Here, we fetch up California nongame bird hunting regulations, including American crow, English sparrows, starling, blackbirds, and more. We bring them back by Topic and Regulations, and drop links to the text and our pages with definitions, seasons, limits, and practically everything else you need for success.
Warning shots!! Also, see our pages with hunter-friendly summaries of additional rules applicable to all Birds and only Migratory Game Birds and individual Species. Second, also see our pages of federal rules from the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for all migratory birds, including American Crow. Third, there might be other rules and regulations that apply, like criminal laws from the Penal Code and county ordinances. Fourth, always check the Fish & Game Commission website for any updates or additional rules. While the contents of this page is not legal advice, feel free to ask our Legal Labrador for help.
- Aircraft (prohibits), see 50 CFR § 20.133, 14 CCR § 485 [prohibits], and Take.
- Archery (allows for crow), see 50 CFR § 20.133 [hunting], 14 CCR § 472 [property damage] and 14 CCR § 485 [hunting], and Take.
- Bag Limits, see 50 CFR § 20.133 [per State rules], 14 CCR § 472 [sparrow and starling], and 14 CCR § 485 [crow]
- Birds (blackbirds, cowbirds, grackles, magpies), see 50 CFR § 21. 43, and Crows, Health Hazards, Property Damage, Sparrows, and Starling.
- Calls (electronic and recorded), see FGC § 3012 [allows], 14 CCR § 475 [restricts to crow and starling], and Take.
- Crows, see 50 CFR § 20.133 [methods], 14 CCR § 472 [prevent property damage], 14 CCR § 475 [calls], 14 CCR § 485 [seasons], and Take.
- Export, see 50 CFR § 20.133.
- Falconry, see 50 CFR § 20.133 [per State rules], 14 CCR § 472 [prevent property damage], 14 CCR § 485 [for hunting crow], and Take.
- Firearms, see 50 CFR § 20.133 [crows], 14 CCR § 472 [prevent property damage], 14 CCR § 475 [lead ammo], 14 CCR § 485 [shotguns for hunting crow], and Take.
- Health Hazards, see 50 CFR § 21. 43 and 14 CCR § 472.
- Import, see 50 CFR § 20.133.
- Night hunting, see FGC § 3000 and Take.
- Poison, see 14 CCR § 475 [prohibits] and Take.
- Possession Limits, see 50 CFR § 20.133 [per State rules] and 14 CCR § 485 [crow].
- Prizes & Contests, see 14 CCR § 472 [prohibits].
- Property Damage, see 50 CFR § 21. 43 and 14 CCR § 472.
- Shooting Hours, see FGC § 3000 and Take.
- Sparrows, see 14 CCR § 472 [bag and possession limits] and Take.
- Starling, see 14 CCR § 472 [bag and possession limits], 14 CCR § 475 [calls], and Take.
- Take, see 50 CFR § 20.133 [methods], 14 CCR § 472 [allows per Section 485], 14 CCR § 475 [prohibits and restricts], 14 CCR § 485 [crow], Aircraft, Archery, Calls, Falconry, Firearms, Night Hunting, Poison, Shooting Hours, Toxins, Traps, and Waste.
- Toxins, see 14 CCR § 472 [property damage] and Take.
- Transport, see 50 CFR § 20.133.
- Traps, see 14 CCR § 475 [restrictions] and Take.
- Waste, see 14 CCR § 485 [retrieval and possession] and Take.
Here, we retrieve a list of federal and California nongame bird hunting regulations. We fetch them for migratory nongame birds from Title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (50 CFR §), and all nongame birds from the California Fish and Game Code (FGC §) and Title 14 of the Code of Regulations (14 CCR §). For each, we provide a summary and drop a link to the actual text.
- 50 CFR § 20.133 generally allows take, possession, transport, export, and import of crows in accordance with California law; restricts hunting methods to firearms, archery, and falconry; and prohibits use of aircraft.
- 50 CFR § 21.43 generally allows private citizens to kill certain blackbirds, cowbirds, crows, grackles, and magpies without a federal permit to (a) prevent health hazards and property damage (e.g. crops, livestock feed, and structures) and (b) protect species endangered or threatened under federal, State, or tribal laws; requires (i) initial use of nonlethal methods (e.g. flagging), (ii) requires use of nontoxic shot with firearms, (iii) compliance with inspections, (iv) euthanasia methods, and (v) annual reports; and prohibits sale of birds or bird parts.
- FGC § 3000 generally prohibits night hunting.
- FGC § 3005 generally prohibits use of a cage, net, poisonous substance, pound, set line or wire, or trap–and possession of a bird or mammal so taken–except (a) lawfully taken furbearing mammals, nongame birds, nongame mammals, and mammals causing property damage (e.g. crops) or (b) with a CDFW permit.
- FGC § 3012 allows use of bird calls and sounds or imitation sounds that are recorded or electrically amplified.
