The unusual luggage was detected on a Chinese passenger transiting through Madrid airport on his way to Hong Kong from Paraguay.
The 27-year-old was caught as he passed through a security check at the transit gate. He was carrying a specially adapted case fitted with a climate control and ventilation system.
It is illegal to take parrots out of Paraguay without a special license. Seprona, the animal and environmental crime unit of the Guardia Civil said the birds would be cared for until they could be returned to their country of origin.