It’s a story about the life cycle of an ornamental bird, which has become a subject of debate after a California court ruled that it’s illegal to take the birds out of their nest boxes.
The ruling comes as California and Arizona are looking to enact a law requiring that birds be kept in their boxes.
The decision, made by a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, also comes in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Bird Conservancy and the Los Angeles-based nonprofit BirdLife.
The court said the birds cannot be removed from their nest box without the birds’ permission.
The lawsuit argued that the birds are pets, and therefore are entitled to protection under the U,S.
Constitution’s First Amendment.
The ruling does not address the legality of euthanizing birds, though a law banning the practice is on the books in at least four states.
“If they are not used for their intended purposes, the birds may be subject to cruelty,” the panel ruled.
“The birds cannot remain in their box or cage,” the court said, adding that the law’s definition of “purpose” is “not limited to the purpose of reproduction.”
The court did not rule on whether the birds should be euthanized or if they are considered pets.
It did rule that the “principal objection” to removing the birds from their box was that it would cause unnecessary suffering to the birds.
The judge said the purpose and intent of the birds were not addressed in the complaint.
The American Bird Conservation Society has said the ruling will be used to pressure lawmakers to pass a law mandating that birds are kept in cages.
The group said it hopes the ruling is used to get the law passed, but it will not comment on whether that goal will be achieved.
The case is U. S. v.
Mecheau, U. of Cal., No. 15-1026.