How to Buy a Bird from the USA and Legally Export it

Photo by Dave Location: Centralia, WA In photo: Camelot macaw "Comet" and Blue throated macaw "Jinx"

I’ve never thought of this blog post topic before, so it took a facebook question for me to write on it since I have never lived in another country (except for Saipan, where I took my own birds along with me and was never looking for more at the time) and was never looking to buy a bird from the US. But! I do know how to do it. So, here it goes!  It’s necessary to contact USFWS and CITES depending on the appendix of the bird you’re wanting to get. The good thing about this process, is that you will obtain a CITES permit for your bird so you can travel around with no problems both domestically and internationally. You’ll need an export permit from the USA which will require specific information on your parrot from your source or breeder. USFWS and CITES will help you along with every detail, and it will take a while, just FYI. The more rare the bird, the harder the process. Once you obtain and export permit for your bird from the USA, for it to legally leave the USA, you’ll need an import permit from your country to legally get the bird into your country. For shipping, I always recommend using Continental Airlines (now United Airlines) as they fly domestically within the US, and internationally between countries. They have temperature controlled space for where the animals travel so it’s safe during all seasons and outside temperatures.   Every countries laws are different, so you need to find out first if you are allowed to export that type of parrot from the USA, then if you’re allowed to import that type of parrot (all officials go by scientific names so know them) into your country of origin.   You’ll need these links:
  1. USFWS
  2. CITES
  3. Scientific names of parrots
  4. United Airlines (call to make a pet reservation)
  5. How to obtain CITES
  6. Blue throated macaws: Appendix 1 (learn on appendixes)

Article by Jamieleigh Womach. She has been working with parrots and toucans since the age of 17. She isn’t homeless but is home less than she prefers to be. She travels the world with her husband, daughter, and a flockful of parrots whom she shares the stage with.



Hello , Thanks for the useful information. I want to buy a pair of mute swans as pets and so far I didn’t get any positive information how to do export from USA. I have a friend who’s willing to find a pair of birds for me but exporting part remains closed. I can obtain the important permit from my country and we need the birds ring no in the foot / CUTES / lab report to confirm the bird is negative for bird flu. I’m totally Lost in this search and willing to get the help out of a pet re locator, ,even that not not getting any positive feedback. I would really. .really. appreciate if you could guide me to the correct path or place where I could get a help. Kind regards,


Import parrots?


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