Is It Legal To Own A Raven?

Curious about the legalities of owning a raven as a pet? In many places, owning a raven is legal but may require special permits or licenses. These highly intelligent birds can be captivating companions, known for their playful nature and ability to mimic human speech and sounds. However, it’s crucial to research and understand local regulations and consider the specific needs and care requirements of ravens before bringing one into your home. Let’s explore more about the legalities and considerations of owning a raven.

is it legal to own a raven

Understanding the Laws and Regulations Surrounding Raven Ownership

When it comes to owning a pet, most people think of cats, dogs, or even fish. However, there are individuals who have a penchant for more exotic creatures, such as ravens. These intelligent and enigmatic birds have captured the hearts of many, and their ownership is subject to various laws and regulations. In this section, we will delve into the legalities surrounding raven ownership and explore the requirements and responsibilities that come with it.

1. Federal Laws

In the United States, the federal government has implemented certain regulations regarding the ownership of ravens. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 is the primary law that protects migratory birds, including ravens, from harm and exploitation. It is important to note that ravens are considered migratory birds and are therefore protected under this act.

According to the act, it is illegal to possess, sell, purchase, or transport ravens without the necessary permits or licenses. These permits are typically issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and are granted under specific circumstances, such as for educational or scientific purposes. It is essential for prospective raven owners to obtain the required permits before bringing a raven into their homes.

2. State Laws

In addition to federal regulations, individual states may have their own laws concerning raven ownership. These laws can vary widely from state to state, so it is crucial to research the specific regulations in your area before considering raven ownership.

Some states prohibit the ownership of ravens as pets entirely, while others may require individuals to obtain permits or licenses. Certain states may have specific guidelines regarding the housing and care of ravens, ensuring that they are kept in appropriate conditions and receive proper care.

It is important to understand and adhere to the state laws regarding raven ownership to avoid any legal repercussions and to ensure the well-being of the bird.

3. Local Ordinances

In addition to federal and state regulations, local ordinances may also come into play when it comes to keeping ravens as pets. Cities and counties may have their own rules and restrictions regarding bird ownership, including ravens.

These local ordinances can include requirements for licensing, permits, and specific zoning regulations. Some areas may have limitations on the number of ravens an individual can own or may prohibit their ownership altogether.

It is crucial to check with the local authorities and obtain any necessary permits or licenses to ensure compliance with the local regulations pertaining to raven ownership.

4. Responsible Ownership

Regardless of the legal requirements, it is essential for individuals considering raven ownership to understand the responsibilities that come with it. Ravens are highly intelligent creatures that require specialized care and attention.

Owners must provide a suitable living environment that simulates the natural habitat of the bird. This includes providing sufficient space for flying and perching, as well as mental stimulation through toys and puzzles.

Proper nutrition is also crucial to the well-being of ravens. Their diet should consist of a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, meat, and insects. It is important to consult with avian experts or veterinarians to ensure that the raven’s dietary needs are met adequately.

Regular veterinary check-ups and vaccinations are necessary to maintain the health of the raven. Additionally, owners must consider the long lifespan of ravens, which can reach up to 40 years. Commitment and dedication to caring for the bird for its entire life are essential.


Owning a raven comes with legal responsibilities that must be understood and followed. Federal laws, state regulations, and local ordinances all play a role in the legality of raven ownership. It is crucial to research and obtain the necessary permits or licenses to ensure compliance with the applicable laws.

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Alongside legal considerations, responsible ownership requires providing a suitable living environment, proper nutrition, and regular veterinary care for the well-being of the raven. It is important to approach raven ownership with dedication and commitment to ensure the best possible care for these remarkable birds.

3. Raven Ownership: Permits, Licenses, and Restrictions

When it comes to owning a raven, there are specific permits, licenses, and restrictions that one must adhere to. These regulations vary from country to country and even from state to state within a country. It is important for potential raven owners to familiarize themselves with these requirements to ensure they are in compliance with the law.

In many countries, ravens are considered protected wildlife due to their ecological importance and unique characteristics. This means that owning a raven may require obtaining a special permit or license. These documents are typically issued by wildlife or environmental agencies and serve as legal authorization to possess a raven.

The process of obtaining a permit or license for raven ownership usually involves submitting an application, providing documentation, and paying a fee. The specific requirements may vary, but generally, applicants need to demonstrate their ability to properly care for and handle the raven. This may include showing proof of adequate housing, nutrition plans, and knowledge of raven behavior.

In addition to permits and licenses, there are often restrictions placed on raven ownership. These restrictions are in place to protect the well-being of the birds and prevent illegal activities such as poaching or smuggling. Common restrictions may include limits on the number of ravens an individual can own, requirements for regular veterinary check-ups, and prohibition of certain activities such as breeding or selling ravens.

