Posted by: Cacille | June 26, 2012

More Bird Info

It’s been a while, due to not having much to talk about. I ran out of money to do fun stuff. Now I’ve been paid, but I can’t do much fun stuff cause of the upcoming plan to visit Japan. Trust me, you’ll hear more about that soon enough.

Today, I hope to give a bit more info about bringing birds to Korea. A poster contacted me and wanted to know more, despite being from Canada so the process is a little different. I will share with you all here what I researched to help you find a bit more info yourself and maybe it will help with getting paperwork ready in Canada or the USA.

Getting Birds Ready / Finding a Vet
Go talk to your vet starting with a minimum of 2 months before your trip, preferably 3 months. They may need time to get the paperwork in, call around to find out how to do it correctly, and perhaps they may even need to call that vet that I went to, to get clarification. Be aware…they may need to make long distance calls to Korea and to the USA in that case, prepare to pay for those calls. As I mentioned, I paid $300 for their time and effort (Worth every penny) PLUS, the USDA stamp needed ($12ish), PLUS later, the Airline fee for just having a pet with me as one of my allowed carry-ons. I’d go to them, ask if they:
1. Deal with birds in the first place. Find one that does before you say anything more to anyone.
2. Ask if they do microchipping and can (or are willing to) do microchipping with birds. I was lucky, my vet was almost out of regular dog/cat microchips so they ordered the mini microchips and the special gun for them special for me, which worked out for them too. Your vet may need to do the same, or perhaps they can get one on loan from a vet that already has a mini gun. MAKE SURE THEY GET THE INTERNATIONAL VERSION OF MICROCHIPS!!! Also, be aware – vets that deal with birds may have never microchipped a bird before. Mine was willing to try it and had years and years of experience so I was willing to trust her. She did it right – birds didn’t complain or pick at the spot where they were injected…I actually doubt they felt it much at all. I microchipped my birds 2 months before my trip. The vet, upon doing the health certificate just before my trip, checked to make sure the microchips hadn’t moved and that it was ‘secure”.
3. Are ABLE TO DO veterinary certificates of health in the first place. If they are a stand-up place, they should be able to, but this matters because the USDA/CFIA may have issues with less commonly known vet places. My vet has been operating for years and years and years.

Paperwork Prep
Korean Regulations:
Korean Regulations for birds is surprisingly a pretty light read. The commenter had asked if there was a quarantine for birds. The answer is NO, as long as you have the health certificate/quarantine letter and APHIS (And Cites, if you’re bringing a non-common bird) paperwork. Here is the link to the direct webpage.

Airline Issues
-Airlines only accept certain crates. I got a hard sided one that was about 8″ high. Asiana accepted it, Delta – nope. In fact, no such case is made that Delta will accept, stupidly. When looking at bird crates, some will say “Airline Approved”. It means that MAYBE one airline will accept it, not all. Here’s the one I bought. although I got mine from Ebay for a little cheaper. It worked pretty well for my birds.
This page may also be helpful to some, it has more general info about airlines, then skip the quarantine section. Go to the section about birds and from there, the rest is good info to keep in mind.

Arrival in Korea
While I asked my recruiter for information about bringing birds, she wasn’t all that helpful with what she was able to find. Basically the info she found was the exact info i’ve pointed you to, which I had already looked at as well. So I had called the Quarantine office to get more info, and they gave me the document that I will attach below which mayor may not help you, but at least it’s from the Incheon quarantine office, which you will be visiting when you land in Seoul.

Import Health Requirements of the Republic of Korea for Pet Birds Exported

It’s kinda an open-air office, part of the normal airport. All you have to do is go to them, hand them all the forms and the little “airplane paper” they give you to declare what you’re bringing to Korea (And YES – you DO need to mark that little form in the little field where it says something about plants or animals.), and they go off for a bit, look at all the paperwork, get a supervisor or whatever, come back, mark the forms, ask a basic question or two and let you go on your way. That’s all they did with me!

Bird Supplies
– There is seed, but basic types, and really small, basically made for straight-bills like finches. There are pellets available at a store in Seoul, and they do ship, but the site isn’t in English. Millet doesn’t exist here, neither does cuttlebone. Bring lots. I know two bird store in the USA (Missouri and California) who will ship to Korea, as they know me or I’ve done ebay business with them in the recent past.
-Cages are tiny, made for no bigger than 2 budgies or 1 lovebird per cage. I managed to find the one large cage, and then i found one more large cage available on Gmarket (a site you will come to love).
-There are no such things as perches here, the kind you screw onto a side of a cage. What you get with the cage is the only thing available. I swear, Korea is set in the era of 30 years ago in terms of bird care. So, plan to bring some small natural perches (Assume no more than 12″ in length). Same goes for toys, HOWEVER there are tons and tons of art shops. I’m easily able to make bird toys from wooden chopsticks and bits of string and little plastic rings and such.



  1. This was a helpful post. I just wish there wasn’t an existing ban on bringing SK-born birds back to the States, as I have come to own a budgie and am really concerned about what I’m going to do with him when I have to go back in 2014.

    There’s a great website I’ve come to use for millet and cuttle bones. It’s a shop based in Busan, but they deliver and the products are relatively cheap (you’ll need a Korean friend to help navigate the site). It’s called

    • Wow, what an amazing site! I’m looking through it and I’m pleasantly surprised at all the stuff on it. I’m gonna have to visit that shop sometime soon.
      I had to import cuttlebone because I could not find any in Korea, so thanks for this website. I also use a online bird store called for my bird’s food and such. Thank you for the other site, which I haven’t managed to find despite multiple different searches!
      I also wish the ban was not in effect. I’d love to adopt another bird, because recently one of mine died of possible cancer/old age (aged 17) and only have one left. However, since my remaining bird is American born and is technically a citizen, I can import her back with few problems. Of course, now with the current new avian flu in China, it is doubtful that the USA will change it’s policy soon. Or within 10 years.
      Keep in contact with me, perhaps I’ll be able to help you find a person to care for your bird after you leave if you don’t find one yourself.


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