smoking bird

Avian Fire Preparedness

Due to the hazy smoke-filled air and raging fires around here I’ve begun replenishing my emergency fire kit just in case the fires start heading closer to home.  In the instance of evacuation we need to be ready to move fast not only for our own safety but also for our pets.  It doesn’t take long for smoke to kill a bird, even if you think you’ll be safe it’s best to plan ahead.

Primary things to grab:

  • pellets/ seed
  • water bottle
  • low thread count pillow cases and elastic bands
  • a mask for yourself

Secondary things to grab (if you have extra time/ can prepare ahead of time):

  • canned fresh foods
  • travel cage(s), dishes for the cage(s)
  • cage covers to filter smoke
  • medical records, vet numbers
  • confirm arrangements to go to a friend/ relatives house or locate pet friendly hotels in the area, bring a list of them and their addresses
  • toys
  • treats
  • flashlight
  • a drawstring bag or backpack to keep everything in

If you’re in a rush out the door grab the essentials, food and water, a pillow case can act as a lightweight carrying device for parrots.

Step 1: Flip pillow case inside out, stick your hand inside and grab the bird

Step 2: remove the bird from perch and pull them in to the bag

Step 3: Once the bird is safely in the bottom of the bag fold the top over and wrap an elastic band around the top to secure it

Using a pillow case allows you to easily carry multiple birds at once, if you have a belt loop they can be strung on to your hip while you grab necessities.  The pillow case will help to filter out some smoke while still allowing air to come through making it safer than running out the door with a cage, breathing straight smoke in to their lungs. Quick and convenient for emergency evacuations.

If you have time to plan ahead then prepare travel cages ahead of time and get some sheets to put on top to filter out the smoke, have food and water dishes packed away but not full, don’t want it splashing around making it harder to carry on your way out.  Keep seed/ pellets in tupperware containers and a water bottle filled up regularly with cool water to fill the dishes later on when you’re safe.  Pack some canned veggies to suffice during your evacuation in case you don’t have friends or relatives near you and have to stay at a shelter, if you have the means try to locate a pet-friendly hotel to stay at. Practice retraining your bird with the pillow case ahead of time if you can, it’s a lot better to have them used to the concept than end up with a bird frantically flying around the room during an emergency situation. Practice emergency evacuation, where will cages go in the car, where is everything kept, run the birds through the routine.

Be prepared and stay safe.

I cannot believe I have to fucking explain this...

Do NOT give your birds cigarettes (even if they are unlit) or alchohol. This should be a no-brainer but apparently some people are too fucking dumb to realize this.

Do not smoke around your bird. Or any other pets for that matter.

Do not leave toddlers or babies alone (unsupervised) with birds. They could injure each other and toddlers will most likely not know to not squeeze a bird (birds lack a diaphragm which means if you put too much pressure on their chest they will suffocate and die.) Your bird could also bite a toddler or baby which could (depending on the size of the bird and how hard they bite) really hurt them.

Do not leave cats or dogs alone with your birds. Even if they get along and play, cat and dog saliva could kill a bird.

Do not leave a bird out of the cage when you are not at home. They could get into mischief and hurt themselves.

Do not give your birds drugs and this includes caffeine.

Feel free to add more.