Last updated April 2023

Link to state website


Casey Reitz
Permit Specialist
MDNR, Wildlife Division
PO BOX 30444
Lansing, MI 48909-3744
Phone (517) 284-6210

Is a state permit required for banding?

Yes. The definitions in the circular issued by the Wildlife Division specify that the permit is required for “collection, possession/handling, transportation, or disposing of wild birds or wild mammals (living or dead or parts thereof). The application form has a specific section for banding.

Permit application forms

A Scientific Collector’s Permit is not required for the possession of carcasses of game animals, or parts thereof, lawfully taken in season under the authority of a hunting or trapping license. Such specimens may be used for research or educational purposes without the need for a Scientific Collector’s Permit.

A Scientific Collector’s Permit is not required for the possession of livestock, domestic birds or mammals, mammals not currently established in the wild in Michigan, and birds not currently established in the wild in North America.

State lands

Use permits generally are required to perform research in state parks and recreation areas when an individual or group wishes to conduct activities in state parks or recreation areas that would ordinarily be considered a violation of park rules and regulations

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.

Permittees may be required to notify certain Department personnel prior to engaging in authorized activities. For example, permittees authorized in the bird banding category are required to notify the DNR, District Law Enforcement Supervisor for the county in which such activity will take place, prior to engaging in such activity. Also, permittees in the research category who have been authorized to take specimens by shooting, are required to notify the District Law Enforcement Supervisor and the Wildlife Division, Management Unit Supervisor prior to such activity. The narrative of an approved permit will indicate if such notification is required. Policies

Endangered species

Michigan has a state endangered species statute (Michigan Compiled Laws; Natural Resources and Environmental Protect Act 451 of 1994; Part 365) R 299.1026 Birds

Rule 6. (1) The following bird species are included on the state list of endangered species:

  • Asio flammeus (Short-eared owl)
  • Asio otus (Long-eared owl)
  • Centronyx henslowii [Ammodramus henslowii] (Henslow’s sparrow)
  • Charadrius melodus (Piping plover)
  • Lanius ludovicianus migrans (Migrant loggerhead shrike)
  • Rallus elegans (King rail)
  • Tyto alba (Barn owl)

(2) The following bird species are included on the state list of threatened species:

  • Accipiter gentilis (Northern goshawk)
  • Antrostomus vociferus (Eastern whip-poor-will)
  • Bartramia longicauda (Upland sandpiper)
  • Canachites canadensis (Spruce grouse)
  • Chlidonias niger (Black tern)
  • Coccothraustes vespertinus (Evening grosbeak)
  • Corturnicops noveboracensis (Yellow rail)
  • Falco peregrinus (Peregrine falcon)
  • Gallinula galeata (Common gallinule)
  • Gavia immer (Common loon)
  • Hydroprogne caspia (Caspian tern)
  • Ixobrychus exilis (Least bittern)
  • Parkesia motacilla (Louisiana waterthrush)
  • Setophaga cerulea (Cerulean warbler)
  • Setophaga kirtlandii (Kirtland’s warbler)
  • Sterna forsteri (Forster’s tern)
  • Sterna hirundo (Common tern)
  • Vermivora chrysoptera (Golden-winged warbler)