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How to Transport a Pet Bird

| Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard box

  • Travel carrier

  • Travel cage

  • Towels

  • Bird food

  • Water

  • Toys

  • Non-perishable bird treats

Whether you're transporting your pet bird to the vet, home from the pet store or on a day trip out of the house, these tips will ensure that your feathered friend has a safe, stress-free travel experience.

Plan ahead for travel. Traveling can be stressful for any pet, and birds are no exception. Make a list of the supplies you'll need and keep them nearby for your trip. Don't wait until a few minutes before you leave to prepare for the excursion.

Keep your bird calm and secure. Plan for different types of travel with your bird -- short hops, and longer road trips, such as a move to a new home.

Keep your bird in a dark, quiet container such as a box when you take short trips such as a visit to the vet. Use a cardboard box or purchase a small pet carrier at your local pet store. Punch holes in the cardboard box, or use a pet carrier with proper ventilation.

Eliminate any perches or toys from the carrier you choose to use for your short trip. Put a small, dry washcloth or tea towel in the bottom of the box or carrier, along with some of the old bedding from your bird's cage. The familiar smells will help calm him.

Use a small, less-spacious carrier. The bird should not have much room to move about, get flustered and try to flap his wings. Most birds will snuggle into the tea towel in a nesting position. He won't need food or water for a short trip.

Prepare for longer road trips with a small, travel-size cage. Remove all the perches. Toys that can be secured to the walls of the cage are fine, as long as they can't swing freely and hurt your pet bird.

Fill the food and water bowls halfway. Put a small towel on the bottom of the cage where the bird can sit. Bring an extra towel to drape over the cage so it's a darker, calmer environment. When you stop for bathroom and meal breaks, uncover the cage and allow your bird to look around. Talk with him throughout the trip so he hears a familiar voice.

Bring an extra container of water to refill the bird's bowl periodically. Although he won't each much while traveling, bring an extra container of bird food as well. Non-perishable treats will allow for some one-on-one interaction during rest stops.

Place your pet bird's cage or carrier in a secure spot in your vehicle. You don't want it sliding off the seat. Set it in a footrest area, and secure it with seat belts or wedge it between heavier items.


  • Never let your bird out of his cage or carrier while the car is in motion. If he gets spooked by a loud noise, you run the risk of creating a traffic hazard.