Last updated April 2023

Link to state website


NHC SCP/SRL Permit Coordinator
Program specialist
Bureau of Natural Heritage Conservation

 Is a state permit needed for banding?

Yes. The regulation provides “(b) Bird banding. Scientific collectors permits will be required for trapping and banding protected nonmigratory upland game birds.”

A Scientific Collector Permit is required to collect or possess non-threatened or endangered bird carcasses, nests or eggs for scientific purposes and to band protected (wild, not farm raised) nonmigratory upland game birds (Ring-necked Pheasant, Gray Partridge, Northern Bobwhite, Wild Turkey, Ruffed Grouse, Sharp-tailed Grouse and American Crow). If a federal migratory bird permit is required, it must be obtained before a Scientific Collector Permit can be issued. A Scientific Collector Permit is not required for banding under a Federal Bird Banding Lab permit, with the above exception for protected nonmigratory upland game birds.

A Scientific Research License is required to conduct research or monitoring of live non-threatened or endangered birds that includes capture and handling, except for banding under a Federal Bird Banding Lab permit. If a federal migratory bird permit is required, it must be obtained before a Scientific Research License can be issued.

Permit application forms

Note a regulatory exemption for endangered species permits: 

NR 27.06Exceptions to permit requirements.
(1)  Federal permits.
NR 27.06(1)(a)(a) Any person taking, transporting, possessing or selling any wild animal or wild plant included in the U.S. foreign and native endangered and threatened species list, but not included in the Wisconsin endangered or threatened species lists, does not need a state permit if such person has a federal permit authorizing such possession. Any person who was previously exempted from needing a permit and is required to have a permit under this section shall apply for and be issued a permit no later than October 1, 1990.

State lands

A separate permit is required for research and scientific collection
involving state natural areas. An application can be obtained by writing to or calling:

Department of Natural Resources
Bureau of Endangered Resources
Box 7921
Madison, WI 53707
Phone: (608) 266-7012

Additionally, property manager permission is required to conduct research or monitoring that includes capture and handling of birds on all other Wisconsin DNR property types (State Parks, State Wildlife Areas, State Fisheries Areas, State Forests, State Recreation Areas, Scenic Riverways, State Trails, etc.)

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.


Wisconsin Administrative Code Natural Resources Title NR 19.11 Scientific collectors permits and scientific research licenses.

Threatened and Endangered Species

An Endangered and Threatened Species Permit is required to take, export, transport or possess any threatened or endangered (not special concern) bird species, live or dead, on the Wisconsin Endangered and Threatened Species List for zoological, educational or scientific purposes, or for propagation in captivity for preservation purposes.

State listed Species as of June 2021:

Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus)
Black Tern (Chlidonias niger)
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)
Worm-Eating Warbler (Helmitheros vermivorum)
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)
Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)
Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps grisegena)
Yellow-Throated Warbler (Setophaga dominica)
Kirtland’s Warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii)
Forster’s Tern (Sterna forsteri)
Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)


Henslow’s Sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii)
Great Egret (Ardea alba)
Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda)
Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)
Yellow Rail (Coturnicops noveboracensis)
Acadian Flycatcher (Empidonax virescens)
Spruce Grouse (Falcipennis canadensis)
Kentucky Warbler (Geothlypis formosa)
Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron (Nyctanassa violacea)
Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea)
Hooded Warbler (Setophaga citrina)
Greater Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido)
Bell’s Vireo (Vireo bellii)