Taking your bird outside is a fun way to spend time with your pet! Always use either a bird harness or a cage to keep your bird safe while you both enjoy the outdoors. To use a bird harness, use treats and affection to help your bird get used to the harness first. If you are using a cage or carrier, pick the right size for your bird and drape a towel over 3 sides of the cage to help your bird feel secure.
Purchase a harness that fits your bird. Bird harness can be found at most pet supply stores and online. The harnesses are sold in sizes such as small, medium, and large, and the label on each harness will specify the breeds that each size is suitable for. There are often a range of different colors to choose from.
Get your bird comfortable with being handled. Use treats and affection to help gain your bird’s trust. Practice picking up your bird and touching its head, back, and wings. Your bird needs to be comfortable being handled to be able to accept the harness.
Let the bird inspect the harness to get used to it. Place the harness next to your bird to help your bird feel comfortable around the new object. Give your bird enough time to look at, approach, and touch the harness. Use treats to reward your bird for being confident and not afraid of the harness.
Teach your bird to put its head through the harness. Once your bird is comfortable being around the harness, slowly guide your bird’s head through the head component using a treat. When the bird’s head is in the harness, give it the treat and remove the harness while it is eating. Practice this action until your bird is confident putting its head through the harness.
Fit the harness over your bird’s wings and gently tighten the straps. Once your bird is comfortable wearing the harness over its head, gently lift each wing through the wing straps. Give your bird more affection and another treat after it lets you put each wing into the harness. Adjust each strap so that it feels snug, but not overly tight, against your bird’s body.
Watch your bird constantly while it is in the harness. Make sure that it is safe from hazards such as cats, dogs, and cars. Watch where you walk to avoid standing on your bird.
Use a mini padlock or a metal clip to secure the cage door. Many birds are escape artists and can learn how to open the doors for cages and carriers. Prevent your bird from opening the cage door while it’s outside by using a small lock to connect the door to the cage wires. This means that the door cannot open without it being unlocked from the outside.
Place a towel over 3 sides of the cage. Use an old towel to cover the sides and the back of the cage so that your bird can see outside from a single direction. As your bird becomes more confident being outside, slowly pull the towel back so that it can become more comfortable being exposed.
Start with 5-10 minute sessions and watch your bird closely while outdoors. Always supervise your bird while it’s outside to make sure that it is calm and happy. Many bird owners like to read a book while their bird is enjoying the outdoors. Gradually build up the length of time that you spend outdoors.