Like other living things, my Greys like getting out and about. And of course anytime I get them out the door it’s a huge deal. Three carriers. Their backpack with wet-wipes, toys, snacks, treats, water bottle and extra newspaper.
When I take them up to Port St. Lucie to visit my friends Lynn and Darryl, I swear to God the birds have more crap than I do. The entire back end of my SUV is full of their crap and I’ve got one roll aboard suitcase with a pair of jeans, a couple of T-shirts, my underwear, and bathroom stuff in it.
I was compiling a list of all the junk I’d need in case of a major hurricane forecast and all the stuff I’d be taking with me. It was scary. Between the cooler for all of the food, the bowls, toys, carriers, T-stands, snacks, cleaners, newspaper, paper towels, and other assorted jazz, just to tool up I95 and out of harm’s way, I estimated that there’d barely be enough room for me. And of course there’s that nagging little issue about where in the hell I’d stay with three birds in tow. Motel 6? Do they take birds?
Traveling with Tango and Porter…with a Cockatoo in my lap.
I suppose it’s not unlike traveling with a toddler. All that crap in a diaper bag just to go to the grocery store.
It’s a pain in the keester to travel with your birds. I know, I’ve done it. But let me tell you, it’s a lot of fun and it’s really enriching for them. Parker always seems to perk up and get excited about it, whistling Bridge on the River Kwai while I’m trying to listen to Bill Bryson’s book, A Short History of Nearly Everything yet again in hopes I’ll totally comprehend it, or bopping to an Al Green tune.
I once drove down to Key West when I just had Parker and we visited my friend Lance who was a Boat Captain down there and was living on a nice little fishing boat. So we stayed with him.
The drive down was interesting because the truck drivers would go to pass me, spot Parker in his carry cage in the front seat and then just drive next to me to get a closer look. That got a little dicey…
Parker went everywhere with us and we had a nice time. People went crazy over Parky and he spent a considerable amount of time posing with Italian tourists . One local couldn’t believe I was dragging my bird around with me and he was so inspired, he ran home to get his pet iguana to show me. He was about two feet long and had a pink leash. The iguana didn’t seem to be particularly impressed with us.
One of the ancillary benefits is the fact that if you get your birds out and about on occasion, they aren’t left with the impression that the only time they get out is when you’re taking them to the groomer or the Vet.
They’ve all been out enough doing school presentations and just going to the pub, so it’s no sweat to them no matter where they go.
The only one sweating is me, worrying that Parker is finally going to get to that seatbelt and maul the hell out of it.
February 10, 2012 at 10:13 am
wow! great article, love that they get out and about but what work!
February 10, 2012 at 10:20 am
I used to take my tiels to Mom & Dad’s all the time. Sadly, they’re gone & the house is sold. My brothers live with predators, so that’s out. But they love it at “Camp Tana” or just out in the yard. And yes, it’s a total pain getting them anywhere! But they have fun, &I they love the car. They whistle if they like the tunes, & scream if they don’t. Crude, but effective…
February 10, 2012 at 10:36 am
I went for a week-long visit to my mom’s this past September. I brought my African grey (Scout), my blue crowned conure (Rico), and my sun conure (Acro). I brought Scout’s whole cage (it comes apart very nicely) and 2 travel/live-in cages for the other two. I also brought a box of their stuff, containing an air purifier, humidifier, food, food dishes (which, of course, I didn’t bring enough), newspaper, toys, perches, and my own measly little book bag of clothes and toiletries. Mom lives 2 1/2 hours away and in a part of Nebraska where there are no pet stores, just a gas station and a couple of grocery stores. To give you an idea of how this looks, I drive a little Dodge Neon. Thank God for my Fleetwood Mac mixed CD, or I may have lost my mind a bit!
February 10, 2012 at 10:44 am
Lol…now try that with one that gets car sick! I’ve moved several times with the military and Emma has proven each time that she does not like the car. I tried Ginger root last trip and we did good.
I urge clients all the time to take their birds out for other outings besides the vet. I have the pac o bird carrier and stroller. I take mine all over town. When Sampson was with me, he was my constant companion.
February 10, 2012 at 11:50 am
I LOVE that photo of the sunset leaving Haiti. Did you take that??? AMAZING!
February 10, 2012 at 12:45 pm
I sure did take it. It came out kind of nice…
February 10, 2012 at 12:48 pm
2 of my 13 remaining parrots are AFGC
Gypsy 6 they are both girls anyway Elliot is good, in public but Gypsy growls allot not at everything cretain colors, smells, cigarette smokers which I found bizarre because I used to smoke not inside or around the birds but the smell is in your hair, clothes ect. What can I do to relieve the fear of strange things?
February 10, 2012 at 2:20 pm
Slow and easy is the way to go. Believe it or not the only thing Parker is truly afraid of is the vacuum sealer. I have absolutely no idea why…
February 10, 2012 at 6:23 pm
I always take it slow and tell them aloud what’s going on, where we are going ect. It seem that a certain smell or what they both see , or maybe I am going crazy and reading to much into it! I don’t have to be in the bird room and I know what is going on because I have a blue and gold macaw that rats everybody out if somebody doing something they shouldn’t be.
February 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm
Great article!!! Having tooled up I-95 during the hurricane season of 2005 with Wilma and Rita. I jammed the car with two dogs and three parrots and all their needs and cages. And a “turtle top” on my car for my essentials. And yes the Holiday and and Red Roof took us in until I reached a friends home in Georgia. BTW, is that Dr. Backos in that photo? He was my bird’s vet when we lived in So. Florida. Great article.
February 19, 2012 at 5:22 pm
Yup! That’s Sam! And that’s his Vet Tech and my friend Shari Mirojnick helping him out.
February 10, 2012 at 6:07 pm
I had a question, is anyone able upload a picture with their story?
If yes how do do it here?
February 10, 2012 at 6:36 pm
No, but if you email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org I might be able to do a post on your behalf. It’s a very interesting idea!
February 10, 2012 at 7:36 pm
Great piece as always, and I love the photo of my favorite vet and his assistant! How about sharing some info about your day job and traveling to Haiti?
February 10, 2012 at 9:14 pm
As always a fun story. Do you know which airlines will let you travel with birdds in the cabin? How about overseas?
February 10, 2012 at 9:22 pm
That’s a sticky wicket. If you Google it, you’ll find who carries what and where. For the moment. But it always changes.
February 11, 2012 at 12:32 pm
Loved this article! Einstein loves to travel and we occasionally take her to the Texas Hill Country! Here are 2 Blog posts about her adventures.