I Believe I Can Fly

ctwo

Active member
May 16, 2019
202
68
Parrots
Mango the Indian Ringneck and Peach the Cockatiel; Kiwi found a new home
My IRN doesn't seem to like to fly or has some apprehension on takeoff. On the top of his cage, if he wants to fly to me in the other room, which is really just a 10 foot hop, he'll start plucking his cage bars hard, stands up tall and flaps his wings, repeats all this several times, paces around, does it some more, and maybe half the time he'll finally decide to fly to me.

When he does fly, it is typically a downward trajectory. If he gets distracted along the way he'll turn course and usually make it out to the middle of the room and land on the floor, or sometimes he makes it all the way across and gets a bit of lift to get up on the TV stand across the room (~20 feet). If I leave him on the floor, he'll finally make his way over to me and either climb my leg or try some other route up to the table. But I've never seen him fly up off the ground. If I leave him on the TV, he'll usually fly back to his room and make it up to a higher shelf about 30 feet away.

Is the house just too small for him to really get flight control? His Cockatiel is quite the opposite, does laps around the living room, with barrel rolls and twists and turns. She'll buzz the tower and smack me on the cheek with her wing on the way back to her cage too.

I don't have anything to indicate a health issue.
 
Oct 10, 2018
86
62
Minnesota, USA
Parrots
"Bongo" - Green Cheek Conure
“Echo” - Indian Ringneck
"Chicken" - Sun Conure, rest in peace, my precious friend.
My first parrot was a fourteen-ish year old sun conure who had been confined to his cage for many years - it took a lot of work and patience to teach him how to fly, yet he never really learned to take any joy in it nor was he interested in doing it beyond “I have to get there and the only way is to fly.”

My second bird, Bongo, flies around all over but doesnkt do much acrobatics in the air, but she does love traveling all over the house. She knew how to fly when I got her, but not how to take off or land on different surfaces, or how to fly down. She still doesn’t know how to control her speed (she’s my little feathered torpedo!)

My newest bird, an IRN named Echo, seems to LOVE flying and will do circles and laps in the house just for fun, and is a very experienced flier for speed control and landings, as he had the benfit of watching a well versed Amazon fly for a few months before I adopted him.

That said - every bird is different. Health, weight (if your bird is overweight, flying is MUCH harder on them, and same for if they have not flown much and their flight muscles aren’t well developed), personal preference - some birds are just lazy! - self confidence, whether they were ever taught how to fly, if they were allowed to fledge as a baby… some breeders clip wings before they ever take their first flight, which can be devastating to a bird’s physical and psychological growth. Some handle that stress better than others.

Can you give us more info about your bird? Age, how long you’ve had him for, if his wings were ever clipped, if you have done any flight training with him, etc?

From my initial read on what info you’ve provided, my first thought is that your boy sounds like he needs to take flight in smaller steps, and maybe build his muscles up so he can sustain longer periods of flight. Birds know instinctively how to take off and fly, but it’s other things they have to learn - the difference between taking off from a square perch versus a round one versus a flat surface versus a fabric or carpetted covered surface; they have to be taught how to fly down, sometimes how to fly up especially for steep angles, how to turn in the air, how to land on different surfaces.

Some learn faster than others; some enjoy it more than others.

If your buddy hasn’t been very active previously, he may not be in shape for flying; in which case, you don’t want to push him too far. If he begins panting after landing do NOT push him into flying more, as you can cause severe damage overworking their little bodies. Let him catch his breath and calm down.

You can start him off by teaching flight recall that will also help build his strength and understanding of flight up In increments: start Maybe a foot or two from his cage, offer a favored treat, and encourage him to fly to you. Some people teach target training for this (there’s all kinds of videos on youtube, and i believe Bird Tricks has some free videos on it as well), some teach a verbal command, etc.

This way your bird learns to fly and to enjoy it, AND you teach them flight recall which is super useful for retrieving your bird if he ever heaven forbid got loose, or you just need him down off that super high painting frame you have no hope of reaching and maaaan you gotta get to work.

For Bongo, I actually began her with hops to my finger, then sloooowly increased the distance until she had to open her wings at least once to flutter-hop the distance, before she began being comfortable with outright flying to my hand.

The point is to start him on small, easy flights that he doesn’t have to overexert himself to accomplish, which will help build his strength, his confidence, and make the flight something enjoyable instead of something he views as hard to do and tiring.

Advance to farther distances as he gains more confidence and strength in his shorter flights, and then begin encouraging him to try flying down a few degrees, then a few more, etc, have him fly up high, down low, once he has a good handle on going up or down , begin asking him to make slight turns, then more severe turns, etc. ask him to fly from a perch, from a countertop, from your hand to a perch, etc. slowly vary the exercises so he can gain a well rounded flight experience.

Remember to go at your bird’s pace, and try to set up each session for the highest chance of success; try to get him flying when he is most awake and active, versus during afternoon nap times or if he’s in a grouchy mood. Favored treats can provide great incentive to work those little wings, especially if you withhold those favorites from feeding except during training/playtime.


Edit: fixed my rampant typos lmao sorry 😂🤣
 
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OP
ctwo

ctwo

Active member
May 16, 2019
202
68
Parrots
Mango the Indian Ringneck and Peach the Cockatiel; Kiwi found a new home
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #3
The lutinos came as a pair. All I could get from the previous owner was 5 years, so about 8 years old now.


I'll have more confidence now encouraging Mango to fly some more.
 
Oct 10, 2018
86
62
Minnesota, USA
Parrots
"Bongo" - Green Cheek Conure
“Echo” - Indian Ringneck
"Chicken" - Sun Conure, rest in peace, my precious friend.
The lutinos came as a pair. All I could get from the previous owner was 5 years, so about 8 years old now.


I'll have more confidence now encouraging Mango to fly some more.
Here's a search link for some good videos -- I highly recommend any by Bird Tricks as they usually cover really good content and have good video angles for showing what they are doing. They do sell training vids (for an insanely high price D:), I just browse their free-access youtube ones, which cover most all your basics anyhow.

There's also a lot of independent birdie owners out there on youtube who post tutorials, so if one method isn't working for you and your feathered friends, check out what other folks have tried with theirs :D

Good luck! I hope to hear how things go for ya'll in the coming months <3
 
OP
ctwo

ctwo

Active member
May 16, 2019
202
68
Parrots
Mango the Indian Ringneck and Peach the Cockatiel; Kiwi found a new home
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
111g. I think the first vet report was 109g.
 
OP
ctwo

ctwo

Active member
May 16, 2019
202
68
Parrots
Mango the Indian Ringneck and Peach the Cockatiel; Kiwi found a new home
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #6
That was morning after the first bomb, before breakfast.

I have a 10 foot perch hanging from the rafters in the "family" room. It's the farthest point I can put him where he can still see his cage, and he is about 7 feet above the ground. He is always eager to step up there and is content if I stay around. He will tend to fly into the living room if I leave him.

I've been putting him up there a few times a day and then I'll go talk to the Cockatiel. Once Mango came in and landed on my arm, another he bounced off and hit a couple other things on the way down. Usually he doesn't make it and will land short on the ground or turn into the living room or into the kitchen.

The cockatiel busted out of her room in full throttle the other day and did three Mach-speed laps around the living room. I felt the pressure waves coming off her wings as she went by and was further amazed at how she didn't end up flying into the wall going so fast.
 
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