Habitat conservation is the key to the survival of all wild species. Ornithology is primarily a field science, but sometimes it is necessary to take birds from the wild and breed them in captive conditions for reintroduction into the wild. Examples are the Sandhill Crane, California Condor, and Peregrine Falcon. For the Spotted Owl, preservation of habitat has been the major emphasis. Learn about aviaries from Wikipedia. Photo: Aviary, NZ.
Ornithology.com does not encourage or condone the keeping of wild birds in cages although sometimes it is necessary for the birds’ survival. If you decide to keep a bird, keep a species that has been bred in captivity for a long time such as parakeets or canaries.
Pandemonium Aviaries is a non-profit organization that breeds endangered birds so they can be returned to their native habitat.
Clear Springs Aviaries and Gardens
Echo’s Haven Bird Sanctuary
Hagen Avicultural Research Institute
Jurong Bird Park
Three Owls Bird Sanctuary
Some of the most important work in ornithology has occurred in zoos or similar facilities.
Captive Breeding Programs
From the Avian Welfare Coalition: “One of the most common assertions made by breeders of exotic birds is that captive breeding is necessary to keep the birds from becoming endangered. In reality, breeding birds in captivity is not going to save species in the wild because most captive breeding is done outside of official conservation plans and because captive breeding fails to address the leading causes of wild bird population decline — habitat loss, pollution, and the pet trade.
Contrary to popular belief, the breeding of exotic birds in captivity can actually have a negative impact on the species in the wild. History has shown that the increased popularity of exotic animals as pets, whether wild caught or captive bred, often leads to a subsequent increase in the illegal trafficking of their wild counterparts within the U.S. and abroad. The reduction in the importation of wild-caught birds for the exotic pet trade is largely attributable to the Endangered Species Act, Lacey Act, and Wild Bird Conservation Act — not captive breeding.”
From the Ornithologist: I don’t reject all captive breeding programs but the statement above makes some excellent points.