Parrotlet in a Harness: Is it a Good Idea?

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Owners of parrotlets are aware that their birds are lively little beings who enjoy moving about. You may have observed your pet bird flying about your living room and pondered whether it would be a good idea to attach a harness and take it outside. 

A parrot harness is a specially designed device that allows the owner to safely secure the bird while taking it outside for fresh air, exercise, and socialization. Owners can provide their feathered friend with valuable mental stimulation and physical activity by acclimating a Parrotlet to a harness.

Training a Parrotlet to accept and wear a harness requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. It’s important to remember that every bird is unique, and the training progress may vary. 

Some Parrotlets may readily accept the harness, while others may take longer to become comfortable with it. The key is gradually establishing a trusting bond with your bird and introducing and desensitizing them to the harness. 

By harnessing your parrotlet, you can create a safe and enjoyable experience for you and your bird, fostering a stronger bond and allowing them to explore the outside world with you as their trusted companion.

Also Read: How To Tell The Age Of A Parrot?

How To Tell The Age Of A Parrot

Types of Harnesses

There are several types of harnesses designed for different purposes and activities. Following are a few typical types of harnesses:

  • Climbing Harness
  • Fall Arrest Harness
  • Flight Harness 
  • Single-loop harnesses
  • Buckled harnesses

1. Flight suits 

Flight suits are made from cloth and look like little jumpsuits for your bird. There are holes in the head, legs, and wings. They can be attached to a leash and are fastened around the bird using hook and loop-style fasteners. Some even have attachments with diapers to catch the bird droppings.

2. Single-loop Harnesses

The simplest harness design is a single loop. It is made out of a collar loop made of braided nylon. It fits easily over the parrotlet’s head. Another nylon piece connects it to a belt you fasten around the bird. Using a leash for birds, the harness can be attached.


3. Buckled Harnesses

The shape of a buckled harness is an uppercase “H.” It uses nylon braids, the same as the single-loop design. It fastens around the chest, abdominal region, and legs using metal buckles. In addition, your bird is secured by a waistband and collar loop. A leash can be fastened to either the harness’s front or back.

4. Climbing Harness

These harnesses are designed for rock climbing, mountaineering, and other vertical activities. They typically have padded leg loops and a waist belt to distribute the forces generated during a fall. Climbing harnesses often feature multiple gear loops for attaching carabiners, quickdraws, and other climbing equipment.

5. Fall arrest harness

Fall arrest harnesses are used in construction, roofing, and maintenance industries, where workers may risk falling from heights. These harnesses are designed to distribute the forces of a fall across the body, reducing the risk of injury. They typically have front and rear attachment points connecting to a fall arrest system.

Pros and Cons


  • Outdoor Exploration: Parrotlets are curious birds, and using a harness can allow them to experience the outdoors safely. It will enable them to explore new environments, enjoy fresh air, and engage in mental stimulation.
  • Enrichment and Exercise: Harness training can be a form of enrichment for parrotlets, as it exposes them to new sights, sounds, and sensory experiences. It also allows them to exercise by flying or walking while on the harness.
  • Bonding and Socialization: Harness training requires close interaction between the parrotlet and its owner. This process can strengthen the bond between them and enhance trust. It also allows socialization with other people and animals, promoting positive experiences and reducing fear or aggression.
  • Safety and Security: A properly fitted harness can provide security when taking a parrotlet outside. It prevents accidental escapes or injury and minimizes the risk of exposure to hazards such as predators or toxic plants.


  • Stress and Discomfort: Some parrotlets may initially find wearing a harness stressful or uncomfortable. Introducing and acclimating them to the harness requires patience, positive reinforcement, and gradual desensitization.
  • Training Challenges: Not all parrotlets will readily accept wearing a harness. Training can be time-consuming and may require consistent effort. Some birds may feel uncomfortable with the harness, making it difficult to take them outside safely.
  • Predatory Threats: Predatory animals are still likely to target parrotlets even with a harness. While a harness reduces the chances of an escape, it cannot guarantee complete safety from predators.
  • Environmental Hazards: The outdoor environment may expose parrotlets to potential dangers, such as extreme weather conditions, disease-carrying insects, or toxic substances. Researching and ensuring the environment is safe before taking a parrotlet outside is essential.


Some bird owners might say using a harness on a parrotlet is a good idea. Parrotlets are small birds with delicate physiques, and using a saddle can cause stress, discomfort, and even physical harm to the bird if not correctly fitted or used. Also, because parrotlets have a natural urge to fly and explore, limiting their mobility with a harness could harm their behavior and general well-being. 

The bird’s welfare must always come first, and any training or tools used, such as harnesses, must be introduced gradually, with support, and under the care of bird experts. Using a tackle on a parrotlet should be thoughtfully considered, considering the bird’s specific requirements, temperament, and safety.


Are parrotlets comfortable wearing harnesses?

A: It varies from bird to bird. Some parrotlets may tolerate wearing a harness without much fuss, while others may find it uncomfortable or distressing. It is essential to introduce the harness gradually, using positive reinforcement techniques and ensuring that the bird feels secure and safe.

Can you harness-train a parrotlet?

Yes, it is possible to harness-train a parrotlet, although it may require some patience and consistent training efforts. Parrotlets are small parrots known for their intelligence and playful nature, which can make them good candidates for harness training.

Is a harness suitable for parrots?

Yes, harnesses can be a helpful tool for parrot owners. Parrot harnesses are designed to allow owners to take their parrots outside safely, providing them with supervised outdoor time and enrichment. Harnesses are particularly helpful for larger parrot species that cannot be easily contained within a cage or aviary.

Is it okay to put a harness on a bird?

No, putting a harness on a bird is generally not okay. Birds have unique anatomical structures and behaviors that make wearing a harness uncomfortable and potentially harmful. Birds have lightweight, delicate bones, and their bodies are designed for flight. Restricting their movement with a harness can cause stress, discomfort, and even physical injury.

Can a parrot fly with a harness?

Yes, a parrot can fly with a harness. Harnesses are used to safely restrain and control a parrot’s movements during outdoor activities such as walks or outside the cage.

Also Read: Why Do Parrots Mimic People?

Why Do Parrots Mimic People?

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