Taking Your Bird Outside

 I am frequently asked 2 questions regarding having birds outside. Can they live on a lanai? Can they survive if we turn them loose outside? The answer to the second question is a resounding “No”! Companion parrots do not know how to search for food. They do not know how to find water to drink. Most of all they do not know how to protect themselves from predators. Another factor at play with being released outside is the weather. Yes they are tropical birds but they are acclimated to living indoors with air conditioning so the heat in FL could actually kill your bird. They have no knowledge of how to protect themselves from storms or from the cold. Yes, there are some wild flocks in FL but don’t fool yourself into thinking your bird could join those flocks. Most companion birds are killed by predator birds/animals before they can ever find a flock to join.

The second question, can they live on my lanai, has it’s own set of issues. There has been a recent uptick in birds being stolen in FL. They are being taken from lanais, outdoor aviaries and even from inside people’s homes. Thieves are snatching the outside bids while owners are at work or out shopping. You also run into the weather issue no the lanai. If your bird is used to air conditioning it will overheat outside during our harsh summer months. It’s better to introduce your bird to the outdoors during our cooler months, when it’s in the 70’s to low 80’s. Always check on your companion frequently for signs of overheating, better yet, stay outside with him/her. Beware of pools! Birds do not swim well and most will drown in a pool. The chlorine in the pool can also be deadly. Never take your bird near a pool that has recently been shocked, the fumes alone can kill them. When darkness comes so do the predators like raccoons, opossum, owls and even bears in some areas of FL. Please don’t leave your companion out all night, the predators will simply push through the screen to get to your bird. Neighborhood cats are also a problem for your companion.

When taking your companion outside please make sure they are in a secure carrier or on a harness. Never take your bird out on your shoulder! Clipped birds can and do fly! Even with a harness be mindful of your surroundings. Hawks have been known to fly down and take the bird right off the humans shoulder. Some people convert old baby strollers to to attach a carrier to it so it can be wheeled around for outdoor walks. There are backpack the carriers, cloth carriers and metal wire carriers to take your friend along safely.

Sunshine is great or your companion but please provide it in a safe way so your bird can safely soak up the rays!