Service to possess mounted birds for educational purposes.

Question: I often have trouble with mallards getting into my crop and causing damage prior to harvest. During the closed season, would I be within the law to use a shotgun to scare the birds away?

Answer: No, without a scare permit, you cannot use firearms to disperse migratory birds which are causing damage to crops. Scare permits are available from the Canadian Wildlife Service.

Question: Is a permit required to keep wild migratory game birds such as ducks and geese in captivity?

Answer: Yes, avicultural permits to possess live migratory game birds are required, and may be obtained from the Canadian Wildlife Service. Prior to being granted an avicultural permit, certain requirements must be met. Anyone who is interested in raising migratory game birds must contact the nearest office of the Canadian Wildlife Service for more information.