Is it safe to travel with my bird?

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Is it safe to travel with my bird?

Post by Elsa Gutierre » Wed, 15 Nov 1995 04:00:00

I am reposting this in hopes of getting a few responses from people who
have experienced this type of situation with their birds.  For some reason
my last posting was deleted only after a few short days.

On to my questions

I have a 2.5 year old 'tiel.  She has only been with me since May.  I am
doing my best to learn all I can about birds and their care.

I am planning on going away for the holidays and will be gone for 2 weeks.
I would really like to take Taylor with me.  I am travelling by plane from
New York to New Mexico, which will take around 7 to 8 hours.  I know you
can purchase  a 'bird ticket' and I could carry her on the plane with me.
I do have an airline approved kennel for her.  Is this just too stressful
of an event for a bird?  Does anybody ever do this?  

Also, what kind of a cage would be good for the 2 week stay.  In my
previous message I mentioned the "bird motel" advertised in BIRDTALK, and
wondered how it would be for 2 weeks.  I got one negative comment about it,
but my message was deleted before I got any other responses. Any other
ideats about a good cage for the 2 week duration? or other comments on the
"bird motel"I also
mentioned that the place I will be staying uses a wood heater for their
main source of heat,  I was concerned about the smoke produced, but I have
since read in other postings that people wood heaters with no problem.

This is really important to me and I will appreciate any responses I get.

Thanks in advance.


Is it safe to travel with my bird?

Post by Mark Petkovic » Wed, 15 Nov 1995 04:00:00


>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
demands it.

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


Is it safe to travel with my bird?

Post by D » Thu, 16 Nov 1995 04:00:00

Check the dimensions of your under-seat space as well.  If you're like
me, and like to sit on the aisle, you'll often find you have less space
than the window or center seats.  And I think the window seat area is
colder than the other seats, so you'll want to either bring a small
blanket or snag one from the overhead bins to drape over the carrier.


^(_)^   spector had a little bird, a 'tiel hen named Merlot,
_||__   and everywhere that spector went, the hen was sure to go!


Is it safe to travel with my bird?

Post by Dave & She » Fri, 24 Nov 1995 04:00:00

I've had my parakeet "Charlie" for about a year now.  The first few
months that I had him, I traveled from New York to Washington DC (by
train) every few weeks. I couldn't stand to leave him alone, but I
was also afraid that bringing Charlie outdoors into the cold weather
would be bad for him. I bought him two wonderful cages for traveling:

The first was actually a small basket (that had a door that
opened & closed) usually used as an accessory for dishwashers to wash
small items such as baby bottle caps, etc.  I put a washcloth at the
bottom of the "cage" to keep his droppings from landing on my
clothes.  I tied a belt from a raincoat through the cage and around
my waste.  Charlie happily traveled from my apartment to the train
station under my coat in this cage.  He stayed as warm as me under
the coat!  He would only accept about 30-40 minutes in this cage
before becoming restless and noisy, so I had to have an
bigger-small-cage for the train ride.  

I found a cage that was specifically made for traveling birds.  It
was small and light enough to carry in my shoulderbag, yet big enough
for Charlie to spend the weekend in it. It even comes apart which
makes packing easier. I don't remember the brand or the name of the
cage, but I purchased it in a store called "Aquarium" on Lexington
Ave between 62nd & 63rd street in Manhattan.  You could call there
and ask if they know the company that makes it. The company (Probably
Hartz) could then help you locate a store in your neighborhood that
carries it.

I wasn't sure of the policy so I just never let the train conductors
see that I had a bird with me. If they had known, I'm not sure if
Amtrack would have allowed it or not.  The passengers next to me
always knew that I had a birdcage under the seat (usually with my
coat or a small blanket over it). No one ever minded. Charlie and I
had wonderful times together on these trips.

I never took him on an airplane so I can't help you with that part.  
But I'm sure that your bird will be fine. Good luck!