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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 11-03-2016, 02:18 PM
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Re: I Love Amazons - An On-Going Journey!

Quote: Originally Posted by Kentuckienne View Post
As requested, here is a picture of Gus the blue & gold macaw on the new perch suggested by SailBoat. The perch is about 3" in diameter where he's sitting. He's small for his breed, not quite 900 grams, and has a misshapen spine which seems to make it difficult for him to perch comfortably and securely. Thanks 'Boat, it's just what the doctor ordered.

Thank-you, for Posting this Photo! When I saw it as part of your Thread, I was so impressed with how well it presented the placement of a Parrot's leg, foot and claws on a perch, I knew it would be a prefect example for this specific Post. Again, Thank-You!

Regarding the Photo: Please note that the entire base of the MAC's foot rests in a near balance arc with each pad carrying near the same amount of pressure. Also, as you look further down the perch, you will also see the natural variations of the surface of the perch. This natural variation provides very slight differences. As a result, as the Parrot moves either left or right on the perch, the natural variation will result in very minor changes in the amount of pressure on each pad. This duplicates natural perching, which the lower leg, foot and pads are designed. The same size dowel perch would not be able to duplicate those variation and result, over time, in failure points on the Parrot's pads!
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 11-03-2016, 02:29 PM
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Re: I Love Amazons - An On-Going Journey!

Interesting discussion about the feet. Kiwi has a wide variety of perches (and things he perches on that aren't really perches per-se). For some reason he seems to prefer the smaller diameter ones for playing/hanging out, though he sleeps on the widest one.
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 11-03-2016, 02:36 PM
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Re: I Love Amazons - An On-Going Journey!

Quote: Originally Posted by Kiwibird View Post
Interesting discussion about the feet. Kiwi has a wide variety of perches (and things he perches on that aren't really perches per-se). For some reason he seems to prefer the smaller diameter ones for playing/hanging out, though he sleeps on the widest one.

Thanks, and that is why it is so important to observe one's Parrot over the first few months prior to get a feeling what they like and not!

Okay, stop messing with my old eyes! When I first saw your Post, I was like: Who's That! Everything all right now, but you had me for a moment or two!

Last edited by SailBoat; 11-03-2016 at 02:40 PM.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 11-04-2016, 04:05 PM
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Re: I Love Amazons - An On-Going Journey!


I found the good camera and got a better photo of the feet on the perch. He was afraid of it at first, but now he prefers it.
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old 11-05-2016, 02:29 PM
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Re: I Love Amazons - An On-Going Journey!

Re-Fledging an Adult Parrot


All of the Amazons that have come to us have been from mildly to seriously Wing Trimmed, non-fliers. Our most recent member had been seriously trimmed and as the story went; the family believed that after the loss of their Parent, they could rehome the Amazon quicker if he was not flighted. This Amazon had been a long time flier and just went from there to the status of a Dropped Rock! After three separate surgeries of his rump to close splits cause by his attempts to fly, he had began to feather pluck his rump.

We have been long time believers in Flighted Adult Amazons and after nearly a year, our DYH Amazon had enough wing feathers to begin the process of Re-Fledging him!

This standard problem is the foundation for this next segment: Re-Fledging an Adult Parrot. It is rated: Can be Read Near Anywhere!


Although, I have several variations on subject of training an Adult Amazon to fly, I have always enjoyed the following writing on this subject by EB Cravens.

Last edited by SailBoat; 11-05-2016 at 06:28 PM.
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old 11-05-2016, 02:30 PM
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Re: I Love Amazons - An On-Going Journey!

Re-Fledging an Adult Parrot
Author: EB Cravens – 2006
Provided by: Steven (SailBoat) with permission of the Author.


Re-fledging: The How’s and Why’s of Teaching Adult Parrots to Fly

For years in the World of Parrot keeping, there have been numerous unimaginative Parrot Breeders who insisted upon clipping the wings of their new Fledgling Parrots before the Parrots could develop true flight skills. Many of us own or have owned such Psittacines; and it is not difficult to observe the affects of such naďve treatment. Mentally and physically, these Parrots are forced to live under a handicap, some for the whole of their lives.

