Title 27, Chapter 2, Section 17
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to trap, take, transport, or possess raptors for falconry purposes unless the person first procures, in addition to a valid hunting license, a valid falconry permit as provided in Code Section 27-2-23, provided that it shall not be unlawful for a nonresident to transport or possess raptors in this state for falconry purposes if the person has a nonresident hunting license, as provided in Code Section 27-2-23, and a falconry license or permit from the state of residence of the person, which state meets federal falconry standards.
(b) There shall be three classes of falconry permits: apprentice,
general, and master. Permittees shall comply with all standards,
requirements, and limitations applicable to each class as provided
in 50 C.F.R. Part 21, as now or hereafter amended. Prior to the
issuance of any falconry permit, the applicant shall be required to
answer correctly 80 percent of the questions on an examination
administered by the department relating to the basic biology, care,
and handling of raptors; the literature on raptors; and the laws and
regulations pertaining to raptors. Permits to take, transport, or
possess raptors shall be issued in accordance with the standards,
requirements, and limitations set forth in 50 C.F.R. Parts 17 and
21, as now or hereafter amended.
(c) It shall be unlawful for any person to trap, transport, or
possess a golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) unless authorized as
provided in 50 C.F.R. Part 22, as now or hereafter amended.
(d) It shall be unlawful for a falconer to sell, purchase, or barter
or to offer to sell, purchase, or barter any raptor to another
falconer unless the raptor is marked on the metatarsus by a
seamless, numbered band provided by the United States Fish and
Wildlife Service, as required by 50 C.F.R. Part 21.
(e) No raptor may be possessed under authority of a falconry permit
unless the permittee has a properly completed federal Form 3-186A
Migratory Bird Acquisition/Disposition Report for each bird
(f) A raptor may be transported or held in temporary facilities,
which shall be equipped with an adequate perch and protected from
extreme temperatures and excessive disturbance, for a period not to
exceed 30 days.
(g) Any person possessing raptors before July 1, 1992, in excess of
the number allowed by his falconry permit may keep the extra
raptors. All such raptors shall be identified by raptor markers
furnished by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and cannot
be replaced, nor can any additional raptors be obtained, until the
number possessed is at least one less than the total number
authorized by said permit.
(h) A person who possesses a lawfully acquired raptor before July 1,
1992, and who fails to meet the falconry permit requirements shall
be allowed to retain the raptors. All such birds shall be
identified with raptor markers furnished by the United States Fish
and Wildlife Service and cannot be replaced if death, loss, release,
or escape occurs.
(i) It shall be unlawful for any person to alter, counterfeit, or
deface a raptor marker furnished by the United States Fish and
Wildlife Service; provided, however, that persons possessing a
falconry permit may remove the rear tab and may smooth any imperfect
surface, as long as the integrity of the marker and numbering is not
(j) No permittee may take, purchase, or otherwise acquire, sell,
barter, transfer, or otherwise dispose of any raptor unless such
permittee submits a properly completed federal Form 3-186A Migratory
Bird Acquisition/Disposition Report to the issuing office of the
United States Fish and Wildlife Service and sends a copy of such
form to the department within five calendar days of such
(k) All persons applying for a falconry permit and all permitted
falconers shall, by application for said permit, be deemed to agree
to make their raptor housing facilities and falconry equipment
(including but not limited to mews, weathering areas, jesses,
leashes and swivels, bath containers, perches, and weighing devices)
available at reasonable times for inspection and certification as to
compliance with federal standards by authorized agents of the
department; provided, however, that no falconry permit may be issued
until the applicant's raptor housing facilities and falconry
equipment have been so inspected and certified.
(l) A falconry permittee shall obtain written authorization from the
department before any species not indigenous to Georgia is
intentionally released to the wild, at which time the released
bird's marker, if any, shall be removed and surrendered to the
department. The marker, if any, from an intentionally released bird
which is indigenous to Georgia shall also be removed and surrendered
to the department. A standard federal bird band shall be attached
to such birds by the department or by a federal bird bander
authorized by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, whenever
(m) A raptor possessed under authority of a falconry permit may be
temporarily held by a person other than the permittee only if that
person is otherwise authorized to possess raptors and only if the
raptor is accompanied at all times by a properly completed federal
Form 3-186A Migratory Bird Acquisition/Disposition Report
designating the permittee as the possessor of record and by a signed
and dated statement from the permittee authorizing the temporary
(n) Feathers that are molted or those feathers from birds held in
captivity that die may be retained and exchanged by permittees only
for imping purposes.
(o) It shall be unlawful for apprentice falconers to take young
raptors not yet capable of flight (eyasses). General or master
falconers may take such birds only between May 1 and June 30,
provided that no more than two such birds may be taken by any
permittee during this period.
(p) First-year (passage) raptors may be taken by permittees only
from September 1 through December 31.
(q) Marked raptors may be retrapped at any time by holders of valid
(r) Only American kestrels (Falco sparverius) and great-horned owls
(Bubo virginianus) may be taken when over one year old, except that
any raptor taken under a depredation (or special purpose) permit,
other than endangered or threatened species, may be used for
falconry by general and master falconers.
(s) It shall be lawful for a falconer meeting the requirements of
this Code section to take small game with raptors, provided that the
falconer observes the provisions of this Code section and the laws
and regulations regulating the taking of small game.
(t) Raptor propagation and activities associated with raptor
propagation are permitted in accordance with the provisions of 50
C.F.R. Part 21, as now or hereafter amended. No additional state
permit is required; provided, however, that all persons engaging in
such activities shall submit one copy of each federally required
report to the department at the time such report is submitted to
(u) Holders of Georgia falconry permits may transport the raptors
held under their permits within this state, may remove the raptors
from this state for meets, trials, and hunting in other states, and
may bring such raptors back into this state without obtaining a
Georgia importation permit; provided, however, that any person
transporting a raptor into another state shall obtain any permit or
license required for his activities by the state into which he
transports the raptor.
(v) A falconry permittee may import into this state a legally
acquired raptor without obtaining a Georgia wildlife importation
permit if a properly completed federal Form 3-186A Migratory Bird
Acquisition/Disposition Report shall accompany each raptor during
importation and the permittee complies with all applicable
requirements of the state of origin.
(w) It shall be lawful for a nonresident to take or attempt to take
raptors from the wild in this state if the nonresident has a valid
general or master level falconry permit from such person's state of
residence and a valid Georgia nonresident hunting license and if
such person's state of residence provides the same privileges to
residents of Georgia.