Disclaimer. I fully understand if you clip your bird’s wings. Large birds especially in homes with 8-foot ceilings and lots of windows open themselves up to injury from flight. I like flighted birds but what’s right for me in is not necessarily right for you.
Popcorn on the top landing door of her work cage.
Click here for more details of this 2 door Cockatiel cage from Prevue
On a regular basis, we get called by strangers, the police, and fire departments to rescue anything that appears to be an exotic bird. So it was with great interest I responded to a call for a white bird in the bushes not two blocks from the Birdie Boutique. It was a warm day, I grabbed a backpack birdcage and strolled 2 blocks north on Western Ave where a woman was waiting on the steps of her brownstone a few feet away from a small white bird who was more or less stuck in the front yard hedges.
She was was clearly flighted (her escape MO) and scared. I grabbed her taking the anticipated the bite, felt the rush:-), grabbed her around the neck dropped the towel over her (which I had brought), stuffed her little but into the cage and hiked back to the shop. (Note: Parrots have a pharynx unlike humans that have a larynx, thus a thumb and forefinger around a birds neck is a safe and easy way to restrain them. Conversely squeezing a bird around its chest can suffocate them)
We put her in a small 18 x 18 cage in the corner of the shop and Paid our due diligence by filing reports with Parrot Alert 911. and posting around Facebook. We’ve been bird-free for the past three years and not even thinking about leaving the bird and little cage at work we brought a cage home and now were shuttling little Princess daily. So it was no stretch when Catherine asked me “do we want to think about keeping this bird?” I said yes with no hesitation. So here we are about five months later. Popcorn has a beautiful Cockatiel Palace at work and an HQ 702 that was sitting in the corner of the warehouse. But I’m getting ahead of myself. That said when we brought Popcorn home we knew she was flighted. My first morning trying to get out of the house with her to go to work she took off while trying to get her into her travel cage I lost sight of her as she flew about the apartment frantically. I couldn’t find her for 10 or 15 minutes. She’d fallen behind a large cabinet in the bedroom. Fortunately she sustained no injury. When I got to the shop we clipped her.
Sometimes she’ll just leave her cage and start doing figure eights at home and at the store (which has 10 and a half foot ceilings) but always landing on a “known” landing the zone or one of us. I’ve gotten a shoulder landing a couple of times but she’ll usually land on the top of one of our heads. Popcorn’s flight gives me enormous joy.
While reviewing some links and a new video that had been added recently- the Hagen How to Groom Flight Feathers. One of the tips mentioned – birds should learn to fly and land before the first wing clipping.
Should you keep your bird flighted? I think it’s an argument that will last forever. Greg Glendell is a strong advocate for keeping birds flighted. He lays out his case and starts with “So, ALL birds are subject to risks in the home, whether they are flighted or not: clipped birds are just subjected to *different* risks than those of flighted birds. Generally, wing-clipping is done for owner-convenience, rather than bird ‘welfare’ Read the rest of Keeping birds flighted here.