I Clipped My New Budgies Wings and Now She’s Mad at Me

I Clipped My New Budgies Wings and Now She’s Mad at Me

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

Michal C. is seeking information,

I am currently on the lookout for toys, specialty products like Millet, and health-promoting nutrition items for parakeets. 

Please put me on your list of customers to whom you promote.

Also, a question:  Is it not standard for any person/company to clip the wings of any parakeets they sell before sending it out the door?

PetSmart did not do this for my new bird and I was forced to do it myself. 

I did a decent job and did not injure the bird physically but she was TREMENDOUSLY traumatized and has not allowed me near her in her cage in the six weeks since. 

I contacted PetSmart where I bought her AND the state headquarters. 

Both people I talked to were very sympathetic to and horrified by my story and said it had to change and they would contact their supervisors, but I have not heard from them since and the bird, a sweet, smart, and shy female still avoids me at all costs no matter how gentle, quiet, careful I am. Any suggestions?

Catherine replied:


Although it is common for pet bird sellers (pet stores or breeders) to clip a bird’s wings for the buyer, it is not mandatory and is beginning to be less common. More bird owners want tlhe wings left intact. However, I feel that you should have been asked.

Intact wings are very important for a bird’s confidence and balance so leaving them intact is safer for them.

However, a new bird in a new home can be scared and may fly off rapidly and possibly hurt itself while confused and hit windows, walls, or more.

Due to this issue, clipping a bird’s wings before being let loose in its new home helps the bird stay safe during the first few months or so as it gets used to its new home.

By the time the cut feathers molt out and regrow, the bird usually knows its cage, its play areas, and you are not a bad person and are their friend, etc.

That your bird came home with you fully flighted and you decided to clip the wings alone sounds like it was rough on your new bird.

You don’t say how long ago this was.

You should continue to spend time with your bird, sit near the cage, and bring her near your favorite chair or by your desk where you work.

Keep talking to her.

One other thing that would keep her away from you is how old was she when you purchased her.

If she was not hand raised, hand tamed, and was just from a clutch of young birds, she may be too old to consider you as a buddy.

This is a very common issue for budgies, etc purchased from pet stores.

They are already more oriented to other birds and as such, are just not going to accept you as anything other than a caretaker.

If you are their only companion, they will want to know where you are, that you are coming back to feed them, and that they are not all alone.

Budgies are flock birds and are happiest with other birds, and creatures.

They are very sad if alone.

If she does not wish to be with you, you should get her a cage buddy. A female would be best to avoid mating issues. If you don’t want another budgie, then consider installing a little mirror in the cage, it will mean a lot to her.

We will add your email to our list for the weekly Sunday Birdie Brunch email.

Thank you

Thank you for your very nice, very informational email.

I have done all the things you suggest in your message paragraphs, especially Paragraph 5… speak gently, put a chair near her cage, etc.

I really don’t want a second bird but am thinking of getting one anyway – for her. 

She seems lonely and sad and since I see her just standing there quietly all day now for six weeks, it is depressing to me – and seriously.

Thanks again for your help.

Michal C.

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