It is important to note that owning a raven without the necessary permits or licenses can result in legal consequences, including fines or even imprisonment. Therefore, it is crucial to research and comply with the specific regulations in your area before considering raven ownership.

3.1 Permits and Licenses for Raven Ownership

The process of obtaining a permit or license for raven ownership can vary depending on the location. In some regions, a general wildlife possession permit may cover the ownership of ravens, while others may require a specific raven ownership permit. It is essential to contact the local wildlife agency or department to determine the necessary permits and licenses required.

When applying for a permit or license, applicants may be required to provide personal information, such as their name, address, and contact details. They may also need to outline their experience with bird handling, demonstrate knowledge of raven care, and provide details of the enclosures or aviaries where the ravens will be kept.

Fees are often associated with permit applications, and the amount can vary depending on the region and the type of permit being sought. These fees typically cover administrative costs associated with processing the application and may need to be paid annually or on a recurring basis.

3.2 Restrictions on Raven Ownership

In addition to obtaining the necessary permits and licenses, raven owners must also adhere to various restrictions. These restrictions are in place to ensure the welfare of the birds and to prevent illegal activities involving ravens.

One common restriction is the limitation on the number of ravens an individual can own. This helps prevent overcrowding and ensures that each bird receives adequate care and attention. The specific limit may vary depending on the location and the type of permit held.

Regular veterinary check-ups may also be required to ensure the health and well-being of the ravens. These check-ups help identify any potential health issues and allow for prompt medical intervention if necessary.

Some jurisdictions may prohibit breeding or selling ravens to prevent uncontrolled population growth or illegal trade. These restrictions aim to protect the species and maintain responsible ownership practices.

It is crucial for raven owners to stay updated on the current restrictions in their area and to comply with all regulations to avoid legal consequences.


Owning a raven requires obtaining the appropriate permits, licenses, and complying with various restrictions. These regulations aim to protect the welfare of the birds and prevent illegal activities involving ravens. Potential raven owners should research and adhere to the specific requirements in their location to ensure they are in compliance with the law.

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Responsible Ownership of a Pet Raven: Guidelines and Considerations

Having a pet raven can be an exciting and unique experience. These intelligent birds are known for their ability to mimic sounds and their playful nature. However, owning a pet raven comes with great responsibility. In this section, we will discuss the guidelines and considerations for responsible ownership of a pet raven.

1. Legal Considerations

Prior to owning a pet raven, it is essential to understand the legalities surrounding ownership. Laws regarding pet ravens can vary by country, state, and even city. Some regions may require a special permit or license to own a raven as a pet. It is crucial to research and comply with all legal requirements to ensure a responsible ownership experience.

2. Space and Enclosure

Ravens are highly intelligent and active birds that require ample space for exercise and mental stimulation. When considering owning a pet raven, it is necessary to provide a spacious enclosure or aviary that allows them to fly and explore. The enclosure should be secure, predator-proof, and designed to mimic their natural habitat as much as possible.

Additionally, it is essential to provide various perches, branches, and toys to keep the raven mentally stimulated and prevent boredom. Enriching their environment with puzzles and treats can also help keep them engaged and prevent destructive behavior.

3. Diet and Nutrition

Proper nutrition is crucial for the overall health and well-being of a pet raven. Their diet should consist of a balanced and varied mix of high-quality commercial raven food, fresh fruits, vegetables, and protein sources like cooked meat or insects. It is important to research and provide a diet that mimics their natural food sources to ensure optimal nutrition.

Water should be readily available at all times, and the containers should be cleaned and refilled daily. Avoid feeding your pet raven any toxic foods such as chocolate, caffeine, or alcohol, as these can be harmful or even fatal to them.

4. Socialization and Mental Stimulation

Ravens are highly social birds that thrive on interaction and mental stimulation. It is crucial to spend quality time with your pet raven daily, engaging in activities such as training, play sessions, and even talking or singing to them. This helps build a strong bond and prevents feelings of loneliness or boredom.

Training your pet raven can be a rewarding experience for both you and the bird. They are capable of learning a variety of tricks and commands. Positive reinforcement techniques, such as rewards and praises, should be used during training to encourage desired behaviors.

5. Veterinary Care

Regular veterinary check-ups are essential for maintaining the health of your pet raven. Find a veterinarian who specializes in avian care and make sure to schedule routine examinations to monitor their overall well-being and detect any potential health issues early.

