Photo by Jamieleigh Location: Somewhere in Nevada Road trip pal: Congo Grey "Cressi"
Taking your parrot on day trips is SO important for mental stimulation AND bonding. A good rule of thumb to remember is being the "familiar in a world of unfamiliars" which basically translates to... even if your bird isn't your BFF, when you take it somewhere where everything else around you is a stranger, you become the ONE thing that is familiar and safe to your bird. This is something you can use to your advantage when taking your bird to different places to get it accustomed to traveling, meeting new people and seeing new things... basically desensitizing your bird. These are things your bird would NORMALLY experience in the wild, and so it's important to bring that aspect of life into your bird's life with you.
How bored would you be if you never went to new places, tried new things or saw something new every once in a while? Think about how your bird feels! Then think about how much fun it would be to do all that... but how nerve wracking it would be to do by YOURSELF. Especially when you're younger and don't know much about the outside world because you haven't had as much experience as your parents...
But if THEY go along with you... then you feel a sense of comfort because you can go back to them and you know they are there with you.
If you REALLY think about it, raising a bird is just like raising a kid! You have to give the bird the same things so that it doesn't develop problems later because later on in its life, it's going to be HARDER to get your bird to accept new things. Just like with people. You want to work within their natural curiosity at a young age but just because your bird is older, doesn't mean you can't do all this too. It's NEVER too late to start being a good "parront"!
Dave and I are constantly taking day trips and including our birds in on it. For example, just today he had to make a 2 hour drive (each way) to Lakeland, Florida and so he took our grey, Cressi, along for company! She loves it because she gets to be with him, bonding, and talking up a storm! And she gets the new exciting experience too.
So try to include your parrot on your next day trip, wherever it might be!
Article by Jamieleigh Womach. She has been working with parrots and toucans since the age of 17. She isn’t homeless but is home less than she prefers to be. She travels the world with her husband, daughter, and a flockful of parrots whom she shares the stage with.