Hi! Do you know anything about collecting/possessing found bird parts in Canada?
Canada has a law similar to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (US law), their law is the Migratory Bird Convention Act. It was created as part of the international treaty that created the MBTA and a similar law in Mexico.
Here is the official page for the MBCA.
A brief summary of the regulation:
"Except as authorized by the regulations, no person shall, without lawful excuse,
(a) be in possession of a migratory bird or nest; or
(b) buy, sell, exchange or give a migratory bird or nest or make it the subject of a commercial transaction.”
Specifically, the Migratory Bird Sanction Regulations (which enforce the MBCA) state (link is to the full regulations, below is a summary):
"no person shall
(a) disturb, destroy or take a nest, egg, nest shelter, eider duck shelter or duck box of a migratory bird, or
(b) have in his possession a live migratory bird, or a carcass, skin, nest or egg of a migratory bird
except under authority of a permit therefor.
(1) No person shall sell, expose for sale, offer for sale, trade, barter or buy migratory birds or the eggs, nests, carcasses or skins of migratory birds, except as authorized by these Regulations.
No taxidermist shall have in his possession the carcass of a migratory bird unless he has a permit issued by the Minister entitling him to have migratory birds in his possession for the purposes of taxidermy. “
Be sure to read the regulations if you are in Canada and are interested in migratory bird regulations. The permit it keeps referring to is either a hunting permit for game-birds harvested in season (though I imagine you can salvage a road-killed game bird in season if you have your licence and aren’t already at your limit)… or a research permit which is typically for museum collectors, museum staff and research scientists.
Many countries do not protect their migratory birds. While these laws are frustrating to people who want to collect ethically and want to preserve and remember the life of an individual bird… they do ensure that migratory birds are able to exist.
National Geographic investigated the state of migratory birds in other parts of the world where regulations do not exist or are not enforced- specifically the Mediterranean region of the world.
I highly recommend reading the article which is available here (warning: there are pictures of distressed, trapped and dead birds in the photo gallery, but only one on the article’s main page).
This is why I have been super excited about volunteering with a Lights Out program, that I am allowed in the District of Columbia to possess migratory birds. Obviously, all I do is photograph them, pick them up, note the location and time found, identify them, and put them in a freezer until delivering them to other volunteers who in turn deliver them to the Smithsonian NMNH. (The shutdown cancelled our visit to the museum to deliver last year’s collected birds. I hate you, Tea Party.) But it’s the first time I’ve seen so many of these species and the closest for now that I’ll get to them. I didn’t fully appreciate the tail feathers of Northern Flickers, or the size and delicacy of thrushes, and didn’t know that a Woodcock is also called a timberdoodle(!!!) l until I held each of those in my hands.
Not that that’s the only way to appreciate these animals, or the only way to learn about them. But it’s certainly enlightening and inspiring, and if any of these don’t find a use for research, I hope they can be specimens used for education, to show and let people get close and look and touch.