Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act:

703. Taking, killing, or possessing migratory birds unlawful.

“…it shall be unlawful at any time, by any means or in any manner, to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill, attempt to take, capture, or kill, possess, offer for sale, sell, offer to barter, offer to purchase, deliver for shipment, ship, export, import, cause to be shipped, exported, or imported, deliver for transportation, transport or cause to be transported, carry or cause to be carried, or receive for shipment, transportation, carriage, or export, any migratory bird, any part, nest, or eggs of any such bird, or any product, whether or not manufactured, which consists, or is composed in whole or part, of any such bird or any part, nest, or egg thereof…”

California State Code:

3503. It is unlawful to take, possess, or needlessly destroy the nest or eggs of any bird, except as otherwise provided by this code or any regulation made pursuant thereto.

3503.5. It is unlawful to take, possess, or destroy any birds in the orders Falconiformes or Strigiformes (birds of prey) or to take, possess or destroy the nest or eggs of any such bird except as otherwise provided by this code or any regulation adopted pursuant thereto.

Title 14, Chapter 1, Section 251.1. Harassment of Animals

Except as otherwise authorized in these regulations or in the Fish and Wildlife Code, no person shall harass, herd or drive any game or non-game bird or mammal or furbearing mammal. For the purposes of this section, harass is defined as an intentional act which disrupts an animal’s normal behavior patterns, which includes, but is not limited to, breeding, feeding or sheltering. This section does not apply to a landowner or tenant who drives or herds birds or mammals for the purpose of preventing damage to private or public property, including aquaculture and agriculture crops.

San Francisco County Municipal Code:

Sec 5.08. It is unlawful to disturb birds.


To Report a Violation of These Laws:

To report bird harassment, killing, and/or destruction of bird nests:
California Department of Fish and Wildlife: (888) 334-2258
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northern California: (916) 414-6464
For advice on nesting birds or referrals for professional nest surveys:
Golden Gate Bird Alliance: (510) 843-2222
Monday and Wednesday, 9 am to 12 noon and 1 to 6 pm
To report destruction or harassments of birds or nests in San Francisco parks, or to report inappropriate trimming and nest disturbance in the city of San Francisco:
San Francisco Urban Forestry Division: Emergency Line 311
To report nest disturbance or inappropriate trimming in the coastal zone:
California Coastal Commission Enforcement Officer:  (562) 590-5223 

Return to general Tree Care and Bird Safety page.