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Laws Regarding Our Most Popular Patron (a.k.a. The Cooper’s Hawk)

If you’ve been following the updates on the Library of Congress blog regarding the Cooper’s Hawk, you may know that she’s caused a lot of excitement around here.  Especially the news that the hawk has been rescued!  Along with the list of resources provided by the Humanities and Social Sciences Division, I’d thought I’d point out some federal laws that cover the Cooper’s Hawk.

The Cooper’s Hawk is protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, July 3, 1918, ch. 128, 40 Stat. 755 (seen at right). The Act makes it “unlawful to

Migratory Bird Treaty Act (1918)

  • hunt,
  • take,
  • capture,
  • kill,
  • attempt to take,
  • capture or kill,
  • possess,
  • offer for sale,
  • sell,
  • offer to purchase,
  • purchase,
  • deliver for shipment,
  • ship,
  • cause to be shipped,
  • deliver for transportation,
  • transport,
  • cause to be transported,
  • carry or cause to be carried by any means whatever,
  • receive for shipment,
  • transportation or carriage,
  • or export,

at any time or any manner, any migratory bird” except as permitted by regulations. Got all that? The Migratory Bird Act is codified at 16 U.S. Code § 703 et seq.

The Migratory Bird Act was amended in 1998 (by the Migratory Bird Treaty Reform Act of 1998, Pub. L. 105-312, Title I, 112 Stat. 2956) and in 2004 (by the Migratory Bird Treaty Reform Act of 2004, Pub. L. 108-447, Div. E., Title I, § 143, 118 Stat. 3071).  Regulations regarding the Cooper’s Hawk can be found in Title 50 covering Wildlife and Fisheries of the Code of Federal Regulations at 50 C.F.R. 10.13 (List of Migratory Birds) and 50 C.F.R. 21.29 (Falconry Standards and Falconry Permitting).

And if you are just interested in naming the hawk, you can add your suggestion on Twitter.

Update on February 9, 2011: The Cooper’s Hawk has been released into the wild.

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