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Sandra November 03, 2021

Travelling Abroad With Your Pet Bird

Plan in advance when considering interstate or international travel for your pet bird because some preparations may need to start months before your departure date. You will need to carefully research your airline's requirements, destination country, and stopover countries on your itinerary. 

Did you know that your pet bird may be a species of protected wildlife? Most exotic birds (such as parrots, cockatoos and macaws, except budgies and cockatiels) are protected under the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Before Travelling With Your Bird

1. Use a pet relocation agency to ensure all your ducks are in order check to find one in the country you are exporting/importing to.

2. Do the paperwork as much in advance as possible. You need to get CITES paperwork export and import permits, as well as the required documents depending on the country you are entering and not all countries, have the same requirements! For CITES check their website and email them for the country you exporting/importing they will provide you with the list of steps of everything you need to obtain CITES, including fees. You will also need a veterinary health certificate done before travel - this is why I recommend a pet agent who will make sure you get all the correct paperwork in a timely manner.

3. Find an airline that allows pets in the cabin and /or cargo. This is easier and more common to find when travelling with a dog or cat but much harder if you are flying with a bird. In the states, there are a few airlines that allow birds but internationally there may not be as many.

4. Before the planned movement of the companion bird, make sure that the bird's country of origin is not covered by import bans, e.g. due to an infectious disease.

Preparing For Travel Day

1. Crate train your pet bird so it's a safe place they know and feel comfortable in. Use treats for an incentive to get them to go in and out of the crate on their own and feel comfortable doing so.

2. Try a chamomile tea remedy for your bird to feel at ease. (Recommended to use by BirdTricks during our consult).

3. Make sure they have food and water on travel day. You can try our Birdie Travel Trail Mix.

4. Prepare the crate: Have a
food dish (you can also tape a bag of pellets on top of the crate as well in case you have a long flight), a water dish filled with ice, if possible a toy, line the bottom of the crate for droppings, and make sure they have a perch with enough room to move around. You can put a screen mesh over the door for added protection, write the measurement of the crate on top and their name, and use zip ties to seal each corner and door.  
  • If you have a daytime flight keep your bird up the night before so that they sleep through the flight and are tired the next day 
  • Make sure there are stickers put on the sides that say "LIVE ANIMAL".
Please remember that there are health implications that could impact your pet bird during travel. From the stress, the noise, temperature changes and so forth, they can suffer from stress, anxiety, heart complications and other health issues. Therefore, it's is essential to consult your avian vet to ensure your bird is fir to fly and won't suffer from any complications. 

Upon arrival to your destination country, it is best to get a check-up with the local avian vet. 

Safe travels!