Petey enjoys the Long Beach
(Photo courtesy of Susan M.)
Dimension (exclude shoulder pad):
10" L x 6.5" D x 11.5" H (+ 4/8/12" Tail)
8.25" Beak hole to the center perch hole
Weight: 1 lb. 6 oz.
Perch position: 3 positions for birds with different body & tail proportion.
Fabric: 1680 Denier nylon
Lining: Grey color nylon
Mesh Type: Stainless Steel
Color: Olive or Gold with light grey reflective strip and black color trim
- Compact & Light-weight fanny Pak style that can be carried as a handbag, strapped to a belt or sit on shoulder with an optional shoulder pad
- Fully Open Stainless Steel Mesh on all sides
- Durable stainless steel mesh on all sides
- Feeding hole for treats and water (water bottle not included)
- Beak railing for balance
- Removable tail pouch for easy cleaning
- Non-skid floor
- Adjustable perch positons
- Optional built-in shoulder pad to level the pouch on shoulder (CANNOT be worn on shoulder without shoulder pad)
- Belt loops for attaching to regular belt of 1.5” width
- A detachable 4", 8" or 12" tail pouch for easy cleaning (you may want to order one to spare during travel)
- Two dragonwood perches
Launch Date: Spring 2012
Birdie Pouch is a design suitable for birds with an intimate and trusting relationship with their bonded human. It is a no-frill and very compact design. With proper adjustment to the shoulder pad straps, we can go jogging with our bird!
The following development story is a bit long but should give you good insight of the considerations that go into the design. We always welcome your feedback.
Begins with (May 9, 2009):
I’m an American living in Istanbul with my small (380 gram), 12” Congo African Grey parrot. Clover goes for 5 mile walks and rides a ferry wearing a safety harness and using this shoulder perch. However, I can never sit down to rest because of the feral cats here. I need some kind of lightweight cage to house Clover in safety while I rest or eat at an outdoor restaurant. I’ve been looking for something that folds flat and could be stuffed partially into a waist pack, then taken out and assembled when I need to stop.
We need stainless mesh, and as much ventilation as possible (80+ degrees here), but don’t need a perch. So I’m considering a Pak-o-Bird or a Pak-o-Small placed on its end. I love the Pak-o-Bird, but it would be unwieldy to carry around when the parrot is sitting on my shoulder. Can the shoulder straps be removed from the Pak-o-Bird?
Could you please let me know which of these two products and which sizes (if any) could be stuffed most of the way into a waist pack when flat?
Though the Pak-o-Pet is light weight, it has a lot of structural supports that cannot be folded to fit a waist bag. Any hard creases made on the stainless steel mesh are permanent. We have been asked for this design for awhile, it is time to get it done. We could have one with a zipped-on/off pad and stainless steel mesh cover to protect the bird. Well, you will have to kiss the bird through mesh :-). Here are some questions we have:
- we wouldn't want the pouch be two wide to slid off your shoulder nor too narrow to be confining for your bird, how many inches wide would best fit you?
- one joy for the bird is the freedom to kiss you or 'nip at you perhaps', would you think the bird be unhappy not being able to 'touch' you? Do we need a small window for the bird to do that?
- do you get tired putting the bird on one shoulder and switch shoulder at time? Something for us to consider if we need to switch the pouch from right to left shoulder?
- it may become too cumbersome if we have the design make in such a way for the bird can face forward and backward, we will assume the bird be facing forward all the time. Would this be a fair assumption?
Clove is 13" long from top-of-head to end-of-tail ("diagonally"). The Celltei Pouch, size Small (14" L x 9" W x 11" H) is the perfect size to accommodate an African Grey and a perch. Actually, the width could even be reduced to 7" to make the pack less unwieldy.
It would be VERY nice to have a window to give a treat (sunflower seed) through, or give a kiss through, but not big enough for the parrot's whole head to come out. (A whole-head window would be a safety concern regarding other pets biting the parrot, or the parrot biting a passer-by). A 1.5" window would be just right for treats/kisses, but would not allow an African Grey to stick his head outside.
The Easy-Ride shoulder perch can be worn on either side, but I always wear mine on my right shoulder. Clover and the perch together weigh 1 pound, so I never have to switch sides. The attached photo shows the Easy-Ride in use. With two leather straps, plus the bird's leash, plus a chinstrap for the sunhat, you can see my setup is already pretty strap intensive!
I was thinking of two possibilities for the Celltei Pouch strap. One would be a shoulder strap, worn diagonally across the body. The strap would be on the left shoulder, with the pouch hanging on the same side as the Easy-Ride.
