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Ornithology Exchange

USA: Scientific Collecting – Ornithological Council

Chris Merkord

A compilation of useful information provided by the Ornithological Council.


Scientific collecting permits are required for all birds, parts of birds, eggs, and nests for scientific research. This includes blood samples, feathers, stomach and crop contents, tissue samples, cloacal and tracheal swabs. However, blood and feathers can be collecting under a bird banding permit if the samples are to be taken in conjunction with banding. Specify, when applying for the banding permit, that you would also like to take blood and/or feather samples. If you are not planning to mark the bird, you must obtain a scientific collecting permit.

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