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Cardinal as domestic pet?


Staff member
Can Cardinals Be Your Next Feathered Friend?
Feathered Freedom or Forbidden Friendship?

Greetings & welcome back friends,

We all know the allure of our feathered friends – the playful chirps, the dazzling colors, the endless entertainment (shredding toilet paper anyone?). But what about those vibrant cardinals that grace our backyards with their melodic songs? Can they be our next feathered companions?

Well... Buckle up, because we're diving into the world of cardinals as domestic pets, separating fact from fancy (and maybe even a sprinkle of law!).

The truth, my fellow bird lovers, is a bit of a feathered downer. While those vibrant red cardinals might seem like the perfect addition to your home, keeping them as pets is actually illegal in most parts of the world, including the United States. This is thanks to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, a law enacted to protect various bird species, including cardinals. Think of it as a superhero protecting our feathered friends from becoming caged songbirds!

So, why the no-go on cardinal companionship? Well, several reasons exist:
  • Wild at Heart: Cardinals are wild birds, and their natural habitat is the great outdoors. Confining them to a cage can be incredibly stressful and hinder their natural behaviors like flying, foraging, and socializing with their fellow cardinals. Imagine being locked in a room all day – not exactly a recipe for a happy bird, right?

  • Specialized Care: Cardinals have specific dietary needs and require specialized care that most pet owners wouldn't be able to provide. They thrive on a diet of seeds, insects, and fruits, and replicating their natural environment in captivity can be quite challenging. Think of it like trying to recreate a mini forest in your living room – not exactly an easy feat!

  • Illegal Liberty: As mentioned earlier, keeping cardinals as pets is illegal in most parts of the world. Violating these laws can result in hefty fines and even imprisonment. Remember, there's a reason they're called "wild" birds – they belong in the wild, not in cages!
Now, appreciating cardinals and watching them flit around your backyard is definitely encouraged! Here are some ways to enjoy these beautiful birds without infringing on their wild freedom:
  • Create a bird-friendly backyard: Plant native flowers and shrubs that cardinals love, and set up feeders filled with their favorite seeds. You might just become their favorite human!

  • Observe and learn: Cardinals are fascinating creatures with unique behaviors. Observe them closely, learn about their calls, and appreciate their role in the ecosystem. Remember, knowledge is power, and the power to appreciate these birds without harming them is truly special!
So, while cardinals might not be the next addition to your pet family, there are plenty of ways to enjoy and appreciate them in their natural habitat. Remember, responsible pet ownership starts with respecting the needs and freedom of animals.

I would like to know, have you ever encountered cardinals in the wild? What are your thoughts on appreciating birds without keeping them as pets? Share your stories and comments below, and let's keep the conversation (and the birdwatching!) going!

If you find this thread/post informative, feel free to share it with your family or friends as it might be helpful to them.

Stay safe!