It appears that my posting regarding finding the Barred Owl in Middlesex stimulated a rather interesting and multi-faceted conversation. I have many thoughts on the pros and cons of unpermitted people handling birds dead or alive, but I will try and focus my comments.
My posting was only about reporting dead birds of potential importance and relevance to those interested. I know it then stimulated a conversation about the legalities of moving, transporting, collecting certain birds
I think the various laws governing the transport, collection, of live and dead birds are quite valuable and mostly have helped immensely the difficultly our avian friends have in dealing with our harsh human world.
On the other hand, I am going to guess that many? some? of the birds of prey that are rehabilitated at various rehabilitation centers around the country got there because some good unpermitted person who happened to be in the right place at the right time assisted or moved a bird. I have heard in the past year alone at least three stories of people (unpermitted) who encountered birds of prey (one owl and two hawks) that had been struck by automobiles that were stunned, standing in the middle of highways. All of them moved the birds illegally out of harms way and watched (in one case for an hour!) until the birds flew off seemingly ok (at least enough to fly away).
My point is this. I don't want us to discourage anyone from assisting any bird to the degree they are capable.
I also do not want to encourage anyone to break the law
I have a permit to transport birds and since the 1960's have handled 100's of birds of prey. And yet I have seen people being trained locally who learn in just a few hours the basics of handling birds safely (for themselves and the birds).
I would suggest that those interested in assisting birds call VINS, Vermont Fish and Wildlife or other rehabilitators) to find out how they can get training to be permitted to assist, move, transport birds (dead or alive) to rehabilitators. Our avian friends can use all the help they can get.
Anyone at F&W or VINS reading this have thoughts?