Border Crossing

Traveling with Birds

Disclaimer: This information is provided as a service to our visitors and no guarantee is made as to its completeness or correctness. All information should be independently verified with the relevant authorities.

Both the U.S. and Canada have increased their scrutiny of imported birds due to a worldwide increase of avian flu infestations. The import regulations differ slightly for each country.

The United States

Birds imported from Canada to the U.S. are subject to controls and restrictions. Nearly all birds entering the U.S. require a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Most birds must be quarantined upon arrival for at least 30 days in a USDA-operated facility at the owner's expense. All birds must be accompanied with a health certificate from the national veterinarian of the country of export. The certificate is only good for 30 says prior to the birds arrival affirming that the bird examined has no evidence of communicable disease and is being exported in accordance to the country's laws. All birds are subject to inspection by a veterinarian.

Visitors and returning citizens should be aware that only certain border crossings and ports have veterinarians on staff, and they generally are not present on weekends and holidays. Therefore, bird owners are advised to either pre-schedule the inspection or verify inspection hours prior to crossing the border. Otherwise, you may find yourself with an unplanned overnight stop waiting for the veterinarian's offices to open.


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) established the requirements for all animals, including domestic pets and animal products entering Canada.

Canada treats parrots and song birds differently from other forms of wild and domesticated fowl. In general however, the bird must be free of communicable disease in order to enter the country.

Parrots and song birds may be imported if the animal is accompanying the owner or is in possession of an immediate family member at the time of entry. The owner must make a formal declaration that: the bird is a) a pet and not for resale, b) has not been in contact with other birds, c) has been in the owner's possession for at least 90 days preceding the date of entry.

Official certification from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is required for all live pet birds. The certification must verify that the bird is free of communicable diseases, especially various strains of avian flues and salmonella.

Until further notice, all pet birds, feathers and raw bird food from Oregon and Washington states are prohibited from entering Canada as of January 5, 2015.

More Information

U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) telephone numbers for customer service:

  • Local: 202-354-1000

  • Toll-free (from US): 1-877-227-5511.

Also see telephone numbers listed under "Ports of Entry". For additional information, please visit either of the following web sites:

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)

U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP)

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