- 14 CCR § 251.1 generally prohibits animal harassment, as it defines, herding, and driving game birds, game mammals, furbearing mammals, nongame birds, and nongame mammals except landowners to prevent property damage (e.g. crops). __add to topics
- 14 CCR § 472 (a) generally prohibits take of nongame birds except (i) American Crow per Section 485 and (2) unlimited annual take of English sparrow and starling; (b) prohibits contests, tournaments, and derby prizes for nongame birds; allows take of American crow; generally allows landowners to kill American crow to prevent property damage, health hazards, and other nuisances, but only with a firearm, bow and arrow, falconry or certain toxins.
- 14 CCR § 475 generally allows any manner of take, but (a) prohibits poison, (b) prohibits recorded and electronically amplified calls except for American crow and starling, (c) restricts use of traps, and (d) requires nonlead firearm ammo.
- 14 CCR § 485 (a) sets seasons, bag limits, possession limits, and hunting zones; (b) restricts seasons and take to use of shotguns no larger than 10-gauge capable of holding no more than three shells, archery, and falconry; (c) requires reasonable effort to avoid waste by retrieving dead and crippled birds and maintaining possession until reaching a legal destination.
- 14 CCR § 670(c) to engage in falconry, as it defines, requires (a) a falconry license and permit from the CDFW, as it provides; (b) compliance with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; (c) compliance with regulations for hunting for species of upland game birds, migratory game birds, resident small game mammals, nongame birds, and nongame mammals, including licenses, seasons, bag and possession limits, and hawking hours.
50 CFR § 20.133
Hunting regulations for crows.
(a) Crows may be taken, possessed, transported, exported, or imported, only in accordance with such laws or regulations as may be prescribed by a State pursuant to this section.
(b) Except in the State of Hawaii, where no crows shall be taken, States may by statute or regulation prescribe a hunting season for crows. Such State statutes or regulations may set forth the method of taking, the bag and possession limits, the dates and duration of the hunting season, and such other regulations as may be deemed appropriate, subject to the following limitations for each State:
(1) Crows shall not be hunted from aircraft;
(2) The hunting season or seasons on crows shall not exceed a total of 124 days during a calendar year;
(3) Hunting shall not be permitted during the peak crow nesting period within a State; and
(4) Crows may only be taken by firearms, bow and arrow, and falconry.
FGC § 3012
See FGC § 3012.
14 CCR § 475
Methods of Take for Nongame Birds and Nongame Mammals.
Nongame birds and nongame mammals may be taken in any manner except as follows:
(a) Poison may not be used.
(b) Recorded or electrically amplified bird or mammal calls or sounds or recorded or electrically amplified imitations of bird or mammal calls or sounds may not be used to take any nongame bird or nongame mammal except coyotes, bobcats, American crows and starlings.
(c) Fallow deer, sambar deer, axis deer, sika deer, aoudad, mouflon, tahr and feral goats may be taken only with the equipment and ammunition specified in Section 353 of these regulations.
(d) Traps may be used to take nongame birds and nongame mammal only in accordance with the provisions of Section 465.5 of these regulations and sections 3003.1 and 4004 of the Fish and Game Code.
(e) No feed, bait or other material capable of attracting a nongame mammal may be placed or used in conjunction with dogs for the purpose of taking any nongame mammals. Nothing in this section shall prohibit an individual operating in accordance with the provisions of Section 465.5 from using a dog to follow a trap drag and taking the nongame mammal caught in that trap.
(f) The take or attempted take of any nongame bird or nongame mammal with a firearm shall be in accordance with the use of nonlead projectiles and ammunition pursuant to Section 250.1 of these regulations.
14 CCR § 485
(a) Shotgun, Falconry, and Archery Seasons, and Bag and Possession Limits.
Season: The first Saturday in December and extending for 124 consecutive days
(2) Daily Bag and Possession Lmits
Bag Limit: 24 crows per day
Possession Limit: double the daily bag limit
(3) Area: Statewide: see closure area (d) below
(b) Crows may only be taken by shotguns 10 gauge or smaller using shot shells only and incapable of holding more than three shells in the magazine and chamber combined, bow and arrow, and falconry. The take or attempted take of any crows with a firearm shall be in accordance with the use of nonlead projectiles and ammunition pursuant to Section 250.1. Crows may not be hunted from aircraft.
(c) No person shall kill or cripple a crow pursuant to this section without making a reasonable effort to retrieve the bird, and retain it in their actual custody at the place where taken or between that place and either: (1) their automobile or principal means of land transportation; or (2) their personal abode or temporary or transient place of lodging; or (3) a migratory bird preservation facility; or (4) a post office; or (5) a common carrier facility.
(d) Crows may not be taken in the following areas:
(1) Within the boundaries of the Trinity and Mendocino National Forests south of Highway 36.
(2) North and east of a line beginning at the mouth of the Eel River; south along the Eel River to the town of Alton; east on Highway 36 from the town of Alton to Highway 89 west of Chester; south and east on Highways 89 and 395 to Interstate 15 near Hesperia; south on Interstate 15 to Interstate 10; and east on Interstate 10 to the California-Arizona border.
(e) See Section 472(d) for the take of American crows causing depredation.
While we try to fetch up all major California nongame bird hunting regulations, we might miss a few or make a typo. If so, please leave a comment or question in the reply box below.