Licence to Possess Birds of Prey

Under Section 41, Regulations were made in 1984 entitled the Wildlife Act, 1976 (Birds of Prey) Regulations,1984. These Regulations make the possession and use in falconry of birds of prey of the order Falconiformes subject to the granting of Licences in that regard and provides for a charge for such Licences. The Regulations also lay down the conditions under which a bird of the order Falconiformes may be taken from the wild or maintained.

Applications for Licences under the Regulations are made on a standard application form available from:

Wildlife Licence Unit
National Parks and Wildlife Service
Department of  Housing, Local Government and Heritage 
90 King Street North
Dublin 7
D07 N7CV

Download the Bird of Prey Licence(s) Application Form

Download the Out of State Falconry Application Form

The reminders are issued annually to existing licence holders for renewal purposes. Charges of €12.70 each in respect of (a) Licences to possess and (b) Licences to engage in Falconry, are levied, while no charge is made for licences to take a bird of prey from the wild. Licences to possess and to engage in falconry are assessed by local management based on information made available by the applicant in the application. In relation to first time applicants a visit to the applicant's premises takes place to determine that the applicant has an adequate knowledge of falconry and the accommodation is adequate and consistent with the requirements of the Regulations. The application together with an appropriate recommendation is returned to the NPWS Wildlife Licensing Unit and the decision made to grant or refuse the licence is made by an officer designated by the Minister to issue licences on his/her behalf.

Licences to take kestrels and sparrowhawks from the wild are assessed in a similar manner to the Falconry and possession applications. Applications to take are facilitated for these species as current demand does not pose any conservation threat to the status of the species.

All current Bird of Prey possession and falconry licences issued under the Wildlife Act 1976 (Birds of Prey) Regulations 1984 (Statutory Instrument No.8/1984) will expire on 31 January annually. It should be noted that it is an offence under the above regulations to be in possession of a bird of prey or to engage in falconry without a licence.

Further information can be found in our current Falconry Circular 1/2022