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Re: TrainedParrot Blog Feedback

Postby Seth » Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:29 pm

Michael,

Would you please write an in depth article on travelling by airplane with your birds? While your experiences are in a private airplane and you have written on this subject, a training and safety article for general purposes along with some research and feedback provided by some of your expert friends would be appreciated.

I have done my own extensive research into the subject and feel that when the time comes I am prepared. At this point the biggest unknown concern that I am unable to test (to my knowledge) in advance will be if my birds can handle a long commercial jet ride at high altitudes in the pressurized cabin (will they be ok breathing, basically). They have had car rides over an hour long in their carrier and been chipper about the adventure, but that does not compare to being in a carrier for 12 hours from trip start to end point.

My personal interest is that I have been interviewing for positions on the west coast (I live nearish to the east coast). As such, if I wind up having to move across the country, I am looking at taking 2 green cheeks and a canary on a 9 hour airplane ride with one connection switch in between (direct flights are not available). However, I read here and elsewhere about people who have to move short and long distances and a central discussion instigated by an article from you would be welcome. When it comes to the safety and health of my birds I like to be as prepared as possible.
Seth
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 14
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: green cheek conure
canary
Flight: Yes

Re: TrainedParrot Blog Feedback

Postby Michael » Mon Jan 12, 2015 1:35 pm

The physical aspect of flying in a pressurized jetliner should be no big deal for a healthy bird. However, it's all the other stuff related to it that is of concern. Will the bird freak out over being in a carrier too long? Will the bird make a lot of noise, etc. Those are things you can best prepare for by practicing at home. Go ahead and leave the bird in the carrier for an hour at home. Then try two, four, a whole day. Go on car trips and take the bird places to get ready.

Another problem you may face is that most airlines limit to a single carrier with a single pet for carry-ons. You may not be allowed to bring 3 birds even if in the same carrier. The logistics are the nightmare, not so much the physical endurance. I flew with my birds at 13,000ft unpressurized. They just got sleepy and preened a lot. The typical cabin pressure in an airliner is 7,000ft.
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Michael
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6038
Location: New York
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

Re: TrainedParrot Blog Feedback

Postby Seth » Mon Jan 12, 2015 5:51 pm

Thanks Michael. Glad to know I have the correct bases covered. The logistics I figured out as much as possible in advance via calls to airlines and reviews of their online pet policies.

Thank you for allaying my fears about altitude and pressurized cabin. They are very healthy (the vet always remarks that they have the brightest eyes and most vibrant feathers of any birds she sees - also, apparently the female is super buff [a birdie bodybuilder]).

Some airlines allow multiple birds in the same cage if they are of the same species. Our bonded pair of conures can do that. Actually, it is better that way - if we put them in separate carriers they freak out at being separated. A particular airline (I have to check - I think it was Delta but not sure) also allows up to 3 cages per flight so we would use two of them. I am afraid of what might happen if they had to be stowed under the seat - but a call to that airline confirmed that if we bought first class tickets for ourselves and extra for the birds they would be allowed to stay on the extra seats next to us. Of course, who knows when/if this trip might happen - all policies could change.

The canary is much less of a worry. He had to live in a carrier for 2 days when I first rescued him. That was while he was dying of hunger and thirst and had an injured eye (which is all better). He takes to new cages well (despite being "spoiled" by normally living in a humongous flight cage).

I do not think the parrots have ever been in a carrier for more than a few hours at a time - so 12ish hours is definitely a concern for the birds getting bored or freaking out and screaming a lot. Normally they love being in the carrier and fly over on their own and hang out in a clean carrier left next to their cage specifically to keep them used to liking it. Car trips to the vet or pet sitter can be up to an hour long with traffic and are usually met with a lot of excited clicking/chattering. Of course, then again, that is not 12 hours.

As you suggest, the best thing to do is put them in a carrier together all day (supervised of course) and go from there.

I am still working out the list of things to physically have with us for birdie care - but any potential move IF it happens is still months out, so there is still time to compile the list and get stuff.
Seth
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 14
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: green cheek conure
canary
Flight: Yes

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