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USA: Guide to Importing Live Birds – Ornithological Council

Chris Merkord

A Guide to the Permits and Procedures for Importing Live Birds into the United States for Scientific Research and Display.


A publication of the Ornithological Council.


Compiled by Ellen Paul


Importing live birds for scientific research is a complex, time-consuming process. This fact sheet is intended to be a step-by-step guide for the ornithologist. We have attempted to provide clear explanations of the regulations and procedures, and to provide answers to anticipated questions or likely problems. By interviewing the agency staff who write and implement these regulations and procedures, and by having them assess this fact sheet for accuracy, we hoped to "fill in the blanks" between the written regulations and the realities of importing live birds. In addition, we have provided helpful hints that are intended to help ornithologists avoid problems in navigating this labyrinth process.


This information is current as of September 2005. We will make every effort to keep the fact sheet current by updating as regulations or procedures are changed. Updates will be incorporated into the text and also published as dated appendices, to aid the user of this guide in tracking those changes.


We encourage the readers of this fact sheet to contact us with questions or problems encountered in importing live birds. Your experiences will help us to update this fact sheet, but more importantly, will help us to identify regulations or procedures that are in need of revision. We can then work with the relevant regulatory agency to try to bring about those changes.

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