Parrots and Other Exotic Birds

Guatemala Amazon parrots are a commonly traded bird species.

Bird in cagePolly want a cracker? Pets bring us so much joy. There's nothing like coming home for the first time with your new puppy or fish. One kind of animal that thousands of people own are birds, especially parrots. Thousands of parrots are sold in the United States every year. Parrots are brightly colored extremely intelligent animals that make for a loveable and fun pet.

Many parrots that you find in the pet store have been bred as pets and are legal. But there is also a dark side to the parrot trade. Some parrots are taken from their wild homes and smuggled to market centers for sale to unsuspecting customers. The illicit trade in parrots can involve the laundering or falsification of shipping documents. And often birds die while being smuggled.

If you're traveling abroad and are tempted to purchase an exotic bird, be sure to investigate everything about it. Because papers and permits are often falsified it can be hard to determine the origin of the bird. If anything seems suspicious to you, it probably is. And pet birds have to go through quarantine before they can enter the United States, to be sure that they don't introduce dangerous exotic diseases.

Bringing a live wild animal into another country can be difficult, especially if you don't have proper permits. And your new beloved pet could be confiscated. So it is probably in your best interest to wait, and find a certified vendor at home.