Another Look At Clipping Wings

You may not like to hear it, but even a bird with clipped wings can fly away. I just had our half-moon conure Beeby’s wings clipped, and he can’t get very far up or over, but he can make decent flying jumps. If I were to take him outside, especially in the strong evening winds that come up in the summer, he could potentially catch a breeze and be off. I would hope his bonding to Esme might cause him to stick around, but as he was originally a found bird in someone’s backyard, he has experience.

Should you clip your birds’ wings? You first need to do lots of research, and search your heart, too. In the outside aviaries with an airlock, I leave my birds fully flighted. Inside, depending on the bird, they may or may not be clipped. Usually I only clip them if, like Beeby, they are psycho attack birds, or if I am planning to take them somewhere. My still missing lovebird, Jake, had his wings clipped some years ago when I got to take him to my office for the day.

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Obviously we don’t clip finches or canaries, and because the budgies will be going into an outside cage someday, we haven’t clipped them. These birds currently are not give out time. They are in the biggest cages I can afford for them, and have a companion or society to interact with. Many of our inside cockatiels have wing issues, so they don’t need to be clipped. But some are fully capable of flight, and our single rosy Bourke parakeet has been my biggest concern for getting out. She’s learned to go back in the cage, as long as I give her enough time. Then I round up the cockatiels who are part of her flock now. She panics if she sees a net, so I have to secure her first.

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You will find pros and cons all over on to clip or not to clip. Unlike this one, they are not all open-minded and considering all the reasons for and against.

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What should you do when the unthinkable happens and your beloved bird goes off to see the world? Read this. This is what I did, and I am doing. Keep faith, and go on with your life as soon as you can.

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Here’s a clipped lovebird trying to fly. The long feather on each wing drives me crazy, I would have clipped or plucked those by now! It’s also preferable to let the bird learn about the new limitations of the wings over a soft landing spot, not a hard wooden bench.

If you have a good deal of time to spend on bird training, here’s a great suggestion.

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Thank you for reading. I’ll be back on Thursday.

2 thoughts on “Another Look At Clipping Wings

  1. Our rescue parrots live in our home with cats and dogs. For their own safety, we do not clip their wings. We wanted them to be able to escape a playful cat or dog. For the parrot that had been attacked at the breeder’s and at the rescue, we felt that being flighted would help her confidence, and it has. If the cockatoo gets to rowdy, she flies to her alternate perch in a room he doesn’t go to. This way she feels like she can take care of herself. Her neurotic nature is gently unwinding this way after several years in our home.

  2. Every situation is different. Glad for your parrot with issues you have the option to give her the best. I know when handfeeding chicks, they have to fledge and be able to fly for a while before they can wean themselves. Makes perfect sense.

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