AWS Articles

Traveling with Waterslagers

by Sara Palmer
and Terry Spearman

The first rule is; "Be Prepared".

When traveling by air with your Waterslagers, we use the standard pet carrier that fits under the airline seat. Each bird is then individually placed in a separate smaller carrier. Each small carrier has a piece of rubber matting cut to fit the bottom of carrier. Then we place a piece of apple and orange inside for moisture and scatter a spoonful of seed on small carrier bottom. Pierre Nicole sells these small carriers. See his web site on AWS links. The separate small carrier is important as birds being taken to a contest/show are aggressive. Separate packaging avoids unnecessary fights or stress. You can put a piece of masking tape on top of carrier and with a pen write down the birds band# for identification purposes. Saves rehandling the bird. We can fit 9 of these small carriers in the standard airline under the seat carrier.

Go and have a great time, Be Prepared!

Pet carrier is on the left.
Individual carriers are shown inside the carrier on the right.

Be sure to tag the carrier with your own identification information. We also place the carrier inside a pillow case with a slit cut for the handle. This prevents any cold drafts while on the floor of the airplane or while waiting at the airport. Just practice taking the cover on and off as security will want to view the birds. You can price tickets on the internet and have reservation placed on hold for 24 hours. Then you can call the airlines as to the availability of a pet boarding pass for your birds on these flights. If the airline accepts pets and you are told flight is open for pets, then ask for your pet confirmation number. Book for the entire round trip. You also might inquire as to the number of birds allowed per carrier.

Individual carrier.
Left to right. Back view, side view, front view with door open.

Also ask airline about the requirement of a Health Certificate for birds. Pet boarding passes are different with each airliine. Check with your airline. If one is required, purchase it for both directions. You usually pay at the ticketing counter when you check in for your flight. Pet health certificate can be secured a few days in advance of your trip. We usually secure 2 days before trip. Now don't forget to go back and complete the purchase of your airline tickets. When you pack the birds also pack a couple of tube type waters inside the pet carrier. I was subject to a 8 hour layover in Dallas and was glad I had packed these. The longest that I have had birds contained in the pet carrier is 21 hours. All survived but bear in mind we had cages ready at home with seed and water. The airline security will check your pet carrier and probably subject you to a search also. Each airline varies as to their scan rules, some will not scan animals and others say it is alright. I prefer not to have mine scanned. So be prepared to empty your pet carrier of birds and have them checked by security. One security point even wanted to scan the empty carrier.
Individual carrier showing how the door opens.
As I said, be prepared.

We carry a bottle of pedialyte in the suit case with the show cages. We use pedialyte for their first water after a trip. When we arrive at the hotel, the show cages are assembled. You can simply open the small carrier door and place carrier up to show cage and canary will hop in. Just transfer the masking tape with the birds ID info to show cage. Again you have avoided handling the bird.

Call the airlines about 2 days prior to travel to confirm your flight times and confirm that pet confirmation is still in place. In this day, flights are changed frequently. Just be sure your pet confirmation was also carried forward by the airlines.
Check list for Air Travel:

• Pet carrier with your identification tag
• Small individual carriers
• Rubber matting
• Seed
• Orange
• Apple
• Masking tape
• Pillow cage
• 2 tube waters
• Pet confirmation#
• Pen
• Health Certificate (if required)
• Pedialyte
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@AWS 2002