The re-fledging of adult Parrots is desirable in order that they may recoup at least a portion of the confidence, savvy, and athleticism denied them by a premature wing trim. Parrots that have satisfactory flying skill are safer, fitter, and happier than their untrained, grounded cohorts. Here then, is how we go about the challenging process of re-fledging…

An older Parrot that was never properly fledged will often be seen begging to be picked up by an Owner from a mere 12” (305 mm) away from the hand. He or she maybe terrified of taking flight because of a series of crash landing mishaps that caused bumps or bruises or other unnoticeable pains. It will most likely be overweight, under exercised, and weak of the strength in feet, legs, hips that is required to make abrupt, sure landings. In order to calm its fears, the Parrot must be taught the proper way to flap its wings and brake with all its bulk, throw-out its feet, look down to a precise spot, and touch down gently enough to avoid discomfort or hurt. Re-fledging Adult Parrots is all about Landing Training!

We begin by exercising the Parrot twice or thrice daily with a series of up and down motions while the Parrot is perched on the hand or a stick. Object here is to get the Psittacine to begin serious flapping with wings both to build-up chest muscles and to accustom it to feeling it’s own weight supported by wing flapping (uplift). Obviously a full set, or near full set of primary flight feathers is necessary for lengthy and powerful flight, but even when the Parrot is partially clipped (4 to 6 primary feathers on each wing) this flap training can begin. Make sure that the Parrot does not let go and take off in a flight that ends in a crash, as this will be a setback to confident progress.

Once a Parrot begins to recognize the moments when its wings start taking the weight of its bulk, we can move on to Landing Training. For this, we choose a very soft surface free from injury possibilities—the master bed is a good spot. The Psittacine is picked up gently and briskly from the surface of the bed with two hands on either side of its body, and dropped onto the bed from a height of about six to eight inches (150 - 205 mm). We shout ‘WHEEE’ to give the semblance of a fun game and to signal the Parrot when it is going to be released.

This procedure can be done from the finger or hand perch, but many Parrots tend to hold on tightly and will not attempt to fly the short inches (mm) to the bed. Larger Parrots or those reticent to throw-out their wings in proper landing technique will have to be Flap-Exercised on the finger even dropping the hand all the way to the bed surface to get them used to Wing Braking Form. Then pick them up and drop them from slightly higher, say 10 to 12 inches (255 – 305 mm) -- just enough to get them to throw out their wings, extend their feet and brake to a soft plop on the bed. Once they realize that there is no danger of bumps or bruises, it should become facile to get them to play the Landing Game. Proper form is the key here, not flying forward at all. Further practice leads to 24” (610 mm) drops, then three feet (1 meter), etc. When they get the hang of it, we are ready to move on to a more solid landing site.

At this point we do not try to fly to a perch or a hard object, as the Parrot is still clumsy and could miss and injure it self. A large soft blanket or towel on top of its cage, a soft couch back, or a large weighted basket with a handle, which can easily be grasped by toenails when landing are three possible choices. Baskets also have the advantage of being easily recognizable and can be placed around the room. (This is what we use with devil-may-care natural fledglings that have little fear of anything while learning to fly around!) Let the Parrot perch on them and explore them first. Then again cry ‘WHEEE’ and gently force the Parrot to fly to the new perch site.

After some weeks (or months with bulkier, out-of-shape Parrots) of experience, the Adult Psittacine should begin learning to make instantaneous airborne decisions about where it wishes to land, choosing the spot, braking and thrusting out its feet and coming to rest exactly where it wishes. Voila, we are on our way to changing the Parrot’s life forever. Full flying skill comes with the ability to change direction sharply, turn right and left, fly up from the floor, drop down from a high perch to the ground, come to the Owner’s hand on call, fly when bath wet or in the brisk wind of an outdoor aviary, and land amidst leafy branches and smaller bouncier twigs and ropes.

Owners will normally see a dramatic increase in the agility, confidence, stance and build of their Adult Parrots after six months or so of Re-fledging Training. Serious feather pickers have been known to give up the habit and regain their ‘youthful fledgling’ trust and self-assurance in their captive environments.
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old 11-05-2016, 02:32 PM
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Re: I Love Amazons - An On-Going Journey!

