New member
Mar 21, 2021
No parrots now, grew up with a rescue Yellow naped Amazon
My son had a 6 month old cockatiel. We are going to visit my parents for a long weekend.

Our plan:

Buy smaller cage and set it up at our home and let him in the cage for the next few weeks to get comfortable , and use this for his temporary home

buy a carrier and also put him in a few times to get comfortable

Is there a concern about traveling in the car? It is a 2 hour ride. Should we bring him for a few rides before or are we overthinking it?



Staff member
Super Moderator
Apr 24, 2018
Maine, USA
Tucker the Red Sided Eclectus
Baxter the YNA
Patches the Grand Eclectus, my best friend. RIP
Cuckoo the BFA RIP
Never a bad thing to be prepared. Taking the time to become accustomed to a new cage, carrier, and traveling in the car is wonderful! So many folks only ever travel with their birds to go to the vet, and so condition them to the idea that going for a ride will be an unpleasant experience. Taking rides just for the joy of getting out and about is waaaaay better. While not too common, some birds do legitimately get car sick, so the conditioning/familiarity is helpful for all involved.

Stick with your plan! Your instincts are spot on :)


Well-known member
Jan 27, 2017
Iowa, USA
2 cockatiels
Sounds like you are on your way to getting your cockatiel adjusted to travel. That' a great start!

It can be stressful for them, so if it is a travel day of 24 hours or less, I would leave birdie at home, otherwise yes you have the right idea in getting your bird adjusted to a carrier and a new smaller cage that you will take withy ou I assume to the parents house.

Also make sure it's okay with your parent to bring your new bird. They can be quite messy and a lot of people don't like the noise they make! Also, be mindful of other pets. Most dogs who aren't around birds LOVE the smell of them and will likely pester them, so if they have a small dog this is something to keep in mind. If they have cats, bringing the bird is a solid NO unless they have a room completely to themselves for thje trip. If they don't have pets, great!

Do they cook with Teflon, have adequate air conditioning / heating in the house, do they use candles or harsh perfumes? These are things to also think about when travelling, as birds have pretty sensitive lungs and can't take the chemicals other houses may have that don't normally house birds.
Last edited:


Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
Western, Michigan
DYH Amazon
Our Amazon is a Road Warrior and loves to travel!

You're prepping your Parrot to travel is great. Especially, getting them use new things!

Yes, as stated above, they can become car sick! Some like to see what is going on around them, others need to be covered. Much better to determine in advance of a trip so that it is uneventful!


Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
I'd take him on a few short rides that end in a positive way 1st.

I would put fruit in there instead of water for the car ride
Make sure he isn't by an airbag and if you can, find a way to tie his cage to the seat so that if you stop, it doesn't go flying.

I keep my travel cage's perch low so that if there is a sudden stop, my bird doesn't have far to fall.

Some birds like to see out the windows, others do not. Mine flaps wildly if she can and that is dangerous in a travel cage due to her size. In a smaller car with lower seats, I can just leave the windows uncovered, but in the van, the seats are higher and windows bigger, so she can see out. Consequently, I tape the windows with paper (just the ones to her right and left).

Have you talked to your parents about not using Teflon/PTFE/PFOA/PFCs when you are there? That's the hardest part about long-term visits--- most people use chemicals in their homes that can easily kills your bird (teflon/pfc/ptfe/pfoas being the most dangerous) but also standard cleaning products, candles, Glade plug-ins, air fresheners, oil warmers etc. Glade plug-ins are super unhealthy for them.

You should talk to them about these dangers now, and offer to bring alternatives if all of their pans are non-stick and if all of their cleaners are not bird-safe. Do they have any pets? If so, you might also consider baby gates etc (although that will be of little use if he glides over them lol.

I have a cage that I leave at my parents' house for long visits and it is the same as one of her cages at home. You can get pretty cheap flight cages. My uncle leaves one at my parents' house for his jardines as well, but his is smaller and easier to take apart.

Another weird thing we have to do when I visit my parents is block off a door-frame at night. The kitchen and dining room have an open door frame that used to have a swinging door but no longer does. In order for Noodles to sleep at night with all of the chatter/commotion of company, we use an old door (off the hinges) to make the room darker and dull some of the noise from the kitchen. We slide it out of the way in the daytime, but put it up if we will be gone or if it is getting loud and it is her bedtime..Without it, she was wanting to join the party at all hours (despite already being covered).
Last edited:


Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
Full house
Welcome to the forum!! Everybody above gave you great advice!!!!

I hope you will stick around , and join our conversations. I have learned many things here.

One of the big things I learned here was to weigh my birds regularly!!! A digital kitchen gram scale works great!! Burds hide being sick, even pretend to eat, until they are near death then they can show the fluffed burd or other symptoms. But a sick bird almost always looses weight. They burn so many extra calories when sick they often can't eat enough to keep up. Or a female will gain weight with eggs,, so that plus symptoms lets yiu know you have an egg binding emergency. And picking up that there is problems sooner by weight loss saves their life. They are easier to treat. You go by % lost, as they can go up or down a gram or 2 for your size bird normally. Thus is calculated by taking grams lost ÷ by normal weight then x 100 = % lost. 3% lost get them checked out, 5% or more you have a sick bird or a problem, get them seen quickly, 10% you are going to need to try support feeding., abd try to get to vet same day. My sick birds lost 4-12% in a week!! So I recommend weigh weekly and track and log.
Last edited:


New member
Mar 23, 2021
It sounds to me like you're on the right track.

When I was young, we moved cross-country and took many long trips with my beloved parakeet Petey. He was always an absolute angel, loved going for rides and never seemed much bothered by anything - he was a special case though, and if your son's cockatiel tends to get anxious about new things then you are definitely doing the right thing getting him warmed up to a travel cage and taking him for a few rides around to get him used to it.


Supporting Member
Apr 14, 2015
Amy a Blue Front 'Zon
Jonesy a Goffins 'Too who had to be rehomed :-(

And a Normal Grey Cockatiel named BB who came home with me on 5/20/2016.
Like 'Boats' Julio Amy is also a road warrior. The only time BB travels is when he goes to see his CAV. I use a medium sized carrier and he seems to enjoy it coz he tweets and whistles while we travel (maybe 20-25 minutes) If I were to take him on a long adventure I'd prolly get him a travel cage. sounds like you're on the right track!


Most Reactions