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Delaware General AssemblyDelaware RegulationsAdministrative CodeTitle 730003900 Wildlife

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3900 Wildlife


14.0 Falconry

(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §103(d))

14.1 Federal Regulations Adopted.

It shall be unlawful for any person to practice the sport of falconry, except in such a manner as prescribed by regulations promulgated under provisions of 50 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) §§ 21.29 and 21.30. The Federal regulations are hereby made part of the regulations of the Department as prescribed in § 725 of Title 7. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the federal regulations governing falconry shall be superseded by more stringent restrictions prescribed by law or regulation of the Department.

14.2 Permits.

14.2.1 A resident wishing to practice falconry shall apply to the Division for a falconry permit. To be issued a falconry permit, the person shall successfully pass a written test and have their facilities and equipment inspected by Division staff or an appointed Master Falconer to ensure that they meet the standards as prescribed by the federal regulations.

14.2.2 A nonresident falconer who possesses a valid falconry permit issued by any other state listed in 50CFR21.29 may possess, import, export, or transport migratory birds of the orders Accipitriformes, Falconiformes, and/or Strigiformes held under the authority of such a permit in Delaware.

14.2.3 No additional falconry permit shall be required for a non-resident falconry permit holder to practice falconry in Delaware.

14.2.4 Falconers who take up residence in Delaware shall have 60 days to obtain a Delaware falconry permit. During this interim period, a current falconry permit issued by the previous state of residence shall be recognized for the purposes of legally practicing falconry in Delaware.

14.2.5 Falconry permits shall be effective, unless revoked, for a period of up to three years and coincide with the license period for the hunting license.

14.3 Taking of Raptors.

14.3.1 It shall be unlawful for any person to take any birds of prey from the wild without a permit from the Division. Each capture permit will be limited to the taking of one bird of prey.

14.3.2 In 2012, and each year thereafter until changed, the Division may allow the taking of a total of 12 birds of prey from the wild in Delaware. Upon request, the Director shall propose a revised annual limit on the number of raptors which may be taken from the wild and shall appear before the Council on Wildlife and Freshwater Fish to receive input on such limit before its revision or adoption.

14.3.3 Falconers may possess wild caught raptors identified as state threatened or endangered under Regulation 16.0 and §602 of Title 7, provided they were acquired in Delaware prior to the species being listed, or if they were acquired from a state in which their take was legal.

14.3.4 The taking of eyas (nestling) birds shall be limited to red-tailed hawks and great horned owls on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from February 1 through July 15. No more than three (3) eyas red-tailed hawks or three (3) nestling great horned owls, or any combination thereof, may be taken during this period each year. Nonresident falconers may apply for available permits to take eyas raptors, provided the state in which the nonresident resides allows Delaware residents the reciprocal opportunity to remove eyas raptors.

14.3.5 Apprentices may only possess wild caught red-tailed hawks, red shouldered hawks, and wild captured American kestrels legally obtained from another state. Apprentices may not possess captive reared birds or hybrids.

14.3.6 The season for the taking of passage birds shall be from August 15 through March 31. Raptors in adult plumage must be released immediately at the site of capture. Nonresident falconers may apply to obtain any available permits to take passage raptors in Delaware, provided the state in which the nonresident resides has a reciprocal arrangement that permits Delaware residents to take passage raptors.

14.3.7 It shall be unlawful to remove raptors from private property without the express consent of the landowner. It shall also be unlawful for any person to remove raptors from State parks, State forests, State wildlife areas, State owned wetland mitigation sites, national wildlife refuges, nature preserves, natural areas, and county or local parks without written approval of the agency administering the property. The permit to remove a raptor from the wild must be in possession of the falconer when attempting to capture a raptor. Apprentice falconers must be under the direct supervision of the Apprentice’s sponsor or a Master or General class falconer when removing raptors from the wild.

14.4 Hunting.

14.4.1 Resident and nonresident falconers shall be properly licensed to hunt game in the State of Delaware as described under Chapter 5 of Title 7.

14.4.2 Falconry shall be a legal method of take for all game birds and game animals in Delaware. The hunting season for resident game shall be from September 1 through February 28.

14.4.3 A falconer whose raptor accidentally kills wildlife during a closed season for such wildlife shall leave the dead wildlife where it lies, except the raptor may feed upon the wildlife before leaving the site of the kill, provided that the wildlife shall not be reduced to possession by the falconer.

14.5 Transition period. These regulations shall take effect on January 1, 2014. Until that time, falconers shall abide by regulation 3914 as it existed on January 1, 2013. On and after January 1, 2014, all permitted falconers shall comply with these new regulations as they appear here.

3 DE Reg. 289 (8/1/99)

3 DE Reg. 1738 (6/1/00)

6 DE Reg. 536 (10/1/02)

17 DE Reg. 238 (08/01/13)


Last Updated: March 26 2021 18:31:24.
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