OK to take birds outside?

by Tracie

Dr. B

I have several customers that take their birds outside, with clipped wings, against my pleading with them not to do it. Below I have listed my concerns, and I want your opinion on these things. Maybe I am being overly concerned. If not, maybe having a response from an avian vet like you will change their habits.

My concerns:

1) The bird may get swept away by a breeze.
2) A predator, either from the air or ground, could get the bird without warning.
3) The birds that are allowed to sit in trees could get a disease from the wild birds.
4) The birds that are allowed to sit in trees could get mites.

Thanks so much for always being there to help!


Comments for OK to take birds outside?

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Feb 28, 2009
regarding my original comments on taking my senegal parrot outside
by: Chelsea

I wrote the story of Pancho the Senegal parrot, and all I have gotten is harassed about letting my senegal outside.
I understand everyone has their own opinion about letting my bird outside, however I feel that they are awfully quick to judge. They totally missed the point of my story.
I am a wonderful bird owner. I have had 5 birds, and none of them have ever been sick, hurt (minus one broken blood feather) or flown away. I do not smoke, or use tephalon cooking pans. I only use natural cleaners, clean the cage every day, and cut fresh fruit and veggies for my bird every morning.
Everyone has their own opinion on how to own a bird, and looking at my past and current parrot ownership, I feel that although I take my bird outside, I am a better parent to my senegal then most of you on this site are to your birds. I am sick of being told that it is wrong to take a bird outside. People take their birds outside everyday. I have taken all of my birds outside for all of my life. They go to the avian vet for regular check ups and none of them have never gotten sick, or had mite, or anything due to going outside. Whenever they are outside, they are closely supervised. They have shade, water and food. I feel sorry for those of you who have birds that are stuck in their cages all day and never get to experience life. My birds are all very happy, and look forward to their daily outings outside. Sorry you feel that taking your bird outside is wrong. I STRONGLY DISAGREE.

Feb 01, 2009
taking birds outside
by: Lynn

I take my grey and cockateil outside but only in a smaller cage and I make sure half of the cage is covered with a towel in case they want some shade and I never never leave them outside unattended. I do this when it is warm and no breeze. I live in Montana so I take them out about 11am for about a half hour and then do it again in the late afternoon.

Jan 30, 2009
OK to take birds outside? NO!
by: Amy

This is a very sore subject with me and I have to answer the question with an emphatic "No!"

Last year I was in the process of adopting an Orange Wing Amazon from a nearby rescue. The rescue was holding the bird for me while I awaited results from blood work from the veterinarian as this bird came from a very questionable environment.

The bird's wings were clipped and it was a beautiful, sunny day, so the rescue director took the bird outside. Not long after, the bird was startled by a loud noise coming from a passing car and he took off, flying just slightly above the ground. He flew right into the road and was killed by a car! I can't tell you how distraught I was that this beautiful bird that I had waited for so eagerly was gone! He was a young bird and had many years of life to live. He was gone forever!

Birds can still fly with a wing clip. They just don't have the lift they normally have without a clip. Don't take your birds outside uncaged or unharnessed if you really love them. What do you gain by doing so? You have a lot to loose!

Jan 30, 2009
Not safe to take parrots outside
by: The Vet

I completely agree with you, Tracie. Birds should not go outside, even when clipped, unless they are confined to a cage or carrier. The dangers are numerous. A hungry hawk will not hesitate to try and take a parrot, even from an arm or shoulder.

If something should frighten the bird, like a car horn, or other loud noise, their instinct is to fly, and with clipped wings they fly to the ground several feet away and expose themselves to cats, hawks, and other predators, which could reach the bird before the owner.

Even with clipped wings a bird is able to fly a short distance, if they are clipped correctly, if not, they may be able to fly very well. Escape is a huge risk.

Diseases are certainly a problem. External parasites such as mites are common in the wild. Want to really be afraid of exposing a bird to something ? look up Sarcocystis. This is a deadly disease that we are seeing more and more frequently. How about psittacosis? That is rampant in the wild. And polyomavirus? Well, that is carried by wild birds, too.

Take it from someone who sees these cases regularly. I once saw a cockatoo get hit by a fire truck in front of my clinic. A hawk tried to attack a mini macaw riding on the shoulder of a client coming into my front door. I get calls everyday from people wanting help retrieving their bird from a tree. I treat cat and dog attacks weekly......

Dr B

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