Numerous birders get mesmerized by the presence of the northern cardinals and sometimes wonder if they can always have these majestic birds with them as pets. But is it possible? Can cardinals be kept as pets?
No, you can’t keep cardinals as pets since the Migratory bird treaty act enacted in 1918 in the U.S.A. prohibits capturing, selling, buying, possessing, and transporting these birds without federal authorization.
Anyone who violates the law can face high penalties and a half year in prison. So, why is it illegal to pet a cardinal? Is there any exemption to this law? We will find answers to these questions through this content. So, let’s explore.
Why Is It Illegal To Keep A Cardinal As A Pet?
Before describing why it’s illegal to keep a cardinal as a pet, let’s disclose the purpose of this MBTA (Migratory Bird Treaty Act) law.
The sole motive of this legislation is to shield native species and the ecosystem where these animals reside.
When the authority executed MBTA in the United States, inhuman activities like poaching and hunting of native birds were at their peak. Hunters captured these adorable birdies as their feathers were valuable fashion items in those days.
Fortunately, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service came to the rescue. The authority enacted the migratory bird treaty act to forbid catching, selling, buying, possessing, and transporting cardinals and other legally protected birds without authorization.
Hence, now you understand why keeping a cardinal as a pet in the U.S.A. is illegal. No matter where you reside in the United States, you can’t own a cardinal without authorization.
Is There Any Dispension To The Mbta For Cardinals?
Although The U.S. legislative forbids capturing, selling, buying, transporting, and owning cardinals, the authority may permit individuals or organizations to own cardinals. That said, let’s explore who can possess this stunning red-colored bird.
People involved in falconry can own cardinals for training purposes. Besides them, others can keep this bird for educational purposes and scientific research. Lastly, if the northern cardinals threaten humans, people can take necessary actions.
So, the point here is that individuals and organizations can own cardinals privately, but they should have a valid reason, and the possession must benefit the birds or humans.
However, there is another way you can follow if you prefer owning a cardinal for a while. You need to get a wildlife rehabilitator’s license, allowing you to keep unfit or wounded birds for some time and later release them.
Is It Legal To Own A Cardinal Outside The United States?
According to the migratory bird treaty act of 1918, people residing in Canada, Mexico, Russia, and Japan can’t keep the northern cardinals as their pets.
FYI, the MBTA was first executed in Canada in 1916, and later in 1918, the legislative authority of the U.S.A. enacted this legislation. After the U.S.A, Mexico, Japan and Russia followed the law in 1936, 1972, and 1976, respectively.
Therefore, you can’t possess this colorful bird if you live in any of these countries. However, we have good news if you reside in Europe: you can keep northern cardinals as pets but can’t hurt these species.
What Should You Know Before Owning A Cardinal?
If you have a permit to keep a cardinal as a pet, you must consider a few factors while possessing a northern cardinal. Below, we have described them; hence, let’s read.
- As their name suggests, these birds are native to North America.
- All male cardinals are red, and females are pale-brown.
- There are yellow cardinals in the wild.
- Northern cardinals are omnivorous and ground feeders.
- They are shy but become territorial during the mating season.
- They are monogamous.
- Males and females share their parental duties, and both birds feed their babies.
- Females build their nests, and males protect their families and territory.
- These birdies molt yearly.
- The northern cardinals are pretty vocal.
- Their crests exhibit their mood.
Now that you know a bit about this mighty bird, you may read this content if you want to know more about this bird species. However, below we have shared other relevant information.
Are Cardinals Friendly To Humans?
Yes, cardinals are friendly to humans. They often visit human backyards in search of food. Not only that, but the northern cardinals can also recognize human voices. They aren’t scared of humans’ presence in their territories but won’t tolerate their presence in the breeding season.
However, cardinals are known to be very social birds, and they often form close bonds with their mates and families. They may even approach humans if they feel comfortable and safe, especially if they are being fed.
Cardinals are also attracted to natural habitats, such as gardens and wooded areas. Planting native flowers and trees can provide them with the shelter and food they need.
How Do You Befriend A Cardinal?
Befriending a northern cardinal is an easy chore, but whether you can tame a cardinal or not depends entirely on luck. Still, you can try it, and here’s how you are gonna do it.
- Install the appropriate bird feeders in your yard. We recommend choosing the platform feeders. Then, serve these birdies their favorite food, black oil sunflower seeds.
- Mount heated bird baths in the winter and traditional bird baths in summer to provide the northern cardinals with the necessary water.
- Install cardinal-friendly birdhouses to offer them shelter. Try to make your yard habitable for these birds by planting grape vines and adding shrubs, thickets, or tall trees where cardinals prefer to reside.
- Lastly, remove everything that can bother these birdies, and you shouldn’t unleash your pets, such as cats and dogs, in the backyard as they can harm the northern cardinal.
So, by following these steps, you can expect to see cardinals every day from the comfort of your home and may luckily befriend them.
What Is The Price Of A Northern Cardinal?
The Northern Cardinal, also known as the Cardinalis, is a beautiful and beloved bird native to the eastern and central United States. With its bright red plumage and distinctive song, it is a common sight in many backyard gardens and parks. But what is the price of a Northern Cardinal?
The price of a northern cardinal can vary depending on your location and the purposes of buying. For instance, their price can range from $10 to $50 if bought in captivity.
Northern cardinals are wild birds. Their plumage color remains vibrant, and health conditions stay well when they venture out into the wild. These birdies don’t prefer residing in confined places. Hence, you shouldn’t try to pet cardinals by caging them.
Instead, you may attract them to your yard and let them lead their life freely. That’s all for this article. We hope you got your queries answered and enjoyed reading them. However, stay in touch via Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest for updates on more awesome content.
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