Airborne Animals: Specializing in Bird Shipments
Birds are amazingly difficult to import and export around the world. Bird transportation is highly regulated to help protect endangered species. Other than the most common pet birds like parakeets, all other species of birds, even those bred in captivity, will require a number of permits. There are usually several different government offices to deal with on each end of an international bird shipment. Special permits are required. Tests may be required for Avian Influenza. Quarantine is also probably required when arriving into the USA, and for other countries as well.
Most birds are difficult to transport
The only “easy” birds are those considered unprotected, like parakeets & cockatiels. And even then, a country may require blood testing for avian influenza and other diseases, and the shipment still must be declared and inspected by US Fish and Wildlife (USFW) when importing or exporting from the USA. ALL other species will require special permits. These include common pet birds like:
- Parrots (all species)
Birds actually travel quite well
We have successfully shipped birds to Europe, to the Middle East, to other parts of the world without any bird becoming ill or having adverse effects from transportation. The key is to use an airline who handles birds well, and has care facilities at layovers, and to use a crate outfitted to the individual bird.
Birds will all travel as a cargo shipment, in the hold of the plane (called manifest cargo, required by most countries that allow importation). Most airlines do not allow a bird in cabin anymore. That said, birds will do quite fine in the lower deck. It’s dark, which will help them sleep and be quiet, and the drone of the plane is the same as you would hear upstairs. Even the air is the same – in many aircraft the air in the cabin circulates downstairs through the cargo area and back up again. Is the plane pressurized? Is a common question – and yes, the whole plane must be pressurized otherwise it would implode at 30,000 feet. And we never worry about air conditioning – it’s -25F up there in the clouds – but heat is supplied for passengers and live animals.
What can Airborne Animals LLC do for your bird shipment?
Airborne Animals is familiar with the requirements for both exporting, importing and transportation of various species of pet birds.
We can facilitate:
- getting the CITES permits from USFW
- obtaining health exams and health certificates
- providing the IATA compliant crates required for bird shipments and bird transportation
- Obtaining Import permits
- Obtaining USDA endorsements
- Arranging the shipment with an airline that will transport birds
- Arranging Quarantine, if needed
Bird crates, containers and shipping boxes
Airborne Animals LLC can supply an appropriate shipping crate for your pet bird’s travel. Although a crate can be custom made from wood, it must then meet international requirements for wooden containers. More frequently, we modify a cat or dog crate to meet the IATA requirements for a bird container. These work perfectly for budgies, cockatiels, parrots and most other pet bird species.
Modifications include wire mesh over all vents and the door, a perch inside at appropriate height, along with dishes attached to the door for food and water. We can also provide cloth or mesh to drop down covering over the door to prevent any drafts. The Fish and Wildlife officers at Newark and JFK, who must approve a bird container for international travel, prefer the modified cat/dog crate rather than a custom made wooden crate. As for dogs and cats, security rules prefer no toys or other items inside. The bottom must have some absorbent material.
Use an expert pet transporter who moves birds frequently
Moving birds is neither easy nor inexpensive (and in fact quite a bit more expensive than moving a dog or cat), but if your pet bird needs to fly off to other parts of the world, you need an agent who knows how to do it, and do it well.
Airborne Animals both transports birds out of the USA and works with agents elsewhere to import birds into the USA on a regular basis. We have a good relationship with the people we need at USDA, USFW, customs and the airline personnel.