A better idea, which would give more freedom of movement (and look better) would be to wear the pouch like a waist bag. The bag could be worn in back when not in use, and in the front when the bird is inside. The bird and Pouch together will be about 3 pounds, so I don't foresee a problem with sagging or weight, especially if the 7" width was used.
Yes, bird facing forward all the time is fine. I have a big cat crate for Clover to use on car trips, and she never turns around, although there is lots of room. The same applies to our shoulder perch. She always faces forward.
Something else I thought of was the cups. I have traveled a lot with Clover in a cat carrier and bird travel cage. When traveling, she never eats except to share a bite of my food or take a seed. To save on weight, I give her water from the bottle cap of my own bottled water. I originally had food/water cups in her travel carriers, but she never used them. So from my point of view, food/water cups would not be necessary for this type of "short term bird storage" bag. Clover will be in her bag for no more than an hour at a time. I foresee using it on and off all day, during our day trips. She'll go into the bag while I eat at a restaurant... then back on my shoulder... then into the bag while I use the public restroom... then back on my shoulder. She sits on my shoulder on the ferry... but will go into the bag when I enter the ferry's restaurant.
By the way, for the future, you might consider making this a flat-folding pack. When open, it would look like a Celltei Pouch, except the stainless steel mesh would only be on the two ends. When folded, it would look like an ordinary waist pack (14" x 5.5" x 3" thick). When you needed a cage, you'd just unfold the flaps, zip a couple of zippers... and it would become a small bird carrier attached to the a waist belt. It may not be feasible to do, though. I think it would be hard to make a foldable pack stiff enough..
Please see enclosed the prototype. This is not complete yet as there are a few things we need to change. This Pocket-o-Bird can be strapped on the shoulder or a waist belt.
In between (July 9, 2010):
The parrot pouch arrived two days ago, and I’m in love! I’ve already used it for several walking trips, a trip to a nice, indoor restaurant, and walking to the post office in the rain. First of all, the pouch is GORGEOUS—so well made, with everything very well planned. I can't believe the fabulous design—you guys thought of EVERYTHING! There's even a changeable, zip-out floor. There are snaps and Velcro and zippers everywhere. It's so well made and beautiful. I’ve only used it for 2 days, and have already received many compliments on it. Most of all, it appears it will be very resistant to parrot chewing. The gold color is very attractive, and the bird poop washes off without leaving any mark. I washed it and the whole thing was dry within 2 hours.
Though I love the design, I’ve already changed the attachment system, and hope to add some more grommets tomorrow. Unlike many customers who use your bags just a few times a year, Clover will likely be using this bag several times a day, nearly 365 days a year, so I want it to be perfect for both of us. I don’t need you to change anything, and am happy to make modifications on my own. However, since this is a prototype, I wanted to tell you about my changes, as you might want to incorporate these into future packs. (I’ll probably need to buy one every year, because I’m sure Clover will eventually chew this one a bit.
So here is the story of Clover’s pack: I started by removing the pack and giving Clover treats for going inside. She’s accustomed to a big cat crate, so I thought she would hate the small size of this Celltei pouch. To my surprise, it took only about 15 minutes before Clover was walking into the pouch by herself:
After I zip it closed, she can (with difficulty) turn to face the front.She is not standing on the perch in this photo. I discovered that the rear perch is too far back, and the front perch is too far forward. The perch also very close to the bottom, so she can’t wrap her toes around. I realize Celltei needed to put it there because of the small size of the pouch. (And I hadn’t even asked for a perch, so thanks for including it!) I plan to add another pair of grommets between the current ones, and maybe 1/3” higher. I think that will be the perfect position.
Next, I needed to check out the attachment system. I started by fitting the pack straps to me. While the belt and straps fit quite well, I realized almost immediately that the pouch was not going to be stable on my shoulder. If I turned my head right or leaned a bit to the right, the whole thing fell off my shoulder to the right.
I think it’s just physically impossible to balance something this large on a shoulder. But you made a very good effort, and I appreciate the workmanship that went into the design of this. I don’t think anybody could have done a better job—but I just felt it was not going to be very stable there. So I decided to make the pouch into a “fanny pack” style instead with some modifications.
Here is the finished product. I’m very happy!
This pack is very light to carry. With Clover inside, the weight of the pouch + bird is just 420g + 462g = < 2 pounds!
