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Before Release

Birds should be released into their new quarters in the morning. This gives them enough daylight to settle, to become accustomed to their new home and to find food and water before sleeping.

The most common dangers to captive birds include:

  • DRAFTS: these cause chills which can be fatal. Avoid drafts by plugging cracks and holes, plus offer shelter against the prevailing winds and rains.
  • DAMPNESS: this can promote various illnesses and health problems. Dry floors, perches and shelter areas will minimise dampness.
  • DISTURBANCES: cats, mice, possums, children and adults can all cause birds to take flight quickly and hurt themselves. Avoid other animals having unsupervised access and keep human movements deliberate and careful around your birds.
  • STRESS: if a bird has no shelter, privacy or is harassed by other birds or animals, then it may not drink, eat or sleep properly, resulting in health problems.
  • NIGHT FRIGHTS: can be fatal. Do not disturb birds after sunset.


If your bird is unwell, there are some warning signs, such as:

  • Fluffed feathers, head resting on its back and TWO FEET on the perch. A healthy bird sleeps fluffed and head over the back but it usually rests on ONE FOOT ONLY.
  • any discharge or wetness around the eyes, nostrils or vent.



HOUSING*: Provide adequate shelter, privacy, sleeping sites and fresh air.

FEEDING*: Provide the appropriate food and supplements (such as cuttlefish and grit) for the species plus fresh water. Water should be placed out of direct sunlight. Water and feed receptacles should not be placed under perches.

*In Victoria, a Code of Practice for the housing of caged birds applies to the keeping of birds in captivity and requires you to provide adequate space, food, water, etc. for your birds. These codes are available from Agriculture Victoria.


No licence is required for species not native to Australia. These include birds such as the:

Canary, Java Sparrow, Bengalese Mannikin, Parrot Finches, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Spice Finch, Quakers, Indian Ringneck, Alexandrine, Kakarikis, Conures, Macaws, African Grey Parrot, Lovebirds, Pheasants, Californian Quail, European Quail, Masked Dove, Talpacote Dove, and many, many more…

A licence is required to keep any native Australian bird, with the following exceptions:

GROUP ONE: (species which may be freely kept and traded by anyone, including Pet Shops):

Budgerigar, Cockatiel, King Quail, Zebra Finch.

GROUP TWO: (Species which may be freely kept and traded by any person. Commercial trade restricted to Licenced Wildlife Dealers):

Parrot: Bourke’s, Elegant, Scarlet-chested, Turquoisine, Red-rumped, Princess.
Finch: Blue-faced, Chestnut-breasted, Double-barred, Gouldian, Long-tailed, Painted, Star.
Other: Peaceful Dove, Diamond Dove, Galah, Little Corella, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Rainbow Lorikeet, Western Rosella.

Whilst these species are not the subject of a licence, it should be remembered that:

  • all species of Australian wildlife are protected;
  • no species may be taken from the wild without a permit;
  • the keeping of ALL birds is subject to a code of practice from Agriculture Victoria.