Can You Have A Hawk As A Pet?

Hawks are considered the most intelligent birds. Their sharp eyesight, unique hunting techniques, and ability to adapt to any environment can fascinate any bird lover. Seeing such features, sometimes bird lovers wish to keep to hawk as a pet. But can you really have a hawk as a pet? Is it even legal?

Well, it’s possible to have a hawk as a pet. But you need a suitable environment, structure, training, and, most importantly, a falconry license. In some countries, you may have to take special permissions. However, hawks are not good pets. After spending dollars and much of your time, they won’t see any loving behavior from them like other pets. 

In this article, I’ve covered everything about keeping a hawk pet, including legal aspects, costs, and other related topics. So if you’ve ever thought of keeping a hawk pet, then this article is definitely for you. Stay tuned till the end to clear all of your queries.

Can You Have A Hawk As A Pet? (Answered In Detail)

Hawk is one of the dominating birds in the sky. Their awesome hunting skill can fascinate anyone. Besides, they have religious value in many communities, particularly for Native Americans.

But when it comes to keeping a hawk as a pet, there are hundreds of barriers. The Hawks are wild. You can’t expect cute puppy behavior from these wild birds of prey. They are not social and don’t like human company.

In fact, it’s next to impossible to train and domesticate a wild adult hawk. Even if it’s about a baby hawk, you need proper training and knowledge.

Hawks are not good pets at all. If you are thinking of having a hawk as a pet, I would say NO. Instead, leave these birds where they belong and are supposed to be in the wild.

However, if you are determined to have a pet hawk, see what things it requires to do so:

1. License and Permissions

Whenever you are thinking about having a hawk, acquiring a license and permission from authorities is the first challenge. In most countries, keeping hawks is illegal. The only way to keep one is by acquiring a falconry license and special permits.

The process requires much time and effort. Below I’ve discussed it in detail.

2. Proper Environment & Structure

The Hawks are wild. You can’t keep a hawk in your house as you do with a cat. They need space.

It requires a proper environment and structure. If you are thinking of keeping your hawk outdoors, then you need an open area with proper enclosure and settings.

You can also keep a hawk indoors. But for that, you have to make proper settings in a room and clean it every day.

3. Taking Care Of Hawk’s Diet & Health

Hawks are carnivores. When you have a hawk pet, you must take care of its diet. They need a lot of food. You must give them rats, squirrels, mice, or small birds daily.

Sometimes, pet hawks die because of poor human practices. So ensure regular checkups of your hawk. Please make sure your desire to have a hawk doesn’t kill one.

Is It Legal To Keep A Hawk As Pet?

Is It Legal To Keep A Hawk As Pet
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It actually depends on where you live. In Australia and Texas, keeping a hawk is illegal. Only if you have a falconry license and special permits you can keep a hawk.

In India, keeping any bird as a pet is illegal. Even if anyone finds any injured hawk, he must hand it over to the forest department.

In the United States, Canada, and Mexico, hawks, falcons, owls, and eagles are protected by federal law. According to this law, no one can capture, sell, purchase, barter, or physically hurt any of these birds, or else he or she will be cited.

You can keep a hawk only if you have a falconry license. Except for Hawaii, every state has a regulation to meet federal standards and get a falconry license. You can check American Falconry Magazine or directly contact the state authorities for accurate information.

Let’s see the procedure for obtaining a falconry license and keeping hawks legally:

  • Firstly you have to pass a written test, scoring at least 80%. You can read The Falconry Manual to prepare for the test.
  • Then you need a sponsor who has general or master falconry permission. He will train you for the next two years and sponsor your apprenticeship. 
  • After this, you have to prepare a suitable environment and structure for your hawk. A representative of the authority will inspect this setting physically.
  • Finally, you have to pay the state fee.

After completing these steps successfully, you will become a licensed falconer. Then you can keep a hawk legally.

How Much Does It Cost To Have A Hawk As A Pet?

How Much Does It Cost To Have A Hawk As A Pet
Image Credit: joruba, Canva

As now you know everything about having a pet hawk, let’s get an idea of how much this desire will cost you.

Firstly you have to spend a good amount on legal aspects to acquire a falconry license and permissions. You have to pay a state fee.

Secondly, you have to spend in creating a proper environment for keeping a hawk. Both indoor and outdoor enclosures and settings are costly. According to your plan, this cost will vary.

Thirdly, buying a hawk. Recently I checked some websites, and their price differs depending on the species, starting at $500 to $7000. I’ve noticed that the complete trained hawk’s price range is much high.

Fourthly, you have to spend on the hawk’s diet. You have to give them rats, squirrels, mice, or small birds every day. This may cost you $1 to $3 dollar every single day.

I’m sure you won’t go to the market every day to buy dead animals as hawks’ food. When it comes to storing, nothing can be more disgusting than keeping dead rats along with your regular food. So, you will need a new refrigerator.

Fifthly, sometimes you will have to let your bird fly freely. Always keeping a bird in the enclosure is brutal. When you will do it, your hawk can fly away and don’t return to you again. So all of your effort and expense can go in vain just in a blink.

Finally, your hawks need a regular checkup. As hawks are not a common pet, you will have to spend much on this.

See? Your desire to have a hawk as a pet is going to cut much of your pocket!

Final Words

As I mentioned before, it’s possible to have a hawk as a pet. But there are a lot of challenges and barrios. Firstly you will need to acquire a falconry license and permissions. You have to give a good amount of time, effort and money for this.

Then depending on the species, you have to ensure the proper environment and diet for your hawk. The desire to have a hawk as a pet actually costs a lot.

I never recommend keeping a pet hawk. It requires a lot of time and effort to take care of a hawk. But if you are interested, you have to go through to above procedure. And I hope you find this article helpful.

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