Among a few other changes, I recommend adding two grommets near the front of the carrier, at middle height to slide a slim, replaceable, dowel stick through them, like a grab-rail at the front of the carrier. I think Clover will grab this dowel to stabilize herself when I’m walking. It will also give her something cheap to chew on that is NOT the carrier. I also want to add an extra-large grommet in the middle of the front of the carrier. I like to feed Clover treats for good behavior, and I currently have to unzip one side of the bag to give her a seed. I thought I could make a sort of “porthole” for feeding her seeds in the front. Lastly, Clover is only 420 g, but I most African Greys (400-650g) would need an extra 1” height and 1” length to be comfortable in this pouch.
Thanks again for the terrific pack! Feel free to use any of my comments or photos on the Celltei website.
Thank YOU for the great comments. You are right on target. This is actually the third one we made as the first two are even more unstable. We are re-working to have another construction similar to the shoulder standing pad that we started with the first prototype in the next round of production. We will send it for your review once it is ready. Thank YOU again.
Sharon sent us some pictures for the 2010 Photo Contest
These photos were taken last week on a trip to Buyukada (“Big Island”), off the coast of Istanbul. We came to the island by ferry, then took a horse carriage to the center of the island:
Clover rode on my shoulder as we climbed a steep hill to the 13th century monastery “Aya Yorgi.” As usual, she attracted a lot of attention from admirers (picture below on the left).
The pack was so light to carry, and came in very useful at the top. We were able to take Clover into the ancient church in her Celltei pack, and she went in the pack again while we had lunch at a restaurant. The pack has a “feeding port” in the front, so Clover got to taste a little bit of everything we were eating.
Last of all, the two pictures on the right above are from our tent camping trip outside a Turkish village:
A revised prototype was sent in May 2011 with a simplified shoulder pad strapping system.
Ends with (May 24, 2011):
My birdie pouch arrived on Saturday—I love it! I’ve used it every day since then, and have written the review for the Celltei website (please click Reviews tab for details). Feel free to post it on the Birdie Pouch page.
Since then, we have further improved the design.
Love it! Great quality. My birbs are still afraid of it. Just got it but they'll get it. I'm very happy.
My fanny pouch for my pionus parrot is perfect n even though it is a slow process getting ur parrot comfortable...in the end my parrot n I can enjoy each other's company...I highly recommend the product
My sun conure and I love this! Very well made, relatively comfortable to wear, though not particularly stylish. Allows my bird who will not have any part of a harness to join me on excursions. As a bonus it keeps him from being able to chew on my clothing, and protects him from people who would want to touch and/or grab him. He loves to join me on errands now, and he's the talk of the town everywhere we go.
(Emailed in May 2011)
Birdie Pouch Review:
As the initial prototype tester who is now using the production model, I have used the Birdie Pouch with my Congo African Grey for a total of about 70 hours so far. Our excursions have ranged from 15 minutes to 3 hours each, and have included buses, taxis, ferries, restaurants, museums, forest hiking trips and urban walks. As a semi-professional animal trainer with a houseful of exotic training gear, I rate the Birdie Pouch as one of my “coolest" pet items.
What I like best about the Birdie Pouch:
- The design is very well-conceived, and it is easy to get the bird in and out of the Pouch. The pouch is sized for parakeets, cockatiels, conures, pionus, timnehs and smaller Congo African greys. I would not recommend the pouch for birds much bigger than our 425 g Congo African grey.
- The quality of materials and craftsmanship is OUTSTANDING! It is about as parrot-proof as anything can be. In 70 hours of use, our parrot only managed to slightly widen two of the tiny screen squares and pick at a thread end. One reason for this is that I decided to cut a bunch of cardboard rectangles to use as false floors / distracters. On each trip, our parrot grabs the "floor" and chews it to shreds, convinced she is getting away with something.
- The Pouch is ideal for protecting a bird in areas with dogs, cats, hawks, etc. Prior to the Pouch, I took my parrot out in harness on my shoulder. The problem was what to do with her when I stopped at an outdoor restaurant. In Istanbul, there are street cats everywhere—they would likely attack the parrot if she were sitting on the back of a chair. Because of this, I could never stop on walks. Celltei’s Parrot Pouch has been an excellent solution to this safety issue. Also, I train my dog in agility, and the parrot can now safely attend practices without danger of being attacked, and also without being a distraction to the dogs there.
- Cleaning is super easy. The Velcro-attached tail compartment neatly collects most of the waste. This compartment can be removed, rinsed out in a sink, and put back on within seconds. Cleaning the bag after each trip takes less than a minute, and mainly consists of shaking out any seed hulls over a trash can.
