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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
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Assistance from Wildlife Services State Offices

Wildlife Services provides technical assistance and direct management for starling and blackbird problems through WS State Offices. This includes assistance to communities, ranchers, municipal officials, farmers, and others.

To contact the Wildlife Services State Office for additional information and state-specific assistance recommendations related to blackbirds and starlings, click here to select your state.

Click here for the WS Factsheet, “Assistance to Dairy Farms and Facilities”

To contact your WS State Office, call 1-866-4USDAWS (1-866-487-3297)

Starlings are an invasive exotic species and are not protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and in most cases are not protected by State laws. Laws vary among states, so check with state wildlife officials before beginning a control program.

Blackbirds are afforded some protections by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and State wildlife agencies pursuant to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, State laws, and regulations. Pursuant to a Depredation Order (50 CFR 21.43) issued by the FWS, people are authorized to take some blackbird species including cowbirds, grackles and crows when they are involved in certain damage situations, without a Federal permit. State-issued permits may be required in some areas.

For bird species not listed in the Depredation Order, a Migratory Bird Depredation Permit must be obtained from the FWS, and State laws must be consulted and adhered to, prior to initiating actions to remove birds or handle their nests and eggs.

Migratory Bird Depredation Permit Application

Click here to learn more about FWS permits and the Federal laws and Treaties that relate to migratory birds.

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