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Exotic Birds

Exotic Birds

If you are thinking about adding an exotic bird to your family, there are a few exciting birds to consider. Today, the Lake Norman at Mooresville Animal Hospital vets talk about the different kinds of exotic birds and their needs.

Considering The Challenges of 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 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. Here are a few 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.

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.


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 demanding training and experience. Becoming a master falconer will take a minimum of 7 years with a 2-year apprenticeship.

Peacocks / Peafowl

There are few birds more beautiful than a peacock, but can you have a peacock as a pet in the US? It is legal to own a peacock in more US states provided that the peafowl you adopt is of the Indian peafowl species. (Green and Congo's peafowl are illegal to keep as pets).

These large birds cannot be kept indoors and must be provided with 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. 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 a 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 its 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 pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If you have a pet bird, our Mooresville exotic animal vet can help you to provide your pet with the very best care. Contact Lake Norman at Mooresville Animal Hospital today to book an examination for your exotic bird.

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Lake Norman at Mooresville Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our veterinarians are passionate about improving the health of cats, dogs and exotic pets. Book your pet's first appointment today.

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