Skip to main content

Legal Resources to Help You Celebrate ‘International Migratory Bird Day’


Tomorrow, May 11, is International Migratory Bird Day.  In honor of this holiday, Nota Bene is proud to present this collection of resources as a reference when dealing with issues relating to migratory birds, and as a source of legal information to delight and amaze your friends.*

The United States first addressed the state of migratory birds with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, followed by the Migratory Bird Conservation Act of 1929.  Since then, a number of statutes have been passed to further enhance protections for migratory birds.  Updates to statutes and regulations, along with general information about migratory birds, are available from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

Local birdwatchers already know that Texas is a prime destination for birding.  For those interested in becoming birdwatchers, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has published guides on migratory birds and how to watch them.   

Birdwatchers may not be aware that laws protecting birds cover feathers as well as the birds themselves and their eggs.  Possessing even part of a protected bird is punishable by up to six months in jail and a $5,000 fine, as there is no way to distinguish a naturally shed feather picked up off of the ground from a feather plucked by a poacher.  The only exception is the Eagle Feather Law, which limits the taking of birds, feathers or eggs to persons licensed to use them in limited numbers for display in zoos, scientific research or Native American religious practices.  Other birdwatchers who might want a souvenir should either take a photograph or consider buying a Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, a/k/a the Federal Duck Stamp.

For those interested, it is illegal to hunt migratory birds on their holiday: Federal and Texas laws limit how and when one may hunt migratory birds, and no migratory birds are currently in season in Texas.  In honor of International Migratory Bird Day, avid hunters should bag themselves a Duck Stamp instead, since you can’t hunt migratory birds without one.

Have a safe and happy International Migratory Bird Day.

 
* Warning: not all friends are delighted and amazed by legal information.  Please use responsibly.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Spying and International Law

With increasing numbers of foreign governments officially objecting to now-widely publicized U.S. espionage activities, the topic of the legality of these activities has been raised both by the target governments and by the many news organizations reporting on the issue.For those interested in better understanding this controversy by learning more about international laws concerning espionage, here are some legal resources that may be useful.

The following is a list of multinational treaties relevant to spies and espionage:
Brussels Declaration concerning the Laws and Customs of War (1874).Although never ratified by the nations that drafted it, this declaration is one of the earliest modern examples of an international attempt to codify the laws of war.Articles 19-22 address the identification and treatment of spies during wartime.These articles served mainly to distinguish active spies from soldiers and former spies, and provided no protections for spies captured in the act.The Hagu…

Citing to Vernon's Texas Codes Annotated: Finding Accurate Publication Dates (without touching a book)

When citing to a current statute, both the Bluebook (rule 12.3.2) and Greenbook (rule 10.1.1) require a  practitioner to provide the publication date of the bound volume in which the cited code section appears. For example, let's cite to the codified statute section that prohibits Texans from hunting or selling bats, living or dead. Note, however, you may remove or hunt a bat that is inside or on a building occupied by people. The statute is silent as to Batman, who for his own safety, best stay in Gotham City.
This section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife code is 63.101. "Protection of Bats." After checking the pocket part and finding no updates in the supplement, my citation will be:
Tex. Parks & Wild. Code Ann. § 63.101 (West ___ ). When I look at the statute in my bound volume of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, I can clearly see that the volume's publication date is 2002. But, when I find the same citation on Westlaw or LexisNexis, all I can see is that the …