If a nest has eggs or baby birds, leave it alone or face a citation

Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - 11:30am


If a nest has eggs or baby birds, leave it alone or face a citation 


SALT LAKE CITY — While bird species that nest in the eaves of buildings may seem like a nuisance, it’s unlawful to disturb nests that have eggs or baby birds, and you can be cited for doing so.


On June 29, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources received a call from a concerned individual about a net covering a bird nest in the eaves of a business in Lehi. The caller had seen several American kestrel (North America’s smallest falcon species) nestlings earlier in the week and then later noticed someone had installed a net over the nest. When DWR conservation officers responded, they discovered the net was separating three baby birds from their parents. Two other nestlings had died, but officers weren’t sure if it was a result of being trapped by the net.


“The parents couldn’t get in to the nest, and the juveniles couldn’t get out, which means the baby birds were going to die,” DWR Sgt. Sean Spencer said. “That’s definitely a problem.”


Due to the height of the building and the nest location, the Lehi Fire Department was contacted to help remove the net and the nest. The three living baby birds were rescued and were able to fly away.   


Conservation officers are still investigating, and the person responsible for placing the netting could be cited. Baby birds and nests with eggs are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. 


“People are welcome to prevent birds from nesting on or in their homes, but you have to do it before nesting season begins,” Spencer said. “If you have a bird that is nesting and there are eggs or baby birds in the nest, you need to wait until after the baby birds have left the nest in order to remove it and to prevent future nesting. It isn’t a long time frame, so just be patient.”


If a bird appears to be injured, you can call a DWR office for more information on what to do.


If you find a baby bird with feathers that is outside of its nest or away from its parents, leave it alone. It is close to flying and can fend for itself. If the bird doesn’t yet have feathers, place it back in its nest and then leave it alone. Don’t attempt to feed it. Visit the DWR website for more details on what to do if you find a baby bird or duck.


Permits for several deer, elk hunts available beginning July 16 and 18


SALT LAKE CITY — If you missed the application period for general-season bull elk and general-season buck deer permits and are  still interested in hunting deer or elk this fall, your last chance to buy a permit begins next week.


All the general-season bull elk permits — including the multi-season general bull elk permits — will be available beginning at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, July 16. The general-season bull elk permits allow hunters to harvest a bull elk using a muzzleloader or any legal weapon. The permits are available online, from a Division office or from any license agent on a first-come, first-served basis. There are 15,000 spike bull elk permits and 15,000 any bull elk permits available. The general-season archery bull elk permits are unlimited. 


The general-season buck deer permits that remain after the big game drawing will be available beginning at 8 a.m. on Thursday, July 18. There are a total of 1,330 permits remaining, and they are available on a first-come, first-served basis. You can get more details about the permits (including which hunting units they are for and how many are available for each unit) on the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources website. While that DWR web page isn’t actively updated after the permits go on sale, you can see the remaining number of permits when you go online to purchase. 


Youth general-season archery deer permits will also become available at 8 a.m. on July 18. These permits are not left over from any type of drawing — they are set aside specifically for youth hunts each year. You must be 17 years old or younger on July 31 to purchase these permits. Details about the number of permits and the available units are also on the DWR website. 


There were no limited-entry big game permits remaining after the drawing this year.


How do I buy one of these permits?


People interested in buying a permit can purchase it online, at a DWR office or from any available license agent. However, because these permits go on sale beginning at 8 a.m., be sure to check the hours of your nearest available agent before traveling there. You can find all the license agents on the DWR website. 


New this year, there will be a virtual waiting room for those buying online, to better manage the pressure of the high volume of people wanting to buy permits. If a customer refreshes or navigates away from the queue page, they may lose their spot in line and have to start over. 


“If you happened to miss the big game drawing or were unsuccessful, this is your last opportunity to hunt big game this fall,” DWR wildlife licensing coordinator Lindy Varney said. “Also, don’t forget that you can mentor a youth during these hunts, and it’s a great opportunity to pass on your love of the outdoors to the next generation.” 


Make sure to familiarize yourself with the 2019 Big Game Application Guidebook before you start scouting and planning your hunt for the fall. It can be found online, along with the Big Game Field Regulations.