Five-O Green Cheek Conure enjoying the garden

Breathe Deep Enjoy the Fresh Air

I had someone once ask me if their parakeet could go outdoors in a cage.  I replied absolutely!  Many birds greatly enjoy going outdoors for a little fresh air and watching all the exciting activities that occur outdoors.  Who doesn't love some fresh air and sunlight every once in a while.

Giving your bird his spray bath or shower outside can also be a fun adventure.  Your bird can enjoy getting as wet as he or she wants and there is no messy floor to clean.  Then your bird can preen and enjoy drying as nature intended.

However, some birds may be a little shy at first and some even may become frightened if taken outdoors, so please be sure your bird enjoys the outing.  If your bird is not used to enjoying the out-of-doors, you may want to start with only a few minutes outside.  Sometimes starting with a partially covered carrier is better than a cage as your bird can feel more secure, yet peek out and check out the surroundings.  Even in a small travel cage, a partial covering may be the way to go when you are outside. 

Try making it a fun time with lots of praise and even some treats. You can always increase the time outdoors slowly as your bird becomes more adjusted to all the sights and sounds.

If your bird is familiar with being outside there are bird harnesses that allow your bird a certain amount of freedom, yet security for you.  If something happens to scare your bird, they will not be able to fly away and become lost or disoriented.  Don't be fooled that if your bird is feather clipped he or she cannot fly if frightened.  All they need is a little air movement under those wings and a frightened bird will amaze you at how much altitude they can get in a fearful situation.  

When using cages and carriers double check all doors and openings to be sure they are secure.  Use safety clips if necessary.  Don't forget openings for feed cups as well.

I strongly recommend a bird never be left outdoors by itself.  If your yard is not fenced in, you can never be certain a stray dog might spot your bird and even if only curious, could cause an unfortunate accident.  Even a fenced in yard won't guarantee a wandering cat won't see your bird and try to reach it.  There have even been cases of snakes crawling into cages, so a bird can never be too safe if left alone.  Sadly someone I know personally put their birds outside in standard home cages on stands and went to work.  She secured all doors and thought her birds would be safe in her fenced in yard.  While the person was gone, a quick storm passed through and blew over the cages.  One bird's cage stayed secured, however the other released the door and her beautiful sun conure flew away.  We hunted for days trying to help her find him but he was never found by any of us.  Hopefully someone did find him and gave him a good home.    

Also consider the daily temperatures and make sure they are comfortable for your bird.  A bird should never be left in the sun as they can overheat quickly.  A bird that has become too warm will often hold it's wings out to try and circulate air around it's body attempting to bring their body temperature down.  Birds will usually also breathe with an open mouth when overheated.  If your bird exhibits any of these sign, the bird should be taken back indoors to cool down immediately.  There should always be the choice of shade so your bird can move in and out of the sun when it is ready to.  Just remember if you live somewhere where 90 degrees in the shade is miserable for humans, then it's going to be too hot for your bird for more than a few minutes.  

As we humans do, a bird can also get used to the cool air conditioning of a home and might be better with only short fresh air trips before or after the hottest parts of the day.  

So by all means, do enjoy some fresh air with your bird!  After all, there is a whole lot of new stuff in the world of out-of-doors, i.e. wild bird flying around and calling out, barking dogs possibly in the distance, butterflies and dragonflies maybe, buzzing bees and breezes blowing through the trees.  Sights, sounds, and smells abound and humans are often oblivious to the hidden world of nature, so pause and take time to smell the roses with your bird.  

Pictured are my Cosmo Macaw enjoying her bath outdoors and my friend's Green Cheek Conure Five-O enjoying her garden.

Debra

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