Birdie Pouch - XS

Made to Order, ship in 2-3 weeks
Petey enjoying the Long Beach

Petey enjoys the Long Beach
(Photo courtesy of Susan M.)

Dimension (exclude shoulder pad):
    7.25" L x 5.5" D x 8.5" H (+ 4/8/12" Tail)
    5.25" Beak hole to the center perch hole

Weight:   1 lb. 3 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

Main Features:

  1. 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
  2. Fully Open Stainless Steel Mesh on all sides
  3. Durable stainless steel mesh on all sides
  4. Feeding hole for treats and water (water bottle not included)
  5. Beak railing for balance
  6. Removable tail pouch for easy cleaning
  7. Non-skid floor
  8. Adjustable perch positons
  9. Optional built-in shoulder pad to level the pouch on shoulder (CANNOT be worn on shoulder without shoulder pad)
  10. Belt loops for attaching to regular belt of 1.5” width
  11. Accessories:
    • 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!

Sharon and Clover, a smart African Grey in Turkey

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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. 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?
  4. 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?

Sharon and Clover, a smart African Grey standing on shoulder

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.

Birdie Pouch prototype

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):
Clover trying out Birdie Pouch

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.

Clover inside Birdie Pouch

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.

Clover fitting Birdie Pouch

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.

Sharon fitting Birdie Pouch - front
Sharon fitting Birdie Pouch - side
Sharon fitting Birdie Pouch - back

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.

Sharon fitting Birdie Pouch as a fanny pack

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.

Clover touring Buyukada
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.

Clover attracting a crowd
Clover camping with Sharon and family dog
Clover among Turkish children

Last of all, the two pictures on the right above are from our tent camping trip outside a Turkish village:

Revised Celltei Birdie Pouch Green
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.