Last updated April 2023

Link to state website


Tina Jarvis
Permits Coordinator
MD DNR – Wildlife and Heritage Service
Tawes State Office Building, E-1
580 Taylor Ave.
Annapolis, MD 21401
Phone (410) 260-8540

Is a state permit required for banding?

In most cases, no.

The Ornithological Council has confirmed with Maryland DNR that: The only permit required to band migratory birds in Maryland is the federal bird banding permit. No additional state permit is required. By state regulation, any person holding a valid federal bird banding permit may also salvage birds killed or found dead as a result of their normal banding operations, and casualties from other causes, without a state permit provided those dead birds are donated to a public scientific or educational institution.

Any other form of marking (such as collars, patagial tags, transmitters, or nasal discs) would require a scientific collecting permit.

Of course, you should be sure your federal banding permit includes authority to salvage.

If your research activity does not involve scientific collecting, simply attach a project proposal and write “not applicable” with regard to all questions pertaining to scientific collecting. It is usually best to write a short, clear description of your project rather than attaching the long, detailed project proposal that you might have prepared as a grant application. State clearly what kinds of activities you will undertake, which species you intend to study, and the purpose for your study.

Permit application forms

  • Application Form
  • Renewal – same form
  • Threatened and Endangered – application here
  • Salvage – As above. If you have a valid federal banding permit (that includes authority to salvage) you do not need a separate permit to salvage birds, provided that the birds are donated to a public scientific or educational insititution. However, if you are doing any other kind of research i.e., not banding birds then you would need a state permit to salvage. Use the scientific collecting permit.

State lands

03 Wildlife Sanctuary or Wildlife Refuge.

A. Except by a use permit from the Service, on Service controlled lands and waters posted as “Wildlife sanctuary” or “Wildlife refuge” a person may not engage in or attempt to:

(1) Catch;
(2) Harass;
(3) Hunt;
(4) Intentionally disturb;
(5) Kill; or
(6) Pursue any wildlife.

B. Violation of any provision or restriction of the permit shall constitute a violation of this regulation.

Prior notice

Check permit conditions. Even if not expressly required to do so, you should always contact the manager of that particular state land unit or with the owner of private land before your arrival. You want to be aware of the hunting seasons, and, of course want to be sure that your activities will not interfere with the activities of that park, wildlife management area, or other state land unit, and that your activities will not adversely affect public use of the land or with the activities of private landowners.


Annotated Code of Maryland) §10-909 Scientific collection permit

Code of Maryland Regulations Title 8 (Department of Natural Resources) Subtitle 3 (Wildlife), Part 9 (Wildlife Possession), Subpart 06 Permit to Possess Protected Species of Wildlife Birds.

Endangered species

Maryland has a state endangered species law. The following species are  protected under that law:


Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis)
Short Eared Owl (Asio flammeus)
Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda)
Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus)
Wilson’s Plover(Charadrius wilsonia)
Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis)
Gull-bill Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica)
Mourning Warbler (Geothlypis philadelphia)
Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)
Black Rail (Laterallus jamaicensis)
Swainson’s warbler (Limnothlypis swainsonii)
Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger)
Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)
Royal Tern (Thalasseus maximus)


American bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus)
Rufa Red Knot (Calidris canutus rufa)
Nashville warbler (Oreothlypis ruficapilla)
Least tern (Sternula antillarum)

Remember to check the list – they change!