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The Most Exotic Birds to Keep As Pets

Do you think that you're ready to care for a more challenging and exotic bird species? Here, our Albany exotic animal veterinarian discusses the challenges and rewards of keeping some of the most exotic bird species.

The Challenges of Caring For Exotic Birds As Pets

Birds can make delightful pets when cared for properly, but it's important to understand what's involved in caring for exotic birds as pets before committing to adopting one of these beautiful creatures. 

Many of these birds require significant time and resources in order to train them to be around people and stay healthy, but another important point to consider is lifespan. In some cases, exotic pet birds can live for 80 years or more. That said, with proper care exotic birds can be a rewarding pet to consider for those of us with plenty of time and dedication to devote to caring for these fabulous creatures.

Some of The Most Exotic Pet Birds

Exotic birds are certainly beautiful, and majestic. Here are a few of the most remarkable birds that can be kept as pets.

Green Aracaris

The aracari is a small toucan that is full of personality. While these beautiful birds are often considered to be the next step after learning to care for the complex needs of exotic parrots, they are much more challenging to care for than parrots, not to mention very messy, very loud, and very expensive to feed since they need an abundance of fresh fruit. As with all of the exotic birds listed here, these birds should only be considered by the most experienced bird owners. While parrots will typically fly away from danger, when frightened aracaris will fly directly at danger, making protective face wear and goggles essential equipment when handling this bird species.


There are many beautiful breeds of pigeons from across the globe that can make outstanding pets for the right owner. Some breeds of pigeons can, with patience and training, become comfortable with being handled and learn to fly safely indoors. Pigeons require expansive enclosures that provide plenty of room for both running and flying. If you are considering adopting a pigeon as a pet be sure to research the breed's housing requirements and care needs well ahead of time.


Falconry isn't about pet ownership it's an ancient form of hunting that requires an enormous amount of time and devotion to keeping this majestic bird of prey - not to mention state licensing. To own a falcon you must pass a detailed written exam regarding the care of raptors, training techniques and veterinary needs. There are stringent state requirements regarding the housing of birds of prey, and the enclosure must be inspected by a state wildlife representative. Becoming a falconer takes years of intensive training and experience. Becoming a master falconer will take a minimum of 7 years including a 2 year apprenticeship.

Peacocks / Peafowl

Few birds are more beautiful, or easily recognizable than the peacock, but can you have a peacock as a pet in the US? In fact, it is legal to own a peacock in most US states provided that the peafowl you adopt is of the Indian peafowl species. (Green and Congo peafowl are illegal to keep as pets). These large birds cannot be kept indoors and must be kept in an area that provides both grass and dirt with plenty of room to forage and scratch. Peacocks will also need to be kept warm, and should be guided into a heated purpose build shelter each evening before they get cold. Their shelter should include trees and platforms to roost on since peafowl feel safest off the ground.

Black Palm Cockatoo

Originating from Australia this very large exotic bird is strikingly beautiful, highly intelligent, and very long lived bird (living up to 90 years!). These strong willed birds are not known to be affectionate and require extensive training from an owner with experience dealing with large challenging parrots. Once trained this social bird will require ongoing and extensive interaction with their owners. Standing up to 24" tall the black palm cockatoo will require a substantial enclosure that measures at least 10 feet long, 6 feet wide and 6 feet high to provide room to move and stretch their wings. With a dedicated and experienced owner these birds can be taught to speak and do lots of tricks.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding horses or ponies. For an accurate diagnosis of your animal's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Our Albany avian animal veterinarian can help you to provide yourexotic bird with the best possible care. Contact Dockery, Mobley & Associates Animal Hospital today to book an examination for your feathered friend.

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