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Pigeon Licensing Information

Pigeon Licensing

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Pigeon keeping is a long-established hobby in Calgary. The City of Calgary provides regulation and licensing for keeping urban pigeons under the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw.

Applying for a pigeon keeping licence

Before applying for a pigeon keeping licence:

  • You must contact The City of Calgary's Planning and Development department to start a pre-application enquiry file. 
  • You must be a member of one of the approved pigeon keeping associations. 
  • You will need to apply for a licence for each property you keep pigeons on in Calgary.

Note: Your licence must be approved before you acquire pigeons.

Approved pigeon keeping associations

Prepare your application

Once you have obtained membership in one of the approved pigeon keeping associations, prepare the following prior to your application. Ensure you have all of this information ready before you apply. Incomplete applications will be closed and not processed.

Did you know?

Urban pigeon licensing ensures proper housing and care conditions are met for pigeons, and that any neighbouring concerns are addressed. 

Report concerns or direct questions to 311.

Contact the Planning and Development department

Applicants will need to go through The City of Calgary’s pre-application enquiry file process prior to building their pigeon loft, unless you owned pigeons prior to January 1, 2022.

To obtain a pre-application enquiry file number from The City of Calgary Planning and Development, call 403-268-5311 and ask for the pre-application enquiry to be created. You will need the following information:

  • Your address (where the pigeon loft will be located)
  • Size of proposed structure you may build for your pigeons (total area, heights, if the floor will be elevated from grade)
  • Approximate location of where the structure will be located
  • A site plan and details of any housing needed for pigeons (a simple overhead view/drawing of where your pigeon loft will be placed in relation to other buildings/fences/neighbours)

Once you have the file number, you must keep it on hand as it is required throughout the application process.

With the file number, pigeon licence applicants can begin building their loft prior to their receiving licence application approval.

If you change your address, you must apply for a new pre-application enquiry file number.

Learn more about Planning and Development requirements for home improvements.

Provide proof of association membership

There is no formal training available for pigeon keeping, but membership to one of two pigeon associations is required to obtain your licence:

Association membership allows pigeon keepers to be connected to the broader pigeon keeping community to receive information they need and access mentoring as needed. This would include accessing information on pigeon health and avian flu as well. 

Provide proof of property ownership

You must be over 18 years to apply for a pigeon keeping licence. If under 18, a parent or guardian must apply on your behalf.

Proof of ownership of the property wherethe pigeons are being kept or proof of consent of the property’s owner.


Additionally, the following documentation is required:

  • Signed consent from the property owner is required if you are not listed as the property owner on title.
  • You will be instructed to upload the signed consent letter in the last step of this application (if required).
  • A site plan is a simple overhead view/drawing of where your pigeon loft is/will be placed in relation to other buildings/fences/neighbours.
  • The maximum number of pigeons you expect to have on your property during the year.

Provide a signed declaration form

Download and sign a declaration form. Submit with your application.

Apply for pigeon keeping licence

Ensure you have all of this information ready before you apply. Incomplete applications will be closed and not processed.

The licensing regulations ensure people new to keeping pigeons are properly trained and adhere to commonly accepted practices that prevent potential community issues, and that any neighbouring concerns are addressed.


Urban pigeon licensing is regulated under part 4 of the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw.

Site inspections will be conducted on a number of randomly selected applicant sites to ensure housing criteria is met.

Licence or permit holders must:

  • Have proof of ownership of the property where the livestock is kept (or proof of consent of the property’s owner).
  • Keep all housing consistent with what was approved in the application for the licence (and in good repair).
  • Not fly more than 30 pigeons at a time and must not fly pigeons that have been fed within two hours prior to flying, unless exempt from this requirement by The City of Calgary (exempt permission will be granted where the requirement is not reasonable due to the type of species of pigeon being kept under the licence).
  • Maintain membership in good standing of either the Canadian Pigeon Fanciers’ Association Inc./Association Canadienne du Pigeon de Fantaisie Inc. or the Canadian Racing Pigeon Union Incorporated, and must band all pigeons kept under the licence with a seamless Club or Association band on their legs.
  • A licence holder may not slaughter a pigeon, but may take pigeons to be euthanized by a licenced veterinarian or to be slaughtered at a licensed slaughterhouse in the city limits.
  • Must notify The City of Calgary if the pigeons are being relocated or moved and must agree to an inspection of any new location.