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Old 08-06-2018, 04:36 PM
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I now have a young Hahn's macaw. I used to have a Pacific Parrotlet that lived until almost 15. Before that I had a budgie.
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Afraid to fly or lazy?

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When we adopted our Hahn's macaw, he was 6 months old and had his flight feathers trimmed. I doubt he had any opportunities to fly before that. Well, my husband and I decided to let his flight feathers grow in fully. It seemed to take forever, and he certainly didn't test any partials out. He has been perfectly content to hop and jump, walk/run and of course, climb. He's about 1.5 years old now and all of his flight feathers are fully operational, and yet he almost never flies. There is certainly nothing wrong with his eyesight or hearing or his wings. He's very healthy. I wonder if he's just afraid, lazy, or doesn't realize his full capability.

There have been a couple of occasions when he took short flights, but they were either out of some desperation or extreme curiosity. They were well controlled in steering and landing. But we are encouraging him to fly more, particularly for exercise, but he prefers "limo service" or climbing/hopping.

Has anyone dealt with this situation? Any advice? We are trying to lure him to us with goodies, fun stuff, and affection. Our bed is only 5 feet from his cage and play gym, so we're not expecting any red-eye flights.
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Old 08-06-2018, 04:46 PM
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Re: Afraid to fly or lazy?

Where do you expect him to fly? Around the house? Too limited a space, I expect. I had an Amazon years ago that never flew unless frightened. Birdie, on the other hand, flies all over the house and an 8’ x 36’ screened porch, but she is way smaller than your bird.
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Old 08-06-2018, 05:06 PM
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Re: Afraid to fly or lazy?

How long has he been flighted? He might not realize he can fly yet. It took my gcc 6 months of being flighted before he realized he could fly and another year to be comfortable flying and fly on a regular basis
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Old 08-06-2018, 05:11 PM
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Re: Afraid to fly or lazy?

If he can achieve the same goals by walking or being carried, then why would he fly in such a limited space? He probably COULD, but he has no reason to take that risk if you think about what he is used to etc.
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Old 08-06-2018, 05:17 PM
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Re: Afraid to fly or lazy?

Japie has been at it for 3 years now (after being mostly caged for 10+, maby 20 years) and he went from the cartoonstyle fly-run into a door and *squeeeeeeeeeeee* downwards to actually landing on his feet and getting better at quick in-the-air turns.
I just let him go at it at his own pace, he loves hop-flying around now and once in a blue moon agrees to do some recall flying.

Still he flies nowhere nearly as well as Appie - who almost never flies, she loves climbing and walking places, but is pure dragonfly when she is at it!

The amazonsticky has (page 4 if I remember correctly / there is an index at the beginning I Love Amazons - An On-Going Journey! ) some really usefull tips how to give a non-flying bird the courage and training to go about flying (and landing) safely.
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Old 08-07-2018, 09:11 AM
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I now have a young Hahn's macaw. I used to have a Pacific Parrotlet that lived until almost 15. Before that I had a budgie.
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Re: Afraid to fly or lazy?

My guy has really only been 100% fully flighted for almost a month. Maybe I do need more patience. He is not a big macaw at all. Hahn's macaws are only a little bigger than cockatiels, though a bit stockier.

I still think he should eventually fly from his area to the nearby bed. He could climb down and then up, but a mini flight would save him a lot of time.

So far, the few mini flights he's made were successful (no crashes). That reduces some of my worry
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Old 08-07-2018, 09:16 AM
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Re: Afraid to fly or lazy?

help him to fly, little by little, ideally with treats and eventually on calling him. Little steps to start and get the flights longer as his strength and confidence grows. Reward him and ensure you dont over do things so he fails, positive things should happen so he enjoys flying and wants to go further.
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Old 08-07-2018, 09:48 AM
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Re: Afraid to fly or lazy?

This is why it is generally not recommended to clip birds until after they are already proficient flyers (not that you did anything wrong if he came that way). Much like with human children, there is a narrow timeframe for which young parrots hit key developmental milestones easily, after which learning new things becomes very difficult or potentially impossible. Since your bird is still so young, there is a very good chance he can learn to fly with some time and patience! But he is already past his natural age to fledge, so it will not necessarily just 'come' to him, it will be more of a learned behavior.

I might suggest starting with flapping exercises to build his flight muscles. Flighted birds weigh more than clipped birds because they have significantly more muscle mass to support flight. Start by holding your bird on your hand with your thumb gently over his toes. Pull your hand straight down in a swift, smooth motion. The sensation of falling will cause him to instinctually open and flap his wings. You can tie in a word or sound before doing this so he learns when it's coming and associated that cue in the future with opening and flapping his wings. Once he's become fairly comfortable with that, try pulling him forward while walking, simulating flight. This will help build key muscles. Eventually, you'll want to not hold his toes. If he's flighted he'll start to feel the sensation of lift and likely at some point let go of your hand on his own
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Old 08-07-2018, 09:53 AM
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Re: Afraid to fly or lazy?

CtheBird, I have a black-capped conure with a similar history so it may not be entirely because of your Hahn's size. I always assumed it was because she lacks the muscle and stamina for flight and is content with short flights when absolutely necessary.
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Old 08-08-2018, 12:50 AM
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Re: Afraid to fly or lazy?

Hahns macaws are basically sun conure sized.


Have you tried target training with your macaw or doing a modified step up to encourage him to learn how to fly on his own?
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