OF OFFENCES AGAINST PUBLIC POLICY.
AN ACT FOR THE PROTECTION OF BIRDS AND THEIR NESTS AND EGGS.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:
Section 1. No person shall, within the State of Delaware, kill or catch or have in his or her possession, living or dead, any wild other than a game bird, nor shall purchase, offer, or expose for sale any such wild bird after it has been killed or caught.
For the purposes of this Act, the following only shall be considered game birds: The Anatidae, commonly known as swans, geese, brant and river and sea ducks; the Rallidae, commonly known as rails, coots, mud-hens and gallinules; the Limicolas, commonly known as shore birds, plovers, surf birds, snipe, woodcock, sandpipers, tatlers and curlews; the Gallinae, commonly known as wild turkeys, grouse, prairie chickens, pheasants, partridges and quails; also the reed birds of the Icteridae.
Section 2. No person shall, within the State of Delaware, take or needlessly destroy the nests or eggs of any wild bird, nor shall have such nests or eggs in his or her possession.
Section 3. Any person who violates any of the provisions of this Act shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be liable to a fine of five dollars for each offense, and an additional fine of five dollars for each bird, living or dead, or part of bird, or nest or eggs possessed in violation of this Act, or to imprisonment for ten days, or both, at the discretion of the court.
Section 4. Sections I, 2 and 3 of this Act shall not apply to any person holding a certificate giving the right to take birds and their nests and eggs for scientific purposes, as provided for in Section 5 of this Act.
Section 5. Certificates may be granted by the Associate Judge resident in each county, or by any incorporated society of natural history in the State, through such persons or officers as said society may designate, to any properly accredited person of the age of fifteen years or upward, permitting the holder thereof to collect birds, their nests or eggs, for strictly scientific purposes only. In order to obtain such certificate, the applicant for the same must present to the person or persons having power to grant said certificate, written testimonials from two well-known scientific men, certifying to the good character and fitness of said applicant to be entrusted with such privilege; must pay to said persons or officers one dollar to defray the necessary expenses attending the granting of such certificates; and must file with said persons or officers a properly executed bond, in the sum of two hundred dollars, signed by two responsible citizens of the State as sureties. This bond shall be forfeited to the State, and the certificate become void, upon proof that the holder of such a certificate has killed any bird, or taken the nest or eggs of any bird, for other than the purposes named in Sections 4 and 5 of this Act, and shall be further subject for each such offense to the penalties provided therefor in Section 3 of this Act.
Section 6. The certificates authorized by this Act shall be in force for one year only from the date of their issue, and shall not be transferable.
Section 7. The English or European house sparrow (Passer domesticus), the red wing blackbird, the purple grackle, sometimes known as the crow blackbird, are not included among the birds protected by this Act; nor shall this Act prohibit any person from killing any bird on his own premises, when in the act of destroying his grain, fruit, berries or poultry; such birds so killed shall not be offered for sale.
Section 8. The Governor is hereby authorized to set apart each year by proclamation one day to be designated as Arbor and bird day, and to request its observance by all public schools, private schools, colleges and other institutions, by the planting of trees and the adornment of the school and public grounds and by suitable exercises, having for their object the advancement of the study of arbor culture and promotion of the spirit of protection to birds and trees and the cultivation of an appreciative sentiment concerning them.
Section 9. All acts or parts of acts, heretofore passed, inconsistent with or contrary to the provisions of this Act, are hereby repealed.
Approved March 9, A. D. 1901.