Can You Legally Own a Flamingo?
How Much Does It Cost?

What would be better than having this pink beauty permanently living in your yard? Nothing – but the state and its behavior both make that impossible!

David A. Swanson Profile Picture

David A. Swanson

November 21, 2021

Can You Legally Own a Flamingo? How Much Does It Cost? Thumbnail

What’s This Post About?

Flamingos are immensely popular and widely appreciated for their beauty. From their pretty pink hue, soulful eyes, curved black beak, to long graceful necks often intertwined with another, flamingos are indeed a treat for the eyes.

People love going to zoos to look at these birds and see them perform elaborate courtship rituals. It makes people wonder if they can keep a flamingo as a pet. But how difficult is that to execute? Read to find out!

Flamingos are not intended to be pets, and possessing them without a valid license is illegal. However, flamingos may thrive in captivity with sufficient care and appropriate living circumstances if you have a permit. Ensure you have the finances for it because having a flamingo can be pretty expensive.


Can You Legally Own a Flamingo?

It is unlawful to own a flamingo in most nations. In the United States, it is illegal to capture wild flamingos and keep them as pets. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act ensures that flamingos remain protected. Keeping these wild animals in captivity is thus prohibited.

There are several exceptions, such as zoos and animal parks. However, as a private individual, it is quite improbable that you possess all the necessary qualifications. Obtaining permission may also be time-consuming and costly.


You are not permitted to catch a wild flamingo under any circumstances. You must get one from a reputable breeder, which is difficult to find.


What Does It Cost to Own a Flamingo?

Even if you get a permit to purchase a flamingo, bear in mind that the bird is very expensive. The cost of buying a flamingo is around $2500 to $3500. This is not fixed, and the price will change according to the species you purchase and the state you live in.

You also don’t want to leave your pet flamingo alone. Flamingos are friendly animals, and being alone might make them miserable. As a result, you’ll need to purchase a flamingo pair. Flamingos range in price from $2500-$3000, so a couple may set you back $4000-$6000.

Like other wild or exotic pets, a flamingo requires multiple things to be healthy and enjoy a longer life. Not only are flamingos pricey, but so are their cages, feeds, upkeep, and vitamins. When you put it all up, you’re looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars.



A typical cage and equipment that might work for ordinary pet birds will not cater to your pet flamingo’s needs. You will have to build a proper area replicating its habitat. You must at least include netting to prevent it from flying and a saltwater pond nearby.


You can clip the wings of your pet flamingo. It may be a drastic step, but doing so will release you from the tension of the bird flying away.


Flamingos eat shrimps, small seeds, algae, fly larvae, and other seafood animals. The seafood itself is an expensive meal, and devouring it in large quantities makes flamingoes an extravagant pet to have.



People frequently overlook the need to take their pets to the veterinarian regularly. For instance, even if nothing is wrong with your health, you must get regular check-ups. Similar is the case with your pets.

Since flamingos are so rare, it will be challenging to locate a veterinarian to treat them if something goes wrong. Even if you do find them, they will be costly.

Should You Own A Flamingo?

The average person has no idea how to care for a flamingo. This is why most nations prohibit ordinary people from owning one as a pet.

Wild animals, in actuality, do not require our assistance to survive since they can provide for themselves far better in their natural environment than humans can.

If your state allows it or you can obtain a license, there are a few things you must know about flamingos. 


They Are Wild Animals

The fact that flamingos are wild creatures makes them unsuitable as pets. Even though you have raised them since they were babies, they might still act wild as adults since it is in their nature. In addition, whatever management techniques you use, which we strongly advise against, will retain a wild animal’s attitude and instincts.

Flamingos may be friendly to people, too, but only if they’ve been around people since they were born. However, as previously stated, just because you nurture a flamingo from birth does not imply they will lose their natural instincts.

They Are Messy Birds

Flamingos are untidy animals which makes them unsuitable as pets. Like every other bird, they poo and spread it about. The majority of the time, their feathers also fall to the ground. This is why they require a lot of care and need to be maintained regularly.

They Are High Maintenance

As previously stated, acquiring a flamingo is not the only costly factor. Their requirements are likewise expensive. Flamingos are high-maintenance pets that require a great deal of attention.

You’ll need a big cage, a lot of cash for food and vitamins, and even more money for the license.

It is costly since you must care for two flamingos. Flamingos are gregarious creatures who require a partner. So, you’ll have to purchase two flamingos, which means you’ll have to maintain two flamingos as well.


They Have Specific Dietary Needs

Flamingos are known for their pink color, but did you know that even the pinkest flamingo started out as a white baby? Pink feathers, faces, and legs take up to three years to grow in flamingos.

The majority of their diet comes from water. In addition, flamingos consume a variety of red algae, shrimp, tiny fish, and bivalve larvae in the wild.

Beta carotene present in their diet gives them pigmentation. So if you want to have a pink flamingo, you must eat a well-balanced diet. The hue will start to fade if there is any deficiency.

Flamingos consume by pushing water into their beaks and capturing food. To do this, zoos and animal parks that house flamingos must create a similar environment by providing tiny ponds and water facilities for feeding.


They Are Social Birds

The birds are highly gregarious creatures who require the company of their peers to be content. It is impossible to keep a single flamingo. In fact, even two or three are considered insufficient. The zoos that house flamingos keep at least a flock of ten.

If you want to be a responsible pet owner, you should strive for this amount.

Can you picture having such a vast flock of birds and what it means for the size of their natural habitat? Don’t undervalue what this entails in terms of expenses and maintenance.


Keep Reading!

Flamingos are wild creatures, and meeting all of their demands is quite challenging. Furthermore, keeping wild animals without government authorization is prohibited in many nations.

Before you decide to apply for a permit, familiarize yourself with the above-mentioned legal requirements, as well as the care, expenses, and other crucial factors.

Now that you know how difficult it is to own a flamingo personally, read to learn about the seven most rare flamingos ever.

The 7 Most Rare Flamingos Ever: Black, Green, Albino, Blue?

Interesting facts about exotic flamingos that will blow your mind. Read ahead to know everything about the rare kinds of Flamingos!

David A. Swanson Picture

By David A. Swanson

Bird Watching USA

My name is David and I'm the the founder of Bird Watching USA! I started Bird Watching with My father-in-law many years ago, and I've become an addict to watching these beautiful creatures. I've learnt so much over about bird watching over the years that I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

Posted in:

David A. Swanson Picture

David A. Swanson

Bird Watching USA

My name is David and I'm the the founder of Bird Watching USA! I started Bird Watching with My father-in-law many years ago, and I've become an addict to watching these beautiful creatures. I've learnt so much over about bird watching over the years that I want to share with the world everything I know about them!



You may also like:

Keep Learning!

Our latest tutorials, guides & bird watching tips straight to your inbox! You can unsubscribe at any time, but almost everybody stays. We must be doing something right!