Additionally, it is crucial to keep up with vaccinations, parasite prevention, and grooming. Regular nail trims and wing checks are necessary to ensure the safety of both your pet raven and yourself.

6. Environmental Considerations

When considering owning a pet raven, it is important to assess your living situation and ensure that it is suitable for these birds. Ravens can be noisy, especially during their vocalization periods. Therefore, it is crucial to live in an environment where noise is not an issue, such as apartments with strict noise regulations.

It is also important to consider the impact of owning a pet raven on the local wildlife. Ravens are natural predators and may pose a threat to smaller birds or animals. Responsible ownership involves taking precautions to prevent any harm to the local ecosystem.


Owning a pet raven can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. However, responsible ownership requires careful consideration of legal requirements, adequate space and enclosure, proper diet and nutrition, socialization and mental stimulation, regular veterinary care, and understanding the environmental impact. By following these guidelines and considerations, you can provide a safe and enriching life for your pet raven.

Potential Benefits of Owning a Raven

Owning a raven as a pet can come with several potential benefits, especially for those who are fond of birds and enjoy the uniqueness of these intelligent creatures.

1. Intelligent and Fascinating Companions

Ravens are highly intelligent birds known for their problem-solving skills and ability to mimic human speech. They have a curious and playful nature, making them fascinating companions. Their intelligence allows for interactive and engaging interactions, creating a rewarding relationship between owner and pet.

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2. Bonding and Emotional Support

Owning a raven can provide a deep sense of companionship and emotional support. These birds are known to form strong bonds with their owners and can provide comfort during times of stress or loneliness. The relationship between a raven and its owner can be incredibly meaningful and fulfilling.

3. Unique Display of Affection

Ravens have a unique way of showing affection. They are known to engage in playful behaviors, such as head-bobbing and wing-flapping, to express their love and attachment. This display of affection can be highly endearing and strengthen the bond between owner and pet.

4. Source of Entertainment

Owning a raven can be highly entertaining, as these birds are natural performers. They enjoy showing off their problem-solving skills, playing games, and engaging in interactive activities. Observing their cleverness and playful antics can provide endless amusement and joy.

Potential Drawbacks of Owning a Raven

While owning a raven can be a rewarding experience, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks before making the decision to bring one into your home.

1. Lifespan and Commitment

Ravens have a long lifespan, often living up to 30 years or more. This means that owning a raven requires a significant commitment of time, energy, and resources. It’s essential to be prepared for the long-term responsibility and care that comes with owning a bird with such a lengthy lifespan.

2. Specialized Care and Housing

Ravens have specific care and housing requirements that must be met to ensure their well-being. They need a large and secure aviary that allows for ample flying space. Additionally, they require a specialized diet consisting of a balanced mix of fruits, vegetables, meat, and insects. Providing adequate care and meeting their unique needs can be challenging and costly.

3. Noise and Mess

Ravens are notorious for their loud vocalizations, which can be disruptive in a household environment. Their calls can be loud and raucous, potentially causing disturbances to neighbors or other family members. Additionally, their natural foraging behavior can lead to mess and debris in their living area, requiring regular cleaning and maintenance.

4. Legal and Ethical Considerations

It’s crucial to check local laws and regulations concerning the ownership of ravens as pets. In some areas, owning a raven may require a specific permit or license. Furthermore, it’s important to consider the ethical implications of keeping a wild bird as a pet, as ravens are highly intelligent and have complex social lives in the wild.

In summary, owning a raven can be a rewarding and enriching experience for those who are prepared for the long-term commitment and specialized care that comes with it. However, it’s essential to carefully consider the potential benefits and drawbacks before making the decision to bring a raven into your home.


Is it legal to own a raven?

The legality of owning a raven as a pet varies depending on your location. In some places, it may require a special permit or be prohibited altogether. It is important to check with your local wildlife authorities or exotic pet regulations to determine the legality in your area.


In conclusion, owning a raven as a pet may vary in terms of legality depending on your location. While ravens are considered intelligent and charming creatures, it is important to adhere to local laws and regulations governing pet ownership. Conduct thorough research and consult with local authorities or legal professionals to ensure that you are in compliance with the law. Remember, it is essential to prioritize the well-being and proper care of any animal you choose to bring into your home, regardless of its legal status as a pet.

Having a raven in your life can be a unique and rewarding experience, but be sure to consider the responsibilities and commitments that come with it. As with any pet, a raven requires proper care, attention, and a suitable environment for its physical and mental well-being. Ensure that you have the necessary knowledge, resources, and dedication to provide a loving and nurturing home for your raven companion.

Remember, before bringing a raven into your life, always prioritize legality, welfare, and responsible ownership.