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What Birds are Legal to Own: A Complete Guide

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What Birds are Legal to Own? The legal birds to own are determined by the country or state you reside in. In the United States, certain species of birds are allowed as pets, whereas some are prohibited.

Birds are one of the most delightful creatures, and many people want to keep them as a pet in their homes. However, not all species of birds are legal to own, and restrictions may vary by state or country. The United States has different laws regarding pet birds, and the list of legal birds that can be kept as pets is determined by the government.

Owning endangered, migratory or certain species of birds is strictly prohibited. In this article, we will elaborate on the legal birds to own in us, the conditions to keep them and address some frequently asked questions about owning pet birds.

What Birds are Legal to Own: A Complete Guide


The Basics Of Owning Birds

Owning a bird is a unique and rewarding experience that requires special considerations. Knowing which birds are legal to own is essential, whether it’s a wild or domesticated bird. Domesticated birds can be raised in captivity, while wild birds cannot be kept as pets.

The process of acquiring a bird can vary depending on whether it’s a wild or domesticated bird. Wild birds require a special permit and often come from a rehabilitation centre. In contrast, domesticated birds can be easily purchased through a pet store or breeder.

It’s important to ensure that your living environment is suitable for your bird’s needs, such as providing a spacious cage and a balanced diet. Overall, owning a bird can be a fulfilling experience if done correctly.

Laws, Permits, And Regulations For Bird Ownership

Birds are popular pets for many people, but owning one isn’t a simple decision. Certain birds, particularly exotic species, necessitate special paperwork and legal requirements. Owning a protected bird without the proper permissions is illegal, resulting in serious consequences that have an impact on animal welfare and ecological systems.

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 provides comprehensive regulations for the preservation of endangered bird species throughout the us. Some local laws prohibit the ownership of particular breeds, while some states need additional permits that specify the number of birds one can keep.

Applicants must adhere to several strict conditions while obtaining permits and licenses, such as bird species, clean-up procedures, and living conditions. These laws and regulations, when followed correctly, can contribute to a happy and healthy life for your feathered friends.

Popular Domesticated Birds To Consider For Ownership

Owning birds as pets is a popular choice for many individuals. Each bird comes with its unique set of considerations when it comes to training and socialization. Additionally, it’s essential to understand common health concerns and veterinary care needs. Housing requirements for each bird will also vary, and it’s important to know feeding requirements.

Some popular domesticated bird species to consider owning include budgerigars, cockatiels, canaries, and finches. By doing research ahead of time and carefully considering each bird’s specific requirements, you can make an informed decision about which bird will be the best fit for you.

With proper care and attention, a pet bird can be a loving companion for many years to come.

Endangered And Protected Birds: Ownership And Conservation Efforts

Owning birds can make for excellent companionship, but it’s important to understand which species are legal to own. Endangered and protected birds require extra attention and conservation efforts due to their dwindling populations. It’s crucial to comprehend the impact of owning these species and to consider the various rehabilitation and adoption programs available to those who desire to partake in avian care.

Government conservation efforts have also helped protect these birds from becoming extinct. By being aware of these endangered and protected species, we can become advocates for their survival and preservation, rather than contributing to the problem.

Frequently Asked Questions Of What Birds Are Legal To Own

What Birds Can I Legally Own As Pets?

The types of birds you can legally own as pets vary depending on the country or state you live in. In general, most countries allow the ownership of domesticated birds such as parakeets, canaries or finches.

Are Exotic Birds Legal To Own As Pets?

In most countries, owning exotic birds like parrots, macaws, and cockatoos requires certain permits and licenses. Research the regulations in your specific area before purchasing an exotic bird.

Do I Need A License To Own A Bird?

Most countries do not require a license to own domesticated birds such as parakeets or canaries. However, if you are interested in owning an exotic bird, check with your local government for any necessary permits and licenses.

Can I Own A Bird That Is Endangered Or Protected?

No, it is illegal to own birds that are endangered or protected by law. These birds are protected to prevent their extinction. Owning them as pets can result in severe legal repercussions.

Can I Keep Poultry As Pets?

Yes, you can keep poultry as pets. However, you may need additional permits and licenses to own them. Plus, they require more space than a typical pet bird.


Birds are fascinating creatures with unique personalities and behaviors. As we’ve learned, owning a bird comes with great responsibility and adherence to legal measures. It’s crucial to research your state and local laws and regulations before acquiring a bird as a pet.

Understanding the specific species that are legal to own is vital in keeping these creatures safe and healthy. Remember, owning an exotic bird is a privilege and not a right, as they require specialized care and attention. By being aware of the laws and regulations, we can ensure that these beautiful creatures are protected and given the proper care they need.

Additionally, owning a bird can be a rewarding experience for both the pet and the owner, creating a lifelong bond and friendship. So, before acquiring a bird, do your research, understand the laws and regulations, and enjoy the wonderful experience of feathered companionship.

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Eva N. Russell

Greetings from Eva N. Russell, a devoted mother to all birds. For the past few years, she has dedicated her time to working with the Bird's Welfare Organization, driven by her love and passion for these beautiful creatures.

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