Is It Legal To Own A Crow?

Curious about owning a crow as a pet? While it may seem unusual, owning a crow is legal in many places, but there are important considerations to keep in mind. Crows are highly intelligent and social birds, requiring ample mental stimulation and social interaction. Additionally, it’s crucial to ensure that you have the necessary permits and licenses to legally own a crow, as regulations can vary depending on your location. Read on to discover the joys and responsibilities of owning these fascinating creatures.

is it legal to own a crow

Laws and Regulations Regarding Crow Ownership

Crows, often associated with intelligence and mysticism, are highly intelligent birds that have captivated the interest of many people. While some individuals are interested in owning crows as pets, it is important to understand that there are laws and regulations in place regarding the ownership of crows. These laws vary from country to country and even within different regions. In this section, we will explore some of the laws and regulations that govern crow ownership.

1. Protected Species

In many countries, crows are classified as protected species under wildlife conservation laws. These laws aim to safeguard the population of crows in their natural habitats and restrict their capture, possession, or trade. It is illegal to capture or keep crows without the necessary permits or licenses.

Additionally, some countries have specific regulations regarding certain species of crows. For example, in the United States, the American crow is protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which prohibits the possession or sale of these birds without proper authorization.

2. Permits and Licenses

To legally own a crow, individuals may be required to obtain permits or licenses from the relevant authorities. These permits typically involve demonstrating knowledge and understanding of the care and welfare needs of crows. Some countries may require individuals to have experience in handling and caring for birds before granting permission to own a crow.

It is important to note that the process of obtaining permits and licenses varies depending on the jurisdiction. Individuals interested in owning crows should research and comply with the specific requirements of their country or region.

3. Welfare Considerations

When it comes to owning crows or any other type of bird, welfare considerations play a crucial role. In many jurisdictions, animal welfare laws apply to bird ownership, including crows. These laws ensure that animals are treated with care, adequate living conditions, and access to appropriate food and water.

Owners of crows should provide a suitable environment that promotes the bird’s physical and psychological well-being. This may include providing a spacious enclosure, appropriate perches, mental stimulation, and a balanced diet.

4. Noise Regulations

Crows are known for their vocalizations, which can be quite loud and frequent. As a result, some regions have noise regulations in place to address potential disturbances caused by noisy birds. Owners may be required to ensure that their crows do not create excessive noise that can disrupt the peace and tranquility of the surrounding community.

It is important for prospective crow owners to familiarize themselves with local noise regulations and take necessary measures to minimize any disturbances caused by their birds.

5. Conservation Efforts

Given the important role that crows play in ecosystems, conservation efforts are often in place to protect and preserve their populations. These efforts may involve habitat conservation, research, and educational programs to promote the understanding and appreciation of crows.

Owning a crow should be done responsibly, taking into account the conservation needs of the species. It is crucial to ensure that owning a crow does not contribute to the illegal trade or exploitation of these birds.

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While owning a crow may be an intriguing idea to some, it is essential to be aware of the laws and regulations surrounding crow ownership. Crows are often protected species, and obtaining the necessary permits and licenses is typically required. Animal welfare considerations, noise regulations, and conservation efforts are also factors to be mindful of when considering owning a crow. By understanding and complying with these laws and regulations, individuals can ensure a responsible and ethical approach to crow ownership.

Required Permits and Licenses for Crow Ownership

Before considering owning a crow as a pet, it is essential to understand the legal requirements and permits necessary to ensure compliance with local regulations. While crows are known for their intelligence and ability to bond with humans, they are still considered wild animals and may require special permissions for ownership. This section will outline the common permits and licenses that may be necessary for owning a crow.

1. Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit

In many jurisdictions, owning a crow may require a wildlife rehabilitation permit. This permit is generally issued by the local wildlife agency or department and is intended for individuals who are trained and experienced in the care and rehabilitation of injured or orphaned animals, including crows. The permit ensures that the crow is being kept in suitable conditions and receiving the necessary care.

