A Migratory Bird Special Purpose Salvage permit (issued by USFWS) is required for dead migratory birds, bird parts (such as feathers), abandoned nests, and nonviable eggs to be taken from the wild for conservation education purposes. The purpose of this permit is to allow legal acquisition of wild specimens to be donated to educational facilities, such as museums, schools, and visitor’s centers. Possession for personal use is prohibited.
Permission to salvage can be authorized on your MBTA Scientific Collecting Permit, so that an additional permit is not needed. A banding permit for USGS authorizes the salvage of birds that are found dead or are accidentally killed during normal banding activities. If you are salvaging to expand your educational collection, this authorization can be added to an Education permit.
State permits for salvage may also be required.
Separate permits are available for salvaging birds associated with utility, tower, or other infrastructure (Utility permit).
Requirements and conditions for Special Purpose Salvage permits can be found here.
Instructions for preparing a salvaged sample for donation to a museum can be found here, in Appendix A to the Guide to the Use of Birds in Research.