Why You Don’t Need a Professional to Trim Your Birds Nails

Why You Don’t Need a Professional to Trim Your Birds Nails

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

There are a lot of tough guy actors. Mickey Rourke is like a train wreck you want to look away but you just can’t.

fyi he was nominated for an Oscar , Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role The Wrestler (2008) – he’s also an animal lover

When Rourke won the 2009 Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in The Wrestler, he famously gave a special shout-out to “all my dogs” in his acceptance speech: “The ones that are here, that aren’t here anymore, because sometimes when a man’s alone, that’s all you got is your dog. And they meant the world to me.”

Apparently during the shooting of Iron Man 2 (haven’t seen it) He thought his character should have a bird not a dog, you know for that “tough guy” look.

what helps the tough guy look more?

the cockatoo on the shoulder or the hanging bodies (behind Rourke).

While I’m not Mickey Rourke I’m very happy to have a white cockatiel on my shoulder. Popcorn is fun and entertaining. She doesn’t talk she whistles but we get each other.

Mickey & I share 2 traits

white parrots on right shoulders and we’re both weird looking

But you say cockatiels are not really parrots. I say you have not done your fact-checking. She has a curved hookbill and zygodactyl feet (two toes pointing forward and two pointing backward). Cockatiels are parrots.

We are believers in allowing our birds to be flighted. Wings go beyond flight they provide balance as well. We also try to avoid trimming our bird’s nails because of our concern about her losing the grip on a perch high in the cage.

But they’re not always in the cage, sometimes they are walking around our homes. We have wood floors throughout our apartment but we also have lots of area rugs. When you see your bird walking across the rug like they’re walking on top of Velcro – It might be time to trim their nails. Let us show you how.

You will need a nail clipper or a Rotary trimmer. We prefer the rotary trimmer because it lessens the chance of making your bird bleed which can happen when trimming their nails with the clipper. We will cover that in a future video.


This is a two-part video. We’ve had many requests to make this video so that not only do you understand how to trim your birds own nails but we can’t assume that everybody knows how to properly assemble and operate a cordless Rotary trimmer. Thus the first part of the video covers the mechanics of the trimmer Part 2 is me and Catherine using guerrilla tactics to safely restrain our cockatiel then give her a minor nail trim. Believe it or not this was all done in one take.

For safely trimming your birds nail you will need


important note->You will probably not be surprised that many caged bird keepers prefer to have their bird’s nails trimmed at the vet’s office or by a professional caged bird keeper. This begs the question –


What are you going to do in an emergency which may come up over the next 30 years. What if you need to restrain your bird for first aid or a quick evacuation? If your bird is not used to being restrained by you a bad situation can get worse. Nail trimming offers “practice” toweling sessions. It doesn’t have to be perfect – as seen in our ‘splainer video.

Why go to all this bother? As caged bird keepers it’s up to us to make judgment calls about the health and conditions of our birds. A flighted bird could endure an injury on takeoff if a nail got stuck carpeting. A bird whose wings have been clipped may have a problem escaping from another pet in the household or a young child because it’s nail is stuck on the carpet.


Make sure when you put your bird back in the cage for the first time after any nail trimming, we advocate that you spend 10 or 20 minutes watching your bird navigate it’s cage. Some wood perches and some plastic perches can be tough to grip and more so without the nail tips which are kind of like climbing spikes a hunter might use to climb a tree. You are looking for any potential instability in a particular perch.


the quickest fix is to wrap any “slippery” perch with vet wrap  which will instantly provide the necessary friction needed to comfortably navigate said perch.


This is especially true if your birds wings are clipped. A bird with clipped wings has a lessened sense of balance. A short fall with frantically flapping wings in a crowded cage can cause any number of injuries and will trigger stress.


You’ve been warned.


written by mitch rezman

approved by catherine tobsing


your zygodactyl footnote

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