Nature, Uncategorized

Is It Illegal To Shoot A Robin? [Bird Hunting Laws]

If you are into hunting, you might search for the birds available around you for hunting. In some cases, a huge number of robins tend to invade and attack private property. They ruin crops, flowers, and plants in gardens.

It is illegal to shoot a robin anywhere; in the woods and on your property. Since they are not one of the game birds, their name is included in the protected list. Any person shooting robins without a permit can face legal actions against them.

The answer to the question still depends on the area you’re living in. We will take a quick look at the other bird species that are illegal to shoot.

Legalities Concerning Shooting Robins

It is illegal to shoot a robin. This bird species is protected by the law. The use of any weapon to shoot robins is considered a crime in many places.

It is illegal to shoot a robin as it falls under a law created in 1918. The main reason is that they are songbirds and not game birds. Robins are members of the suborder Passeri, which makes them songbirds. Along with the robins, all the members of this group are protected by the law.

Even if you use a weapon other than a gun to shoot robins, you will be charged for breaking the law. Other weapons include BB guns and pellet guns, which are air guns that shoot missiles. These weapons can take the lives of the robins, which is also an offense, as stated by the law.

Furthermore, other than just shooting robins in the air and on the ground, it is also illegal to shoot their nests and feathers. Shooting or damaging their nests would make it difficult for the robins to live peacefully. It may also damage their eggs or harm the hatchlings and the mother robins. Thus, it is not wise to keep shooting in the trees.

It is also illegal to shoot wild birds like robins to provide enough safety. It protects the public and maintains air safety. For example, it may save an aircraft passing by in the air.

Can You Shoot Robins On Your Property?

It is illegal to shoot robins even in private properties as shooting them as a whole is a crime. But if the robins are damaging property, getting a hunting permit would allow people to shoot robins in their properties.

Robins are the kind of birds that attack private property. They grab every opportunity to eat berries and may ruin a large proportion of the crops. It could stand as a major issue for farmers. In such a case, no ordinary person can shoot the robins. Even if they are on the grounds of your property, it is not legal to shoot them.

Most countries restrict this act as it may also harm the surroundings. Shooting near the residential area may cause accidents. You may accidentally shoot a person or their property if your aim’s not good. That will cause personal losses, which may not be possible to compensate with financial help.

In general, shooting outside the shooting range is a crime, and your properties do not fall within this range. Thus, the solution to this issue is the animal control team. Once you consult them, they will make arrangements to shoot the robins attacking private property. Another solution can be a hunting permit or a license to shoot birds.

Robins become more available and widely seen in autumn, winter, and early spring. Hence, instead of shooting them, you can only wait for the season to pass.


What Are The Consequences Of Shooting A Robin?

As mentioned earlier, the law protects robins with the help of a treaty. They fall under the US Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) that was signed between Canada and the United States in 1918.

When someone shoots a robin, they violate the law and are guilty of a federal offense. The person will have to spend a minimum of 60 days in jail. The number of days a person needs to suffer jail due to this reason may differ between countries. In some countries, they may even have to spend more than 100 days in jail.

For example, Iberville Parish Councilman Raheem T. Pierce spent a total of 120 days in jail. He was accused of shooting and eating ten robins. Although he was unaware that shooting robins is illegal, he had to face the consequences.

On the other hand, instead of suffering in jail, the hunter will have to pay a hefty sum of fines. Typically, they have to pay around $500. But in many other cases, the penalty is up to $1000, which is a large sum of money.


Is Shooting Migratory Birds Illegal?

Shooting almost all migratory birds is a federal offense. It is illegal as they are also protected by the law; they are on the protected list.

It is not illegal only when you shoot migratory birds. Capturing them, taking their feathers, or pursuing them is also illegal in many parts of the world. There are 1100 species of migratory birds, and most of them are under the law’s protection.

Some migratory birds include robins, great blue herons, white ibis, white pelicans, double-crested cormorants, and whooping cranes. They fly in formations during autumn and winter. Shooting them at that time of the year is a common mistake. Thus, everyone should have proper knowledge before hunting birds.

In contrast, some other migratory birds are not illegal to shoot. For example, snow geese are migratory birds, but it is not illegal to shoot them. Sandhill cranes are also migratory birds that look similar to whooping cranes, but it is legal to shoot them.


Game Birds: What Makes Them Different From Robins?

Game birds include the birds that are for sport and food. It indicates that it is not illegal to shoot these birds as they are for food and hunting activities.

As mentioned above, it is legal to shoot game birds in the forests and private properties. These birds grow in captivity, often for the constant source of proper food. They satisfy the starvation of many people in the world.

As stated by the Wildlife and Countryside Act, game birds include grouse, partridges, chukar, woodcock, ring-necked pheasant, fowl, ducks, and squab. Some other well-known games include turkeys, emu, ostrich, quail, wood pigeon, mourning dove, and geese. All of these birds are safe to consume.

Since game birds are not wild birds, they are not illegal to shoot. You may shoot these birds for sports like hunting and use them as a source of food. It is worth noting that robins are not game birds; they are songbirds and migratory birds.


As long as you are shooting game birds such as partridges, grouse, ducks, and pigeons, you should not worry about the consequences of breaking the law. Consider using a scarecrow or call an animal control team to scare away the robins. It will prevent the need to shoot them. Be sure to review the laws in your area.