Bird Banding Laboratory



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How to Apply for a Banding Permit - USA

A person who wants to apply for a banding permit should have a purpose or need to band birds. To apply for a Master permit, request an application form or click here to print. To apply for a sub-permit, the sub-permittee applicant should provide the following information to the Master bander found at this link (click here) ; this request must come directly from the Master bander.

Bird Banding Laboratory USGS-BRD 
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
12100 Beech Forest Road
Laurel, MD. 20708-4037

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Processing Permit Applications

Bird Banding Laboratory Procedures

Requests for banding permits are acknowledged by a form letter listing any additional information required and an application form. The application for a U.S. Federal Bird Marking and Salvage Permit is form 3-481.

If the applicant for a Master permit appears to be qualified, letters of inquiry are sent to persons listed as references. If favorable comments are received, and the applicant has demonstrated a valid need to band birds, as well as provided a plan showing how banding will serve the need and the skills to safely band birds, that person is issued a Federal Bird Marking and Salvage Permit.

Time Needed

At least 90 days should be allowed for the processing of a master permit application, and at least 30 days for a subpermit, with special provisions taking additional time.

Distribution of Permits from the Bird Banding Laboratory

The original permit goes to the bander and one carbon copy is retained in the Bird Banding Laboratory. In addition, listings of permittees are provided to each USFWS Regional Office, State Departments of Natural Resources and the appropriate Bird Banding Association. When applicable, the various USFWS offices keep the state natural resource agencies and regional law enforcement officials informed of pertinent permit actions.

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