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How to Get A Permit to Own A Crow? MBTA Guide & Regulations Explained

I accidentally came by a baby crow in my childhood. The little buddy was poorly injured and I took care of it. 

Eventually, I started learning more about permits to raise it as one of my pets. However, it gave up on me! It may not repeat with you too! 

If you want a crow as your pet, you need to go through a few official steps to finally bring it to your home. 

Most countries like the UK, the Philippines, and Canada, strictly discourage raising wild birds, and that involves the crows too. But if you can show proper cause, you can bring a crow home and raise yourself. 

Today, we will discuss, how to get a permit to own a crow. By the end of this article, you will be confident about the necessary steps and raise a crow without hassle.  

Let’s get started. 

Do You Know? 

  • Crows are called the ecosystem engineer. They control pests and insects. They also clean up dead animals and garbage to keep our environment clean. 
  • They are the best tool users of nature. It’s interesting how they use leaves, sticks, and even cars to get the food. 
  • Crows are highly social birds and live in a large extended family. They are emotional too and host funerals for the members who pass away. 
  • They have brilliant long-term memory and can remember anyone for a positive or negative impact on their community. 
  • They are quite educational too and pass on knowledge across generations. 
  • Crows have a reputation as problem solvers. There has been a record that a wild crow once solved an 8 part puzzle to get its food. 
  • Different cultures represent them differently. They can be omens, and messengers and are seen as symbols of intelligence and mystery. 

So, it’s not too bad to have a clever crow as your friend, is it? Let’s learn what is the proper procedure you need to follow to own a crow. 

How to Get A Permit to Own A Crow? MBTA Guide & Regulations Explained

Why Having A Crow Is Illegal?

Before we jump into the details, it is important to know why raising a crow is illegal first! 

Migratory Bird Act of 1918! It is what’s responsible for preventing you from owning a crow. 

The primary objective of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) was to protect migratory birds including wild birds like crows.

Following this treaty, you can not only have a crow but also hurt or injure them. It is illegal to raise or hurt the species without relevant circumstances like,

  1. They are a danger to others, any living being. 
  2. The birds are harming other endangered species. 
  3. Damaging your property or resources. 

The MBTA was developed in association with Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Russia. So, the rules apply the same anywhere else and across national borders. 

However, although rare but not impossible, you can get a permit to raise a crow, and here’s how you can do it. 

How To Get A Permit To Own A Crow? 

How To Get A Permit To Own A Crow

In case, there’s a cloud over your head, you can contact the local wildlife department to learn the specific rules regarding the ownership of a crow. 

Before you step further, learn the basic steps first! 

Migratory Bird Rehabilitation Permit under the MBTA can allow you to legally rehabilitate and take care of injured and orphan migratory birds. It also includes the other wild birds like crows that are secured by federal law such as the MBTA. 

** Note: A Migratory Bird Rehabilitation Permit is a special permit issued in the USA by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).  

You have to apply for a permit. To do so, you have to, 

1) Prove you are at least 18 years old by certificate and have a State license to rehabilitate migratory and wild birds. If that’s the case with your state. 

2) You have to be experienced and familiar with raising wild birds. At least, 80 hours of hands-on experience with 10 hours allowed for seminars and courses related to rehabilitation.

However, this time frame is not universal and it may vary based on which region you are from. 

3) If you opt to rehabilitate the birds, other than the sudden occupancy of a crow, you must have a rehabilitation facility. Also, provide proof of evidence that you indeed have such a facility. You can show photographs or infrastructure diagrams if you have to. 

4) You need to provide the right and reliable address to apply for a permit. The address can be of the rehabilitation center or the place where you plan to raise the crow.

If you have more than one address, you also need to list them serially on the permit. 

5) Remember, that the permit is valid only for a certain period. In the USA, you can avail the permit for 6 months. After the terms end, you can only request an extension of 1 more month.  

Here are the basic terms that you need to follow to apply to the USFWS. Sometimes, an educational facility may keep a crow to study its behavior and other purposes without harming it and safely returning it to the wild. 

This goes for the bigger picture! But what if you come by an injured crow like I did? What to do then? The next part holds the answer. 

I Am Not a Rehabilitator and I Came By an Injured Crow, What Should I Do? 

I Am Not a Rehabilitator and I Came By an Injured Crow, What Should I Do

In case you are not a professional and came by a crow that’s whether injured, orphaned, or abandoned, the best thing to do is, to find and contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. 

Do a bit of research and you will find an expert rehabilitator near you. The Human Society of the United States did the job perfectly for you. Here you have the list by state for professional rehabilitators.  

Don’t try to raise the crow on your own without informing the authorities. If someone reports you, it may not end up well for you. 

However, there are some breeds of crow that you can raise without confiscation of it. Such as the white-necked raven and the pied crows. They are similar to American crows but are white in color around the neck and chest. 

These birds are out of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act list of wild birds. But, it’s also important to note that, these birds are not generally found in the wild and most of them are specially bred. 

In addition to that, they are extremely expensive. One white-necked raven or pied crow will cost you between $2000 to $6000. 

A Piece of Advice

Even if you do end up with a crow, it’s wise to remember that, they are wild birds. They may not adapt to a domestic life like you want them to. 

They are the scavengers of the sky and it is really hard for them to accept a life without flying. Additionally, it would be wrong to think that, crows would live in a cage. 

They are intelligent birds who even have records to use tools and solve puzzles. You can’t simply treat them like parrots. 

Even after you keep them and have them well adapted to the environment, it won’t be enough without a versatile food habit. You would need both a vegetarian diet and a source of protein as they highly feed on meats. 

Some crow owners also offer them cat and dog food along with large mice. How do you get mice? That’s a completely different story. 

Last Words

Remember to take care of your birds every day. And when it comes to crows they are too intelligent to accept confinement. And it may become too hard for them. Hence, please make your decision wisely considering all the facts. 

We hope our article provided you with the right answer to, how to get a permit to own a crow. Let us know in the comment section why you are interested in having a crow. 

Also, you can share our article with others to raise awareness against wildlife together.

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