Zippy bird--what to do?

hiriki

Active member
Oct 19, 2014
163
183
Chicago, IL
Parrots
(Birdie - Jenday Conure)
(Elby - lovebird)
(Bitty - Cockatiel)
(Gorou & Liberty - Ringneck Doves)
Sorry for the weird title lol. Basically, I choose to keep my birds flighted, I have several makeshift walls and a staircase between my bird area and a door leading outside. It's worked out well... Until my current foster who, full disclosure, was found outside so he has a track record already as an escape artist.

The first "wall" also serves to keep the birds separated from my other pets (namely, cats). But it has a gap at the top with less than a foot of clearance. I haven't worried about birds zooming through that gap in the past, but my foster took off when spooked a few days ago.

He was FAST, and not particularly in control. Once he started he didn't seem to know how to stop and he just kinda slipped thru that gap. I'm now looking to cover it in the long term but honestly I'm afraid of him hitting the wall at that speed. None of my other birds are like this.

Keeping in mind that I have a preference for flighted birds (I'm not here to debate that point), has anyone ever taken just a bit off the tip of the flight feathers, just once and just to help with momentum, so that their bird might hopefully figure out how to better control themselves in flight? He's a danger to himself at the moment but I don't want to permanently take that freedom.
 
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hiriki

hiriki

Active member
Oct 19, 2014
163
183
Chicago, IL
Parrots
(Birdie - Jenday Conure)
(Elby - lovebird)
(Bitty - Cockatiel)
(Gorou & Liberty - Ringneck Doves)
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  • Thread starter
  • #2
OK extremely quick update... Right after I posted this I called my vet who also advocate for free flight and even they suggested seeing how he does with a slight trim. So I'm going to do that for his safety, he has an appointment already. But if anyone has additional suggestions I'd love to hear!
 

zERo

Well-known member
Dec 9, 2021
342
572
Texas
Parrots
Tony-Green QP(M)
Tom-Pineapple GCC(M)
Ryuk-Cockatiel(M)
Sheer Khan-Cockatiel(F)
Romeo-Cockatiel(M)
Billy- Green budgie(M)
Hedwig- Green budgie(F)
Striga- Blue Clearwing budgie(M)
Grim- Mauve budgie(F)
I have to keep one of my birds with a light clip because he has flown and hit walls twice at high speed, luckily he's okay but I don't want that to happen again. His clip is the first five primaries a little longer than half, he can still land normally he just can't get much lift.
I don't agree with clipping but I do see situations where it is necessary for the birds safety, like this one.
 

JimsBrother

Supporting Member
Mar 3, 2022
90
313
Parrots
Uncle to Beebee and Amy
One of my favorite sayings; I'm going to put it in my signature:
God must love Cockatiels, because He gave them incredibly powerful wings.
Yup, they can FLY. And yup, they're FAST. And yup, sometimes they get carried away and crash into things. My Bebe is a superbly skilled flier, it's not often that he gets into trouble in flight.

But that can be annoying - he flies to places he shouldn't be. When he gets too rowdy, it's time to have his wings clipped. But it doesn't last long. The feathers grow back pretty quickly. Still, it's funny to see him walking on the floor all confused about why his wings have failed him. :LOL:

Dave
 

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