2. Exotic Animal Permit

In some areas, crows may be classified as exotic animals due to their unique characteristics and intelligence. As a result, individuals who wish to own a crow may need to obtain an exotic animal permit. This permit is usually granted by a local or state agency responsible for regulating the ownership of exotic pets. The permit may involve a thorough application process, including background checks and inspections of the living environment for the crow.

3. Wildlife Rehabilitation Center Authorization

If you do not have the necessary permits to keep a crow as a pet, an alternative option is to work with a licensed wildlife rehabilitation center. These centers are equipped to care for injured or orphaned crows and have the expertise to provide appropriate rehabilitation. By partnering with a wildlife rehabilitation center, you can still interact with crows and contribute to their well-being without the need for personal permits.

4. Import and Export Permits

If you plan to acquire a crow from outside your jurisdiction, it is essential to comply with import and export regulations. These permits ensure that the crow meets all health and quarantine requirements to prevent the introduction of diseases or invasive species. Import and export permits are typically issued by the appropriate national or international authorities responsible for wildlife trade regulations.

5. Special Use Permit

In certain cases, owning a crow may require a special use permit. This permit is usually granted for unique circumstances where the ownership of a crow is deemed to serve a specific purpose, such as educational programs or scientific research. The issuance of a special use permit may involve demonstrating expertise in crow care and providing a detailed plan outlining the purpose and activities involving the crow.


Owning a crow as a pet requires careful consideration and adherence to legal requirements. Depending on your location, you may need permits such as a wildlife rehabilitation permit, exotic animal permit, or special use permit. Alternatively, you can work with a licensed wildlife rehabilitation center if you do not have the necessary permits. Additionally, if acquiring a crow from outside your jurisdiction, import and export permits must be obtained. By understanding and meeting these requirements, you can ensure the well-being of your crow and stay compliant with local regulations.

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Caring for a Crow: Diet, Housing, and Training

Owning a crow as a pet can be a fascinating and rewarding experience. These intelligent birds have a unique set of needs and requirements that must be met in order to ensure their well-being. In this section, we will delve into the key aspects of caring for a crow, including their diet, housing, and training.


A proper diet is essential for the health and longevity of a crow. These birds are highly opportunistic and omnivorous, meaning they can eat a wide variety of foods. However, their diet should be balanced and provide all the necessary nutrients they need.

A crow’s diet should primarily consist of high-quality commercial bird pellets specifically formulated for corvids. These pellets are nutritionally balanced and contain all the essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins that crows require. Additionally, fresh fruits and vegetables should be offered daily, such as apples, berries, peas, and leafy greens. It is important to avoid feeding them processed foods, sugary treats, and foods that are toxic to birds, such as chocolate and avocado.

Supplementation with calcium and vitamins can also be beneficial for crows. This can be achieved by offering crushed eggshells or a specialized avian supplement that is safe for crows to consume. Fresh, clean water should always be available for drinking and bathing.


When it comes to housing a pet crow, a large cage or aviary is essential. Crows are highly active birds and require ample space to stretch their wings and exercise. The cage should be at least 4 feet wide, 4 feet deep, and 6 feet tall to accommodate their energetic nature.

The cage should be constructed with strong and durable materials, such as stainless steel or heavy-duty wire mesh, to prevent escape. It should also have horizontal bars spaced close together to prevent injury to the crow’s feet. Additionally, the cage should be equipped with perches of varying heights and textures, as well as toys and enrichment items to keep the crow mentally stimulated.

It is important to provide a safe and secure environment for the crow, as they are curious and can easily become bored. Regular cleaning of the cage is necessary to maintain a hygienic living space for the bird.


Training a crow can be a rewarding and engaging experience for both the bird and its owner. Crows are highly intelligent and can be taught a variety of behaviors and tricks through positive reinforcement training.

Using treats as rewards, you can begin by teaching the crow simple commands, such as “step up” onto your hand or “come” when called. Consistency, patience, and repetition are key in training a crow. Always reward desired behaviors with treats and praise, and avoid using punishment or negative reinforcement.

