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Birds of a Feather Flock Together:
Traveling With A Parrot

By Milo Piros

Since parrots are very intelligent, curious and social, traveling with them is quite safe and fun. Like all other birds, they also love to see the outside world, and taking them on trips is a rewarding experience.

But you might have heard that a lot of pet birds get lost or meet an accident every year while they are on a trip. Parrots are prey, and they get scared very easily. Although you may be able to
recover your lost bird, doing so can be quite stressful for both you and your bird. So, there are certain things that you should remember while taking the bird on a trip.

• Train your parrot to get used to a bird carrier. It is very important for keeping your parrot safe and reducing the bird's stress, as well as that of others traveling with you. If you are traveling by car, then keep the carrier safely at the back, because the impact of an exploding air bag in an accident can kill your parrot. The bird carrier should be large enough for your bird to sit or rest in it comfortably so that it doesn't bump its head or tail on the top or bottom. If you want to use a T-perch on top of your bird carrier, then allow your parrot to sit on the perch for a short time every day so that he/she gets used to it. Always remember that your bird will daily need some time to come out of the carrier for exercise or just for a change.

• Keep sufficient food and vegetables in the bird carrier that are very high in water content, to minimize dehydration. If you want to keep fruits for feeding your parrot, then store them in ice to prevent from spoiling.

• Train your bird to wear a harness like a Bird Diaper before taking him outside.

• When you are out of the vehicle, do not leave the bird alone or locked in carrier. Predator animals are dangerous to pet animals, especially for birds.

• Get a pre-checkup of your parrot from your veterinarian before taking it on a trip. Make sure that your bird has developed no signs of illness prior to the trip and try implanting a microchip in your bird for identification in case you lose it.

• Provide your bird with a sufficient quantity of fresh water in its carrier all the time, so as not to upset your bird's delicate intestinal tract on trips. Fill the water cup just enough so that water does not keep on spilling all the way.

• If the weather is warm outside, take a spray bottle along with you to sprinkle water on your bird and protect it from heat. If your parrot is feeling too hot, it will keep its mouth open and wings raised.

• Always carry the contact number of your veterinarian and a copy of your parrot's medical records in case you have to contact an unknown vet in an emergency. You should also
carry a first aid kit for your bird containing supplies like septic power, gauze, Ace bandages, a sugar pack to make sugar water, a feeding syringe to administer sugar water in case of dehydration, and tweezers. Also, do not forget to bring disinfectant for cleaning your bird carrier during the journey.

• Do not keep your bird sitting in its carrier, directly in the sun or near a direct draft from the vents. Though auto air conditioning or heating will control the temperature to some extent, it is better to avoid direct contact of sunlight with the carrier.

• Your voice can calm and reassure your bird, so keep talking to it at regular intervals during the trip.

• If you want to carry your bird's toys on the trip, do not hang them in the carrier, where they may swing and hurt your bird. You can also use fresh fruits like grapes or orange
slice instead of toys.

© Milo Piros

Milo Piros is the author of "The Parrot SuperPak." Sign up for his free four-part parrot training course, at

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