Chapter 3. Nongame Birds of California Fish And Game Code >> Division 4. >> Part 2. >> Chapter 3.

(a) All birds occurring naturally in California that are not resident game birds, migratory game birds, or fully protected birds are nongame birds. It is unlawful to take any nongame bird except as provided in this code or in accordance with regulations of the commission or, when relating to mining operations, a mitigation plan approved by the department.
  (b) (1) Mitigation plans relating to mining operations approved by the department shall, among other criteria, require avoidance of take, where feasible, and include reasonable and practicable methods of mitigating the unavoidable take of birds and mammals. When approving mitigation plans, the department shall consider the use of the best available technology on a site-specific basis.
  (2) Mitigation plans relating to mining operations approved by the department shall include provisions that address circumstances where mining operations contribute to bird deaths, including ponding of process solutions on heap leach pads and exposure of process solution channels, solution ponds, and tailing ponds.
  (3) The mine operator shall prepare a mitigation plan that shall be submitted to the department for approval. For ongoing mining operations, the mitigation plan alone or in conjunction with regulations adopted by the commission shall result in an overall reduction in take of avian or mammal species. The department shall provide an opportunity for public review and comment on each mitigation plan during the department's approval process. The mitigation plan shall be prepared on a site-specific basis and may provide for offsite mitigation measures designed to reduce avian mortality. The mine operator shall submit monthly monitoring reports on avian mortality to the department to aid in evaluating the effectiveness of onsite mitigation measures.
  (4) The mining operator shall reimburse the department for its direct costs to provide appropriate notice of the mitigation plan to affected local government entities and other affected parties. The mine operator shall provide the department a limited number of copies, as determined by the department, of the mitigation plan for public review.
  (c) The department shall monitor and evaluate implementation of the mitigation plan by the mine operator and require modification of the plan or other remedial actions to be taken if the overall reduction in take of avian or mammal species required pursuant to paragraph (3) is not being achieved.
Notwithstanding Section 3007 or any other provision of this code or regulations made pursuant thereto requiring the possession of a hunting license, a landowner or lessee or agent of either in immediate possession of written authority from the landowner or lessee, shall not be required to obtain a hunting license or a depredation permit to take the following nongame birds on land owned or leased by the landowner or lessee. Hunters otherwise taking the following nongame birds shall be licensed pursuant to Section 3007. The following nongame birds taken in compliance with this section may be taken and possessed by any person at any time, except as provided in Section 3000:
  (a) English sparrows (Passer domesticus).
  (b) Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).
Nongame birds not covered by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act which are found to be injuring growing crops or property may be taken by the owner or tenant of the premises. They may also be so taken by officers or employees of the Department of Food and Agriculture or by federal or county officers or employees when acting in their official capacities pursuant to the provisions of the Food and Agricultural Code pertaining to pests, or pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with Section 6021) of Chapter 9 of Part 1 of Division 4 of the Food and Agricultural Code. Landowners and tenants taking birds in accordance with this section are exempt from Section 3007.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this code or regulations made pursuant thereto, it is unlawful to possess the carcass, skin, or parts of any nongame bird. The feathers, carcass, skin, or parts of any nongame bird possessed by any person in violation of any of the provisions of this code shall be seized by the department and delivered to a California Native American tribal government or a scientific or educational institution, used by the department, or destroyed.
  (b) (1) It shall be an affirmative defense to a violation of this section if the possessor of feathers, carcass, skin, or parts of a nongame bird legally acquired the feathers, carcass, skin, or parts, possesses them for tribal, cultural, or spiritual purposes, and satisfies either of the following criteria:
  (A) The possessor is an enrolled member of a federally recognized Native American tribe or nonfederally recognized California Native American tribe listed on the California Tribal Consultation List maintained by the Native American Heritage Commission who has, in his or her immediate possession, valid tribal identification or other irrefutable proof of current enrollment.
  (B) The possessor has a certificate of degree of Indian blood issued by the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs in his or her immediate possession.
  (2) Nothing in this section allows any person to sell nongame bird feathers, carcasses, skins, or parts. Native Americans meeting the affirmative defense requirements may salvage dead nongame birds so long as the person salvaging these birds does not possess, nor is in the company of any person who possesses, a firearm, BB device as defined in Section 16250 of the Penal Code, trap, snare, net archery equipment, device capable of discharging a projectile, or any apparatus designed to take birds. Salvaging shall not take place by any person involved in the take of the nongame bird to be salvaged, any person present at the time of the take, or by any person who received related information originating from any person present at the time of the take of the nongame bird. Salvaging pursuant to this subdivision shall not take place if a bird has been struck with any thrown or discharged projectile, trapped, netted, caught, or snared.
  (c) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) and (b), any officer deputized pursuant to this code may interrupt any ongoing salvaging of dead nongame carcasses, feathers, skins, or parts if, in the officer's judgment, the activity causes a public disruption, safety hazard, or is detrimental to the ability of the department to prevent a possible violation of this section. The officer may seize any of the salvaged feathers, carcasses, skins, or parts and has the option of returning them to the general location from where they were salvaged.
The department may enter into cooperative contracts with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in the Department of the Interior in relation to the control or eradication of predatory birds, and for that purpose may expend any money made available to the department for expenditure for the control or eradication of predatory birds.
The department may take any individual bird, or birds of any species, that, in its opinion, are unduly preying upon any species of bird, mammal, reptile, amphibian, or fish.
In order to aid in relieving widespread waterfowl depredation of agricultural crops, the department may issue licenses under regulations which the commission may prescribe to permit the feeding of migratory game birds. The commission may prescribe an annual fee for the license.