When it comes to dealing with birds in Kansas, it's essential to understand the laws and regulations that protect these creatures. Whether you’re a homeowner, farmer, or bird enthusiast, knowing the legal framework can help you navigate potential issues responsibly and ethically. This is an overview of bird laws in Kansas, but please note that this is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For specific legal advice, please consult a qualified attorney.

Federal Protections

Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA): The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 is a federal law that protects over 1,000 species of migratory birds. Under the MBTA, it is illegal to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill, or sell birds listed as protected. This includes not only the birds themselves but also their parts, nests, and eggs. Violations of the MBTA can result in severe penalties, including fines and imprisonment.

Endangered Species Act (ESA): The Endangered Species Act provides additional protection for bird species that are listed as threatened or endangered. In Kansas, this includes species like the Piping Plover and the Snowy Plover. The ESA prohibits the "take" of listed species, which includes harming, harassing, or killing these birds.

Kansas State Laws

Kansas Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act: This state law complements federal protections by safeguarding bird species that are considered endangered or threatened within Kansas. The law aims to conserve these species and their habitats, preventing further decline.

Permits and Regulations: If you need to handle birds for research, rehabilitation, or other specific purposes, you must obtain the appropriate permits from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism (KDWPT). Activities such as banding, capturing, or relocating birds typically require authorization to ensure compliance with state and federal laws.

Common Issues and Legal Considerations

  1. Dealing with Nuisance Birds: Homeowners and businesses sometimes face issues with nuisance birds, such as pigeons or starlings. While it’s tempting to remove or harm these birds, remember that many species are protected under federal law. Non-lethal deterrents and exclusion methods are generally recommended. If a bird problem becomes unmanageable, consider consulting a professional wildlife control service that operates in compliance with legal standards.

  2. Bird Nest Removal: Before removing any bird nests, it’s crucial to identify the species. Nests of many bird species are protected, and disturbing them without proper authorization can lead to legal repercussions. If you find a nest in an inconvenient location, contact local wildlife authorities for guidance on how to proceed legally.

  3. Hunting Regulations: Hunting certain bird species is allowed in Kansas, but strict regulations govern this activity. Hunters must obtain the necessary licenses and follow seasonal guidelines set by the KDWPT. Hunting migratory game birds also requires compliance with federal regulations under the MBTA.

Conservation Efforts and Community Involvement

  1. Habitat Conservation: Kansas is home to diverse bird habitats, from wetlands to prairies. Conservation efforts focus on protecting these areas to support bird populations. Participating in or supporting local conservation initiatives can help preserve these vital ecosystems.

  2. Bird Watching and Education: Engaging in bird watching and educational programs can foster a deeper appreciation for Kansas’ wildlife. Many local organizations offer birding tours and workshops, promoting awareness and stewardship of bird species and their habitats.

  3. Reporting Violations: If you witness illegal activities involving birds, such as poaching or nest destruction, report them to the appropriate authorities. The KDWPT and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have hotlines and online resources for reporting violations.



This guide is intended to provide a general overview of bird laws in Kansas and does not constitute legal advice. Laws and regulations can change, and their application can vary based on specific circumstances. For legal advice tailored to your situation, please consult a qualified attorney or contact local wildlife authorities.

By understanding and respecting bird laws, you can contribute to the conservation of Kansas’s rich biodiversity while ensuring that you remain in compliance with legal standards.