- The Pouch is set up so that you can give your parrot treats through a port-hole. I regularly feed seeds through the port-hole to ensure that our parrot enjoys her time in the Pouch. In addition, I use the port-hole to let her sample foods at restaurants. Our parrot asks for foods by name, and I can easily pass whatever she wants into the Pouch.
- I like that there are two methods for wearing the pack. The shoulder attachment is easy to use and involves two easily-adjustable straps. When worn on the shoulder, the Pouch (and parrot) attracts a lot of friendly attention and double-takes. We’ve used ours in downtown Istanbul, and it’s a great conversation starter. Our parrot enjoys being right next to me, and I can watch her easily and see if she is frightened of something, interested in seeing something up closer, etc. She talks to me and to strangers when in this position.
- When used with a waist belt, the Pouch is very inconspicuous when going into museums or restaurants. With a light jacket thrown over the pack for disguise, we have never been stopped from entering anywhere. Because the Pouch does not allow poop, feathers or seed hulls to escape, it is a very sanitary way to carry a parrot indoors.
- I have one in each of the color choices. Both are excellent. The yellow is flashier, whereas the green is nice for sneaking the parrot into forbidden places like restaurants. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the yellow does not have a single spot on it after a year of use. I’ve set the pack in the dirt and used it in a very polluted city, but with regular rinsing under water, it’s as bright and clean-looking as new!
1. Birds that tend to panic around new things will need time to acclimate to the Pouch. Our parrot (a formerly untamed, parent-raised bird) was already accustomed to traveling in a plastic cat carrier. With 10 minutes of treat-based training, she was happily entering the Birdie Pouch and letting me zip it closed. Without the earlier experience of entering carriers, a parrot may need as much as 1-2 weeks of occasional training sessions to happily enter the Pouch. There are training videos online for teaching a parrot to enter a travel carrier.
2. Minor adjustments will be needed for smaller humans and smaller birds. The pouch comes standard with a quality natural wood perch to stand on. There is another 1?perch to use as an optional “beak railing.? This gives the parrot something to grab to keep his balance better. I found that our parrot needed a smaller beak railing, so substituted a narrow dowel for the included railing. Similarly, a dowel may need to stand-in for the normal perch if using this Pouch with a small species such as a parakeet or cockatiel. Regarding the straps for the shoulder harness, I found they were almost too generous. I’m a 5' 8". 150 lb. female. I needed to adjust the straps to their smallest size, and then a bit more (with a fabric loop hanging down) for the straps to fit. If you are smaller than about 170 lb, you may want to request slightly shorter straps.
3. From the parrot’s point of view, the pack is most stable when worn on the shoulder. From my point of view, I initially thought otherwise—it felt like the pack was slipping at first. I walked very stiffly and kept pushing the pack 1/2" forward or 1/2" backward to balance it. I finally realized that, because of its height, the pack will always slip slightly backwards and forwards. However, my parrot doesn’t notice the slight movement at all. So now I walk normally and expect a bit of movement. Regarding waist-belt use, this is more comfortable and less conspicuous from the human’s point of view. However, depending on body-type, the fanny-pack position will cause a little or a lot of “bumping?that some parrots may find irritating. Our parrot does not object to it, but I have not subjected her to more than a few blocks of non-stop walking with the pack in that position. I mainly use the Pouch on my shoulder, but to switch to a waist belt when going into restaurants or museums.
4. If you use the pack as a fanny pack, the Pouch will gradually distort in shape and "lean" to the right. That’s because stress on the belt loops causes the stainless steel mesh to bend. I found two solutions to this. 1) Between uses, use your hands to bend the mesh back so it is straight. 2) Make a sort of hard plastic “shelf" for the Pouch to sit on. I bought a $1 plastic bookend shaped like a 90 degree angle. I shoved the vertical end under my waist belt, and let the Pouch rest on the horizontal end. Simple, no tools needed, and it keeps the Pouch in a perfect position.
5. When used on warm days, precautions must be taken to prevent the steel mesh from over-heating. I deal with this several ways. 1) Walk in the shade, 2) Use the Pouch only when needed—on buses, in museums—then allow the bird out of the pouch (in harness) when I go back outdoors, 3) Use the included solid cover to cover the top mesh, 4) Alternatively, cut a square of reflective "car dashboard protector " material, and tape it to the Pouch to protect it from the sun. By using a combination of these methods and by being VIGILENT about feeling the mesh for overheating, I have successfully used the Parrot Pouch in temperatures up to 85 degrees.
I highly recommend the Celltei Birdie Pouch and would recommend it to anybody who would like to expand their bird’s horizons. Thank-you Celltei for making this amazing product!