For the past almost a year and a half since we have our green cheek conure we have done many things together:
- quarantined together;
- had plenty of meals together;
- played together;
- cuddled several times per day every day, etc.
What we have not done as often was going with our bird on holidays together.
To be precise, we took our bird on holidays only twice. Each time there were some things that were the same but also some things that were different. In this article I will share what holidays we went on, how did we rest with our bird but importantly how has the bird enjoyed his vacations.
Both times we went on holidays with our parrot, we went by car. First time we went, the car ride was 14 hours (one way). The ride was split between two non-consecutive days. Second time we drove for one hour (one way).
We planned both trips: where to stay, how to drive and of course what needs to be taken with us for the trip. Main belonging: our green cheek conure parrot Elvis.
To keep him busy and happy we packed enough treats for him, his toys and his Java tree.
The big day
We have filled the travel cage with our bird’s most favorite toys:
- hanging and non-hanging balls;
- small wooden ladder and his long colorful ladder;
- biting foraging toy and his non-biting foraging toy.
With such an attractive travel cage, he happily went in and was ready for the adventure.
Both car rides he behaved overall well, he was either playing, sitting on his sticks and looking around, or eating. During the longer trip, after a few hours he got tired and started complaining. Also, after getting tired he had stopped eating and drinking. For that reason we were stopping more often to give Elvis a break from the road (while we were stretching our legs in the meantime) and something to drink.
During the trip involving the short car ride, we stayed for a few days in a hotel room. The longer car ride trip had a holiday house as the destination (we stayed there for a week).
In both cases, our little friend did not like the destination. The rooms and the whole surrounding were new and scary for our bird. His big home cage was not there and according to our bird we were always sitting too far away from him.
How did our family enjoy the holidays
First evenings and first mornings in the new places were a bit stressful for him as everything was (still) new and not the way he is used to. He would scream either for the birds outside or if any of us would leave his sight for more than 1 meter. Also, he ate poorly and only when we were maximum 10 centimeters away from him.
To calm him down, we would spend a few hours with him before leaving, give him many head scratches, many hand hugs and keep him on our shoulder. Once he would relax he would be more open to treats and his food and water.
The treats that did miracles for our Elvis were almonds and bananas. Our bird is crazy about almonds and would never refuse one. Plus they are light to carry around, do not need special conditions to keep good and they are super healthy, both for us and for our parrot. Same goes for bananas, except they weigh some more.
During the day we were out of the house discovering the surroundings and walking. He was waiting for us in his travel cage. We would cover his cage half-way in order to avoid him being scared of all the movements from outside and be less susceptible to the surrounding noises. We would make sure that he has sufficient treats and water and would place the cage in a more quiet part of the room.
It was very hard leaving him alone inside for most of the day. Mainly because he would understand that we were leaving and would start screaming for us even before we left. He would calm down only after a few minutes (we were listening to him before we would actually leave).
Of course when we were back he would happily climb on our shoulders and spend the evening together.
Last vacation days
It was towards the end of the longer trip that Elvis got used to the surroundings and to his new daily routine. He knew that usually he would be alone at home for a few hours and that became a smaller issue for him after a few days. He would even look forward to the goodies in his cage while waiting for us.
However, during our shorter trip, he was uncomfortable the whole time. Both the hotel room and the area outside were noisy and he would not be able to nap during the day. He is very picky about noises, he needs (almost) perfect silence to be able to relax.
Finally, back home
Both times we returned home, we could tell that he was very happy to be back to his cage, the play area on top of his cage and his usual surroundings in general. He would almost immediately start eating and climbing back and forth on his home cage.
The facts we learned
Both times we went with our bird on holidays, we would relax less, our bird would be more stressed and the overall experience was slightly less enjoyable than we had expected.
It takes time for our bird to get used to his new environment, new cage he gets to sleep in and the new daily routine. Additionally, everything was different from what he is used to, with both his humans at home every day cuddling with him.
It was also more difficult for us to enjoy the time away. We were worried about him most of the time.
After these experiences we realized that our parrot is on holiday every day when he is home and it is not his favorite thing to be away for too long. Our green cheek conure parrot likes stability and likes his daily routine. He enjoys his favorite sitting spots in the house and his play areas on his cage and java tree (both of which are also in the same place as the day before).
We also realized that we put our bird through a lot of stress when we travel with him. Although he is not car sick and would behave well during the car rides, he does not enjoy being in the car.
Equipped with this information we will most likely not take our bird on holidays in the future. Things might change of course as he gets older (and we get older). Regardless of the developments, we want to offer him a good life that is full of joy and not stress. If keeping him happy means that we need to take our vacations without him, this is what we will do.
To all the Parrot Lovers,
Founder of Best Parrot Toys
Disclaimer: I am not a parrot expert therefore the information in this site represents my opinion based on my experience. Please do not make decisions based solely on my articles. It helps to do further research.
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