It is important to note that crows have a natural tendency to explore and scavenge, so training them to not engage in destructive or unwanted behaviors can be challenging. Providing ample mental stimulation, such as puzzle toys and foraging activities, can help redirect their energy and prevent boredom.

In summary, caring for a crow involves providing a balanced diet, spacious and secure housing, and engaging training activities. By meeting their specific needs, you can ensure the well-being and happiness of your pet crow.

Alternatives to Owning a Crow: Supporting Crow Conservation Efforts

Crows are fascinating creatures that have captured the imagination of people for centuries. Their intelligence, adaptability, and unique behaviors make them a popular choice for ownership among bird enthusiasts. However, owning a crow is not suitable for everyone, as it requires a significant commitment and understanding of their specific needs. In this section, we will explore some alternative ways to engage with crows and support their conservation efforts.

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1. Birdwatching and Citizen Science

One of the best ways to appreciate and learn more about crows is through birdwatching. Observing crows in their natural habitat can provide valuable insights into their behavior and ecology. Joining local birdwatching groups or participating in citizen science projects can contribute to ongoing research and conservation efforts. These initiatives often involve documenting crow sightings, monitoring their populations, and collecting data on their feeding habits and nesting behaviors.

2. Creating Crow-Friendly Spaces

Crows are highly adaptable and can thrive in a variety of environments. By creating crow-friendly spaces in our communities, we can support their populations and enhance urban biodiversity. Planting native trees and shrubs that provide food sources, such as berries and nuts, can attract crows and other bird species. Additionally, providing water sources like bird baths or small ponds can be beneficial for their survival, especially during hot and dry seasons.

3. Promoting Awareness and Education

Increasing public awareness about the importance of crows and their role in ecosystems is crucial for their conservation. This can be achieved through educational campaigns, outreach programs, and public presentations. By sharing information about crows’ intelligence, social behavior, and ecological significance, we can foster appreciation and understanding among the wider community. Encouraging responsible behavior towards crows, such as not interfering with their nests or feeding them inappropriate food, is also essential for their well-being.

4. Supporting Crow Rehabilitation Centers

In cases where crows are injured, orphaned, or in need of medical attention, specialized crow rehabilitation centers play a vital role in their care and rehabilitation. These centers work towards providing appropriate veterinary treatment, nutrition, and rehabilitation facilities to injured or distressed crows. Supporting these centers through donations, volunteering, or spreading awareness about their services can help ensure the well-being and conservation of crows.

5. Advocating for Crow-Conservation Policies

Advocacy plays a crucial role in advancing crow conservation efforts at a larger scale. Engaging with local, regional, and national authorities to promote policies that protect crow habitats, regulate hunting practices, and ensure the enforcement of wildlife protection laws is vital. By working together with environmental organizations and wildlife agencies, we can contribute to the long-term conservation and management of crows.


While owning a crow may not be a suitable option for everyone, there are numerous alternatives to engage with and support these incredible birds. By participating in birdwatching and citizen science initiatives, creating crow-friendly spaces, promoting awareness and education, supporting rehabilitation centers, and advocating for crow-conservation policies, we can all contribute to their conservation and ensure their continued presence in our ecosystems.


Is it legal to own a crow?

The legality of owning a crow as a pet depends on the jurisdiction you live in. In some places, it may be illegal to keep crows as pets due to wildlife protection laws. It is important to check with your local authorities or wildlife agencies to determine the legality of owning a crow in your area.


In conclusion, owning a crow as a pet may not be illegal in some places, but it is important to consider the legal and ethical implications. While crows can be intelligent and fascinating creatures, they are also wild animals that require specific care and environments. Therefore, it is crucial to research local regulations, consult with experts, and ensure that you can provide a suitable and humane living environment for a crow. Remember, owning any pet comes with responsibilities, and it is important to prioritize the welfare and well-being of the animal above all else.