How do I make my bird more active?

Safamirza🤍

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2022
217
302
Parrots
Cockatiel
Hello! 👋 I have a male cockatiel named Kiko who is around 1 years old (almost)

This post is in regards to questions about exercises for birds. Kiko is a very healthy and happy boy but he’s not as active as I would hope for him to be.

He does like to play with little toys sometimes and shred things like paper, but he’s not really into a lot of flying for fun and running around. He’s a very chill bird. He LOVES to sleep on top of us and cuddle with us. Is this OKAY for the long term? I know birds get slower as they get older but Kiko is not so active for a young bird.

I’ve never seen him flying for enjoyment or fun. He only flies when he gets spooked or in desperate situations where he needs to get to one place from the other. (Usually he will scream and make us take him to his desired spots.)

Can someone let me know how to exercise him more and make him fly more? I would love for him to do wing exercises everyday because he just recently got his flight feathers back after being clipped since he was a baby.

Thanks to anyone who replies! ❤️

DBC6F5E8-9269-4B5B-89EF-9DDFF8E401F6.jpeg3E4A3177-399F-45E5-A9AE-E1FBC3C83F2D.jpeg
 
Nov 2, 2022
9
16
Parrots
Astro (budgie)
Hello! 👋 I have a male cockatiel named Kiko who is around 1 years old (almost)

This post is in regards to questions about exercises for birds. Kiko is a very healthy and happy boy but he’s not as active as I would hope for him to be.

He does like to play with little toys sometimes and shred things like paper, but he’s not really into a lot of flying for fun and running around. He’s a very chill bird. He LOVES to sleep on top of us and cuddle with us. Is this OKAY for the long term? I know birds get slower as they get older but Kiko is not so active for a young bird.

I’ve never seen him flying for enjoyment or fun. He only flies when he gets spooked or in desperate situations where he needs to get to one place from the other. (Usually he will scream and make us take him to his desired spots.)

Can someone let me know how to exercise him more and make him fly more? I would love for him to do wing exercises everyday because he just recently got his flight feathers back after being clipped since he was a baby.

Thanks to anyone who replies! ❤️

View attachment 45374View attachment 45375
Maybe try doing recall training with him.
 

zERo

Well-known member
Dec 9, 2021
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Have you tried hiding treats in his toys? Also cockatiels are ground foragers in the wild so you could sprinkle a little millet or other treat on a tray of shredded paper or other similar material; my cockatiels love oat sprays too.
As for flying, recall training is great, you have to start small though, offer your hand with a fav treat say 6 inches away from him while he's standing on the edge of a chair, playstand, his cage etc. then you progressively get further away and so on.
 

LeeC

Supporting Member
Jun 5, 2019
343
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3
393
Harrisburg, PA
Parrots
Timneh: Grady;
Senegal: Charlie;
Sun Conure: Peaches (deceased)
Senegal: Georgia
Peach-fronted Conure: Milton (foster)
Brown-throated Conure: Pumpkin (foster)
Senegal: Fletcher
Senegal: Ivy
I have turned several non-fliers into fliers. Circumstances vary among them.

Is sounds as though Kiko is in the stage of signficantly delayed fledging. Fledging is the stage when baby parrot learns to fly for escape and as general transportation, soon after they get their first feathers.

Since Kiko was clipped since birth, his flight muscles (as well as tendons and ligaments) are not fully developed to have proper strength and stamina. The same likely goes for his heart and cardiovascular system. All this make flying feel like a lot of effort to him. In other words, he needs to gradually build strength and stamina, like a human going through physical rehab.

Target training, leading to recall training is great for that—and there are many other benefits.

My first parrot was a "perch potato" (word play on "couch potato" for people). He could fly, but from being in a cage so much for so long, he was an avid climber—not an avid flier. It was a mindset. I started putting his favorite foods on branches that were placed throughout my main floor (open floorplan). This encouraged him to move about. He discovered that he loved the picture-window perch-branch. He now flies to and from the branch and his main, central branch many times daily, as well as other branches.

