Will They Grow Back Already?


Jun 23, 2021
New York City
Sun Conure and Umbrella Cockatoo
Hey all. So just for context, I have a 3 year old male umbrella cockatoo and unfortunately, his previous owner has clipped his wings or what seems to be clipped wings because I did not specify or ask her directly. Just to not make things awkward cuz yeah. The thing is that although it?s pretty clear to me that his wings are clipped since they look like it and he cannot fly high, it?s been about 5 months since I?ve had him and from day 1, his wings have always looked the same. It?s like the flight feathers are not growing back. It seems to not even grow an inch. My questions are if larger birds such as cockatoos have their wings grow back at a slower rate? Because when I saw my conure was clipped a couple years ago, her flight feathers grew back pretty fast within weeks. Is it maybe because of the size of the bird and their specific wing anatomy? I?m not sure. Obviously I really want him to be happy and fly and be active with unclipped wings but that can?t happen if they won?t grow back. I do have a vet appointment and that isn?t until next month so I would really appreciate an answer or some sort of idea ahead of time lol. Also since we are here, can someone tell me what to do about blood feathers when they accidentally break or if I see one coming in. I?m still learning about feathers at this point lol. Anything would be helpful in the meantime. Thanks.


New member
Jun 2, 2019

We had the same problem with our African Grey. Got him from a previous owner who had cut them when he was a couple of months old. He never was able to build up his muscles round his flight feathers.
Coco our Grey would fly downwards and land on the floor 100 times out of 100.
Never really bothered Coco so we had a parrot you could put outside and not lose through flying off!! ( always kept him close as predators are everywhere)
Hope this helps

Sent from my CPH2173 using Tapatalk


Staff member
Super Moderator
Apr 24, 2018
Maine, USA
Tucker the Red Sided Eclectus
Baxter the YNA
Patches the Grand Eclectus, my best friend. RIP
Cuckoo the BFA RIP
Here's my take, without entering the debate of clipping vs not. Personal preference on that issue is irrelevant here.

I think it largely depends on when the wing clip took place, as in, how old were the feathers when they were clipped. As far as the bird's body is concerned, the feathers are still there, just shorter than their unclipped state. They don't continue to grow like hair or finger nails. That being said, the clipped ones will eventually molt out naturally, and be replaced. Now, that may take some time. They don't actually replace ALL of their feathers with every molt, so it could in fact take several cycles. If the clipped feathers were quite new when they were clipped, it could honestly be a year or longer for the whole process. Patience. It will happen. I promise!

Blood feathers... Basically a term for brand new feathers when they start growing out. They will bleed, often profusely if they get broken, and hard to stop. It's not all that common, but it happens. Best solution in that case is to remove it. Sounds counterintuitive, but it stops the bleeding. Personally, I'm not at all comfortable doing that, so I'd be heading to my vet ASAP if it happened to one of mine. Aside from that, it's a normal part of the feather growing process, and nothing for you to do or worry about.
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Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
Western, Michigan
DYH Amazon
Flight Surface Feathers on Larger Parrots take much longer to grow-out then on smaller Parrots as their replacement schedule is based around 'YEARS' not months! Unlike Human hair which grows continuously. Feathers are molted and a new feather grows in to replace the old feather. Commonly, they with molt-up to two feathers per Wing and the time line is months. Then the next set of up to four feathers is molted, etc...

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