>I am planning on going away for the holidays and will be gone for 2
>weeks. I would really like to take Taylor (my 2.5 year old 'tiel)
>with me. I am traveling by plane that will take around 7 to 8
>hours. Is this just too stressful of an event for a bird? Also, what
>kind of a cage would be good for the 2 week stay?
I've flown with my greater sulfur***atoo a lot. When I first got my
newly weaned friend, I was given an opportunity to work out of my
architecture firm's LA office. That meant I would need to fly back to
my home in San Francisco every weekend. I wasn't about to spend
precious bonding time away from her, so my company agreed that I could
take her back and forth with me. I lived like this, flying the bird
back and forth for 18 months.
I'd put her in an airline certified carrier and put her under the seat
in front of me. I wouldn't recommend anyone putting a bird in the cargo
hold unless they had to. On long flights, I sometimes ask the
permission of the other travelers sitting with me if I might take her
out and cuddle her in my lap. Bring a towel and baby wipes in case she
makes a dropping. This isn't always kosher with the flight attendants,
but they usually don't mind if the bird is well behaved. Make sure she
can't fly, recheck her wing clipping before you leave. Only once has a
steward complained and gotten the captain to talk to me. I told him
that other airlines allow me to hold her in my lap, and he backed off
not wanting to lose business to the competition.
I will admit, traveling was something my bird experienced from a very
early age, so it might have been easier for her to adjust to. I also
believe she is less fearful of change because of it. It's a great way
to bond even more tightly with your pet.
She is now 4 1/2 years old and has taken many trips across the country
(on flights lasting 4-8 hours) to visit family on long holidays or
accompany me on long vacations. One limitation, you can only do this in
the continental United States. Traveling abroad usually has quarantine
restrictions. Check with the regulations in each state you're going to
visit, including your home state, because a vet check certificate is
usually required. In addition the certificate must be recent, usually
between 10-30 days from the date of departure. The airline officials
rarely look at them, but you don't wont to be stopped if someone
Flying is always at least a bit stressful, even for the most traveled
of birds. I would not recommend flying with a bird that isn't eating or
is ill. Of course, your vet can check the health of your pet during the
health certificate exam.
Put some of your birds favorite toys in its carrier and bring along
plenty of her favorite snacks. My bird rarely eats on the flights, and
usually takes some time to adjust to her new surroundings, but after
she's settled in, she eats and plays with her usual gusto. When you
arrive at your destination, make sure you can give her all of her
favorite and healthy foods.
Since I have a large***atoo, I've purchased a large foldable cage.
Any foldable cage designed for your bird (right size, right bar
spacing, etc.) should work fine. Remember that you'll have to carry it
to the airport, so think about its weight. It will probably be smaller
than the cage she's usually use to, so keep her out of the cage more
often than you do at home.
If you're going to a hotel, check before you make the reservations that
they accept a caged bird as a guest. I was surprised at how many places
would. Make sure you tip the housekeeper well each day.
Lastly, traveling with a bird will make you the center of attention. Be
prepared to share the same stories and answer the same questions over
and over again. The stewardesses on my LA flights loved my bird so much
that when there was space, they'd let her fly first class. Of course, I
had to remain in coach, but my bird would always save me a few bags of