Tips for traveling by car with a large bird
April 13, 2011 10:56 AM   Subscribe

Tips for traveling by car with a large bird?

I live in East Texas, my parents live in upstate New York, and they have asked me to give a home to my dad's African gray parrot. This is going to mean two full days of riding in a dog carrier for the poor bird. We've carted parrots around in the car before, but never for more than a few hours' drive. Alfie's a pretty sturdy bird and it's likely to just get him bad-tempered and bitey rather than overwhelming him and making him freak out like some of the more nervous birds my parents have, but anything I can do to make the trip less taxing on him is good. Does anyone have experience traveling long distances with birds?
posted by titus n. owl to Pets & Animals (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I did a two-day road trip with a smaller bird (lorikeet). He traveled in his usual cage, with his perch and other accoutrements. If I remember correctly--this was 20 years ago--I kept the cage covered pretty much the whole time. He was completely unfazed.

It seems like sliding around in a dog carrier could be unpleasant for him. Can you rig up a perch for him to hold on to?
posted by magicbus at 11:19 AM on April 13, 2011

Response by poster: Alfie's usual cage is so big it needs to be disassembled and flat-packed to fit in my car (it's about four feet tall and three feet wide), and he's a bit... well, I'm "inheriting" him because I'm the only person he doesn't bite; my parents haven't had time to properly socialize him. I'm not comfortable with him being loose in the car, but I can totally screw a couple of perches inside the carrier for him to hang out on.

Do you think it's better to get a carrier meant for a large dog so he has space to move around, or one meant for a medium/smaller dog so there's less sliding? I don't know which would be better for avian psychology, would the smaller one make him feel nesty and safe, or claustrophobic?
posted by titus n. owl at 11:27 AM on April 13, 2011

Response by poster: Actually I just realized the two sizes of carrier I'm thinking of are "dog" and "cat" rather than "large dog" (which would, I guess, be a very large carrier) and "small dog." But the ancillary question remains the same!
posted by titus n. owl at 11:31 AM on April 13, 2011

I was doing a little idle googling and ran across this African Grey community/forum (one of their admins posted an answer on yahoo), so if you don't get the advice you need here, you might try contacting them.
posted by rtha at 11:36 AM on April 13, 2011

Playing music, talking voices or noises your bird likes will help in addition to what else has been said.
posted by michaelh at 11:57 AM on April 13, 2011

Would something like this be an option? I used to use a similar set-up when traveling with my African Grey -- he got to be 'free' in the back area, and I didn't have to worry about him trying to pull my glasses off or whatever while I was driving. You can affix food, water and perches right to the barrier.
posted by trip and a half at 12:05 PM on April 13, 2011

The Parrot Lovers community on Livejournal can help. Good luck moving Alfie!
posted by Calzephyr at 1:23 PM on April 13, 2011

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