Continuation from above!


Frightful strangers and objects often lose their dread. The Parrot can now fly back to its cage or perch when the Owner sends it ‘up’ or ‘off.’ In uncountable ways, we now find ourselves keeping complete Avian Parrots, not just the willfully crippled ones, which have never known what it is to take off and land safely and securely.

We have often Fledged Psittacines with the two or three outer primary (air cutting) feathers trimmed on their wings, since they were still molting in or are species with too much speed for the indoor room that was available. Parrots can learn to soar and maneuver and land in perfect control with a few less feathers for lift; it only makes the flapping a bit more brisk and ups the level of aerobic exercise in even the short ten and twenty-foot (3 and 7 meter) flights. Progressive, gradual wing trimming may be accomplished once the bird has learned all necessary skills and is beginning to pick-up more speed. That is up to individual Owners and the way they wish to keep their Adult Parrots.

Wing trimming should always start at the front of the wing, never behind where the rounder softer primaries and secondaries are critical for landing and control. For breeding Parrots, which have been re-fledged, it is a significant gain to their all-round well being and will decrease chances of the Hen running into any dangerous egg laying crises due to inadequate physical conditioning.


Author: EB Cravens is a noted writer with several Avian books and numerous articles within highly recognized Avian Publications. There are few Aviculturists who are praised worldwide and EB Cravens is “one of the finest and highest respected American Parrot Breeders, an Avian luminary” and a true groundbreaker with in the World of Parrots both in breeding and behavior studies. His development and practice of the naturalistic method of Parrot keeping and approach to breeding, which includes Human interaction from breeding season preparation through fledging results in highly socialized, fully-fledged parrots that are highly sought after with in the community of his peers. His monthly writings presented in his ‘Bird Keeping Naturally’ is a must read for any individual who is serious about providing the very best environment for their Parrots.



Steven (SailBoat) Comments: EB has long been a contributing member to the UK (and past US) Amazon Societies. His works are well known Worldwide and is commonly found providing presentations to National and International Avian Groups!

Regarding this Article: Please assure that your Amazon has developed the ability to create lift prior to starting Landing Training. This lift should be noticeable to you as your Amazon flaps his wings while riding on your finger i.e. his flapping in fact lifts your hand!

As part of Wing Trimming, always remember to cut away from the Parrots body and never toward the body! NOTE: There are differences regarding the type of Wing Trimming. EB always, with all Parrots, cuts the outer feathers and than inward. I believe that with Heavy Body Parrots like Amazons that it is better to cut from the inside out, leaving the Secondary feathers and the outer air cutting feathers in place. This type of Wing Cut is called a Presentation (or Show) Cut.

Last edited by SailBoat; 11-05-2016 at 02:41 PM.
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old 11-08-2016, 11:06 AM
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Re: I Love Amazons - An On-Going Journey!

As part of the prior discussion, we looked at Re-Fledging an Adult Amazon. But what if your Amazon just sits in the back of the cage next to the food bowl and has no interest in flying, let alone interacting with you. Now What? Interestingly, this leads us into this next discussion: Re-Starting a Shutdown Amazon.

With the extensive interest in Parrots, individuals of the Parrot Forums could find this topic beyond belief. Interaction with the Parrots in our life is in fact central to our life and a Parrot that has long ago been left to store in the back corner of a back room of a home is just unbelievable to us. However, it is far more common than we would like to believe.

Enjoy this next journey as we awaken the Shutdown Amazon!
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old 11-08-2016, 11:07 AM
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Re: I Love Amazons - An On-Going Journey!

Re-Starting a Shutdown Amazon!
By: Steven (SailBoat), November 2016

Getting older Amazons to be more active is not an easy task. The group that is even more difficult is those who have spent the majority of their life (if not all) in tiny cages on a single, dowel perch. The combination of moderate-to-serious foot problems, a stalled metabolic rate, excessive or at a starvation weight, all of which presents real physical and medical challenges. In addition, this group has commonly been starved of any mental stimulation. Then add extremely poor diet and the likelihood of fatty liver disease and/or other diseases of the neglected and it’s a tough place to start from.