So, in short, I used environment changes to encourage flight. This is sometimes called "offering destination sites".

I have other parrots that fly now, too; so, when one flies, often some others take flight, too. This is good old flock behavior.

Consider getting Kiko a Cockatiel, ideally one that files. With same-species companions, they tend to want to emulate one another. My first Senegal was clipped his whole life until I got him. Once he had full flight feathers, I still had no desire to fly. Well, I adopted another Senegal, well flighted, and the first one started trying to fly on his own. He files for transit multiple times per day now. His landings need development, but he is working on it, thanks to his same-species companions. :]
 
OP
Safamirza🤍

Safamirza🤍

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2022
217
302
Parrots
Cockatiel
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #6
Have you tried hiding treats in his toys? Also cockatiels are ground foragers in the wild so you could sprinkle a little millet or other treat on a tray of shredded paper or other similar material; my cockatiels love oat sprays too.
As for flying, recall training is great, you have to start small though, offer your hand with a fav treat say 6 inches away from him while he's standing on the edge of a chair, playstand, his cage etc. then you progressively get further away and so on.
We have been trying recall training! Usually Kiko will only fly to us when he wants to and when he is somewhere he is scared. We are still trying to make him come to us on command but it will take some time. :)
 
OP
Safamirza🤍

Safamirza🤍

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2022
217
302
Parrots
Cockatiel
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #7
I have turned several non-fliers into fliers. Circumstances vary among them.

Is sounds as though Kiko is in the stage of signficantly delayed fledging. Fledging is the stage when baby parrot learns to fly for escape and as general transportation, soon after they get their first feathers.

Since Kiko was clipped since birth, his flight muscles (as well as tendons and ligaments) are not fully developed to have proper strength and stamina. The same likely goes for his heart and cardiovascular system. All this make flying feel like a lot of effort to him. In other words, he needs to gradually build strength and stamina, like a human going through physical rehab.

Target training, leading to recall training is great for that—and there are many other benefits.

My first parrot was a "perch potato" (word play on "couch potato" for people). He could fly, but from being in a cage so much for so long, he was an avid climber—not an avid flier. It was a mindset. I started putting his favorite foods on branches that were placed throughout my main floor (open floorplan). This encouraged him to move about. He discovered that he loved the picture-window perch-branch. He now flies to and from the branch and his main, central branch many times daily, as well as other branches.

So, in short, I used environment changes to encourage flight. This is sometimes called "offering destination sites".

I have other parrots that fly now, too; so, when one flies, often some others take flight, too. This is good old flock behavior.

Consider getting Kiko a Cockatiel, ideally one that files. With same-species companions, they tend to want to emulate one another. My first Senegal was clipped his whole life until I got him. Once he had full flight feathers, I still had no desire to fly. Well, I adopted another Senegal, well flighted, and the first one started trying to fly on his own. He files for transit multiple times per day now. His landings need development, but he is working on it, thanks to his same-species companions. :]
Thank you for your reply 😊 Trying to get wing exercises and recall training is definitely a little difficult when your bird was not fledged right as a baby and your working with a little boy with so much attitude like Kiko, but we won’t give up on him! I hope one day he will fly around for enjoyment and fly to us on command.
 

Oopsadaysey

Member
Mar 11, 2022
29
36
East Gippsland Australia
Parrots
21yr old LutinoxPearl Quarrion (sorry cockatiel) Munchkin aka The Princess
Munchk1n is a senior citizen now, but she still has a fly by as we call it every morning with me. She has a fight with my right hand and starts to flap, hisses, head under her wing looking behind, at this point she just lets go, doing her cocky thing, off the hand to shoulder, onto the head across the room. She also does a 'bat tiel' hanging upside down in her room and just flapping away, usually when she thinks she is being ignored. As tiels go, she is more the size of a budgie, with the personality of one as well, and she speaks fluent budgie too.
 

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