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Bird Protections

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Migratory Bird Treaty Act

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) provides that it is unlawful to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill, possess, sell, purchase, barter, import, export, or transport any migratory bird, or any part, nest, or egg of any such bird, unless authorized under a permit issued by the Secretary of the Interior. This includes, but is not limited to, pursuing, tormenting, or wounding such individuals. If this treaty is broken and any protected bird is affected by human contact, the individual can face fines and possible imprisonment. This includes intentional and unintentional harassment resulting in the abandonment of an active nest with eggs and/or chicks.

Bald & Golden Eagle Act

In 1940, Congress passed a law to protect our national symbol, the Bald Eagle. This act made it illegal to possess, sell, hunt, or even offer to sell, hunt or possess bald eagles. This includes not only living eagles, but also their feathers, nests, eggs, or body parts. The act allows a person to possess or transport eagles or eagle parts obtained before the act was established. In 1962, the Golden Eagle was added to the act due to its close relation to the Bald Eagle. A person that violates the act can face up to a $10,000 fine and two years of imprisonment.

City of Longmont Expectation

Before doing any work, do a comprehensive check for any and all active bird nests within or adjacent to your work area. If you have active nests, determine if the species are protected or not (see reference section below). If birds are not protected work may proceed as normal. If the bird species is protected under MBTA, consult City of Longmont staff or Colorado Parks & Wildlife. Should you come in contact with a raptor nest, discontinue work in the area and provide a buffer zone between you and the raptor as recommended by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Unsure if you have a nest site or need help with species identification? Contact Parks,Open Space & Trails staff for consultation.

State of Colorado

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), provides recommended buffer zones and seasonal restrictions for Colorado raptors.

  • These guidelines can be found online at:
  • Information is also available by calling CPW at 303-291-7227

Indications of a Nest or Cavity

tree nestTree Nests can be found in all environments, urban and rural. These nests are built by a variety of different species including hawks and eagles.

There are also a great number of birds that are ground nesters. These are generally very difficult to locate due to their very camouflaged design. 

Many birds also use cavities in trees, as well as buildings as nest sites. These range from very large to very small cavities.mud nest

Mud Nests can be found under ledges of man made structures and cliff faces. These are used by swallows, one of Colorado’s migratory birds.


Colorado Parks & Wildlife

Buffer Zones & Seasonal Restrictions

Living with Wildlife

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Managing Birds and Their Habitat

 Download a printable brochure with all the information found on this webpage.


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