The first place to start is at the Avian Veterinarian’s office with an ‘extensive’ evaluation of the Amazon’s health. Since most of this group is sourced from re-homing, drop-offs, devastating rescues, and the leftovers from breeding farms; an extensive stool, blood, DNA testing and physical examination can easily run 400 to 600 USD. Knowing the Amazon’s medical condition will at least provide a foundation to work from. Sadly, many from this group will have limited opportunities to expand their activity level documented by their medical evaluation; The Parrot is just too ill for much more than a sedimentary remainder of its life. That does not mean that we give-up on them, only that we adjust our expectations.

The next step is diet. The results found in the medical evaluation will provide guidelines as to what must be added and what must be seriously reduced, if not eliminated from the Parrot’s diet. Once established, the new diet is then built around a solid healthy base. As part of prior articles, I have provided the foundation for a solid healthy base diet. As part of any weight reduction or addition program, a gram scale is a central component and early morning daily recordings are critical. Since food has a high interest factor for Amazons, it presents is an effective tool for increasing the activity level of most Amazon. Being creative regarding the placement and effort required to find and extract it will re-activate the foraging instinct and its resulting activities. Note, use multiple locations, but leaving the original bowl in place until you are certain that the parrot has found and is using two or more of the new locations. At first, placement of food will need to be overtly obvious, based on the medical condition or general lack of activity of your Amazon.

Stimulating mental activity is the foundation to stimulating physical activity. An Amazon who has sat for days, upon weeks, upon months, upon years, shutdown mentally is not going to all-of-a-sudden ‘Pop-Up’ and become active one day just because the door was left open or weird stuff (toys) showed up in the cage. It takes one-on-one, direct interaction to re-start mental activities. The same intensive one-on-one activity that we will bestow on Human babies and baby Amazons in their first eighteen months of life is the same tool for opening this group of Amazons to the abundance of the World around them. At the same time, it is also the key for re-developing and enhancing the ‘trust bonds’ that have been just as seriously neglected. I continue to be surprised and refreshed by the deep want for simple social interaction and attention shown by these Throw Away Parrots.

Physical activities, like mental activities require that one-on-one involvement. Those who really care will get in there and be active with their Amazons. Depending on everyone’s physical health, a little more activity is added every couple of weeks targeting the capabilities of all parties. In general, most physical activities are pretty boring, which is why it is so important for mental interaction to be part of the activity. When you can turn physical activities into fun, being boring simply goes away!

On going, vocal and physical displays of proud excitement during and upon completion of ‘any’ activities plays to the ‘Reaction Junky’ roots of Amazons. So, Get Up and Get In There, and Have Fun Doing It! It will be healthily for everyone!

What happens, if nothing happens after the first week or month? Adjust your time frame! It is very possible that the Parrot has been waiting for years and may have seen short-term efforts in the past that all too soon returned to (if luckily) a daily change of the water and food bowls. By keeping your Amazon in the action (busy) areas of your home and a part of your life will support your efforts. Modern cages, designed for larger Parrots like Amazons, have wheels, take advantage of them and roll your Amazon along with you.

The point; by keeping interactions elevated, increased mental activity is far more likely. Gains measured in multiple months are far more realistic. Once activity begins, new or enhanced interacts become more common, as do the rewards.

Savor the small victories; each tiny step is growth toward a much better life for both of you!
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  #40 (permalink)  
Old 11-12-2016, 09:20 AM
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Re: I Love Amazons - An On-Going Journey!

Help My Amazon is Falling Apart!!!

I had originally wrote this article for The Amazona Society’s Quarterly publication in the early Fall of 2006. That year, not unlike the year 2011, and now again this year (2016), saw the majoring of our Amazons in the Great White North molding heavier than the previous year. Since, I am now providing this to the Parrot Forum and specify, the Amazon Forum and with our healthy Amazons providing more then what may seem as their fair share of collectables (feathers), I provide the following for your enjoyment. Your comments regarding this discussion and the other contributions to this Forum are an important part of growing the knowledge base of our Favorite Feathered Friends – our beloved Amazons!





Enjoy!
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