This week's mailbag question is a bit different, but an important one for any fan of wild birding or pet birds. Alex from Ohio asks...
"I want a pet bird, but I don't want to get in trouble for owning a species I shouldn't. What do you recommend?"
Whenever you buy a pet, no matter what type, you should ask where it came from. Pet birds that are legally sold in the United States, however, are bred in captivity, and owning them won't be a violation of the Migratory Bird Act. Watch out for backyard bird species, however - if anyone is trying to sell you common birds such as house finches or American goldfinches, they are not dealing legally and you could be prosecuted for owning the bird.
Responsible pet ownership is always important; check out About.com Birds to learn all about pet birds, what bird is right for you and proper pet bird care!
Photo © Geek2Nurse