A white cockatoo looks at the viewer while clinging to the inside of its cage

Traveling with Birds

Many bird owners will at some point need or want to transport their birds, and whether it is a car ride or on a flight, there are some important rules and guidelines to keep in mind. While some birds, particularly those who have not traveled before or rarely leave the home, might experience some anxiety on a longer trip, many birds can actually do well with travel. By ensuring your bird has a safe container to travel in and planning ahead to take care of any documentation or regulations your destination requires for your bird, you and your pet can have an easier experience. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Car Travel

Taking your bird with you in the car can be difficult, but whether going to the veterinarian or relocating to a new residence, it is often necessary. While many birds can do well on shorter trips in a vehicle, longer trips across town or across state lines can be distressing to those not acclimated to car travel. A secure and sturdy cage is essential for any longer car rides to ensure your bird’s safety and comfort, and there are many different types of carriers or cages to choose from. A travel cage should be different than your bird’s normal cage so that it is lighter and easier to transport. It can be helpful to acclimatize your bird to their travel cage before using it in the car and carrying them around in it can help get them used to the motion of traveling.

When in the car, your bird’s cage needs to be securely fastened or positioned and should never be placed in an enclosed trunk. Avoiding direct sun exposure and ensuring the temperature in your car is not too cold or too hot can make travel much easier for you and your bird.

Air Travel

Many pet owners will bring their small dogs or cats when they travel by plane, and birds can also accompany their owners during air travel. Many airlines often impose rules and regulations regarding the safe transportation of pet birds, so it is paramount if you are looking to bring your bird in the airplane you follow allotted guidelines. Depending on the airline, some may accept birds in the cabin, others require they are stored in the baggage hold and certain airlines may not allow birds at all. Birds that are louder or more disruptive may also not be allowed in the cabin during flight. Carriers that allow for birds to be checked and stored in the cargo hold may also impose restrictions, as colder months or an unusual heatwave can endanger your bird in flight.

While it can be challenging to travel by plane with birds and many airlines impose fees for pet travel, remaining aware of the laws and regulations of both the carrier and your destination can limit the potential for problems on the journey.

At myBird, we know how much joy birds can bring and seek to give bird lovers the knowledge they need to best care for their pets. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and be sure to check out our other posts about birds or take our quiz to see which types of birds may be right for you!