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Pet Travel - Bringing Five or Fewer Pet Birds into the US

Pet Travel - Bringing Five or Fewer Pet Birds into the US

The USDA APHIS Veterinary Services (VS) defines a shipment of pet birds as five (5) or fewer birds brought into the United States (U.S.) that are not intended for resale. This does not include birds classified by VS as poultry (chickens, doves, ducks, geese, grouse, guinea fowl, partridges, pea fowl, pheasants, pigeons, quail, swans, and turkeys).

The process for bringing your pet bird into the U.S. involves multiple agencies including USDA APHIS Veterinary Services (VS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). It is critical that you meet ALL requirements for each of these agencies.

The requirements VS has for bringing your pet bird into the U.S. vary depending on the foreign country you are traveling from and whether your bird is considered U.S. origin (pet birds that previously lived in the U.S.) or not. 

As of February 19, 2018, all U.S. origin pet birds weighing more than 100 grams* (roughly the size of a clinched fist), except those traveling to the United States from Canada, must be identified by either a microchip, leg band or tattoo to qualify for home quarantine upon returning to the United States from HPAI-FREE countries.  The identification must be documented on the accompanying U.S. origin health certificate. U.S. origin pet birds that fail to meet this requirement will have to be quarantined in a Federal quarantine facility.  

If a microchip is the chosen form of identification, please note that International Organization for Standardization (ISO) compliant Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) microchips are recommended. The chip should  be placed in the thickest portion of the pectoral muscle. As the owner, if you chose to use a microchip that is not ISO compliant, you must provide a handheld reader capable of reading the microchip implanted in the bird, at the intended port of entry

Birds leaving the United States prior to February 19, 2018 are exempt from the identification requirement, as are pet birds weighing less than 100 grams.*

Pet birds weighing more than 100 grams* that left the United States after February 19, 2018 that do not have this identification, will not qualify as returning U.S. origin birds from HPAI-FREE countries, and must go to a Federal Animal Import Center quarantine facility for a minimum of 30 days, at the owner’s expense.

*Most finches, parakeets, lovebirds, and budgies are under 100 grams, and most African greys, caiques, lories, eclectus, and other parrots are more than 100 grams

Please click on the appropriate link below to see the step by step guide you need to follow in order to bring your pet bird into the U.S.

Considerations for airline travel

Airlines may have separate and additional requirements. Check with your airline to determine what requirements they may have, if any.

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