Topic 12 – Traveling with a Parrot

Planning a Vacation: Should You Travel With a Parrot? 

‘When it comes to car travel. canaries. finches. and budgies are high strung Very small birds often become stressed during car travel and thus, no one enjoys the trip. They are best left home. Other parrots, such as social African Grey Parrots, Macaws. Amazons, Cockatoo etc. love to be around the family and thus, love car travel. Some parrots experience separation anxiety and become anxious around strangers so  leaving them with a bird sitter or at a boarding facility.

 Questions to answer before you take your parrot on a trip:


 If you are planning to get a bird sitter you should start the sitter, and parrot visit at least a few weeks before the parrot has to be comfortable with the sitter otherwise the parrot will be very stressed. 


 Boarding facility is good, it is stress free and you know that your parrot is well taken care of. It is expensive though, but good.


If you have a Bird Aviary please make sure you have a person who will look after them. Let that person come and visit them feet weeks before and let them get use to the person, it is very important otherwise poor beautiful parrots will be  stressed 

If you must travel with your parrot ask yourself these questions for your parrot: your parrot healthy? 

2 Have your parrot done a full physical with your vet? (I prefer my parrot has its wiry clipped for his own safety, get the certificate that is very important). 

 3.Can you insure your parrot’s safety while on the trip? 

4.Will you have time for your bird at your destination?

5.Will you have time to play with your parrot, feed him, and deal with hygiene if not find a pet-sitter? 

‘While on the road. your bird needs a well secure and ventilated small cage or bird carrier. they should never be left in your car alone. Parrots can very quickly get frightened and they can fly off. 

Things you need for your parrot: – 

Bird Carrier , Blanket, Small Cage. Bird Harness, Spray Bottle. First Aid Kit. Your Vet’s Number, Perch Rope (much safer). Fresh Fruits and Pellets. etc. 


 If you are traveling by car take your bird on short trips first before traveling so your parrot gets used to travelling. 

Plan the Trip 

If by plane 

You will have to find pet-friendly airlines, check the yellow pages or Google. Contact the airlines to make sure they accept birds in the cabin. If they make reservations. Purchase an airline approved cage that will be found under the seat in front of you. Just before the flight you should put food and water (I prefer) ice cubes in the bowl, it will take time to melt and the parrot will have water there. cover the cage with the blanket till we board in, then settle under the seat and uncover the blanket. 

On the flight it depends on how long the trip is, you can always take the cage to the washroom for a few minutes for the time out with your parrot, I am sure he will love that. less stress on him. 

By Car 

Make it put it in the back seat, facing the front, with a seat belt or safety straps. Front seats are not as safe for parrots, in case the airbag bursts. make sure your pet is not too close to the window, in order to prevent draft or sunburn. your parrot cage should be well supplied with the seeds/pellets. fruits and water I prefer ice cubes. Talk to your parrot, make his trip a happy one, do not leave him in the car alone, lots of theft happens. I prefer to put a harness on my parrot before leaving the car so he is secure with me otherwise he will get so scared and fly that you will not be able to find him, that’s why people prefer wing trim. 

Traveling to USA 

Do a full check-up with a Vet (I prefer to get a certificate with the clean check-up). A closed, numbered leg band, a microchip. or a tattoo is all permanent identifiers. An open leg band is less reliable. 

If you decide to remove a closed band from your bird – have a veterinarian perform the removal and immediately place a microchip — this provides you with a permanent chain of identity which you will not have if the chip is not placed by the person removing the band. If there is a reason your bird cannot have a closed band or microchip placed have a letter from a veterinarian to support this. Other distinguishing marks, such as scars, unusual feathering, or healed fractures could also serve as permanent identifying. You would need a veterinarian to certify to these. This is necessary that you get a certificate from the Pet Store saying how long you have owed the bird for. Gel the Export Permit or Cites Permit. Getting a Cites Permit can be complicated and should be undertaken well in advance of any animal import or export. List is available on-line: I prefer to consult with a staff at Cites to make sure all the paperwork is in order. If a Cites Permit is required from a foreign country you must contact that country’s Cites Office directly to apply for permit. You will have to make an appointment at the destination border (USA) with the US Department of Agriculture for Inspection of your parrot with a US Vet before you enter the USA with your Parrot. I was told by the Government of Canada Animal Import and Export dept. in Guelph that you should make the appointment in a few weeks in advance since they are very busy.