Keeping of pigeons and caged birds

This table advises the specifications for keeping pigeons and caged birds in town areas:

Animal/activityAllowed without approvalRequires approvalIn what circumstances
Cockatoo, galah or other bird of a similar size Up to 4 Over 4
On an allotment with an area less than 4000m2
Budgerigar, canary, cockatiel or other bird of a similar size Up to 20 Over 10
On an allotment with an area less than 4000m2
Racing pigeon Up to 10 Over 10
On an allotment with an area less than 4000m2

The minimum standards for keeping budgerigars, canaries, cockatoos, galahs, pigeons and other birds of a similar size are:

  • the bird is kept without nuisance
  • the bird is contained within an enclosed cage or aviary
  • bird food is kept in a properly sealed, vermin proof container
  • the cage or aviary in which the bird is kept is thoroughly cleaned at least once a week
  • if a code of practice is applied for the keeping of the bird,  the bird is kept in accordance with the code
  • the cage or aviary in which the bird is kept is not located within 10 metres of a residence on adjoining premises or a place where food is kept, processed or stored
  • six metres from any road or one metre from the boundary of the premises on which the bird is kept
  • air tight sealed packages
  • the enclosure is not located within one metre from the side or rear boundaries of the premises

You must also ensure:

  • waste water from enclosures is drained appropriately
  • run-off is kept off adjoining premises
  • excreta, food scraps and other material that is likely to become offensive is collected daily and immediately removed from the premises (if not removed immediately, must be kept in a waste container approved by an authorised person)
  • any enclosure in which the animal is kept is properly maintained in a clean and sanitary condition
  • take all reasonable steps to prevent the animal from making a noise or disturbance to occupiers of ajoining premises
  • the area available to the animal is appropriately sized so that the animal is comfortable.

Please contact council on 1300 MACKAY (622 529) or council@mackay.qld.gov.au for further details.

My neighbour's bird makes a lot of noise, what can I do?

Talk to your neighbour as soon as the problem arises. They may not be aware that their bird is making noise or that it is bothering you.

If you are uncomfortable addressing your neighbour directly, a template of a letter you can complete can be found here.

We recommend also enclosing a copy of our factsheet which contains information which may help identify why the bird is causing a disturbance, as well as techniques to reduce barking.

Give your neighbour time to address the issue. If the noise persists, then we encourage you to complete the Noise Bird Survey.

Council require documented evidence of nuisance instances to be collected before the issue can be escalated.

This allows Local Laws Officers to better identify the cause of the nuisance, which in turn helps them to better assist owners when resolving the issue.

The survey must be formally lodged – it cannot be anonymous. This is a requirement as the document supports any escalation action.

The survey and can be completed electronically and emailed to council@mackay.qld.gov.au or via post.

Factsheets