Feather Clipping

Flight Feather Clipping

Whether to clip your bird's flight feathers or not, is a very much argued and talked about subject in the pet bird world.

Every bird owner has their preference whether they think their bird should be clipped or not. Although many of us have seen the devastation of flighted birds flying into windows, mirrors, out open windows or doors and into dangerous situations more often than not, many bird owners believe it's unfair to clip those wings as they believe birds were mean to fly.

In the wild, yes parrots are meant to be free flighted to go wherever they want whenever they want. Parrots as pets though, live in our man-made environments which contain many danagers for flighted birds. Free flighted birds fly into mirrors and windows which can cause injury or even death. Free flighted birds have been known to fly into ceiling fans causing injury and death. Free flighted parrots have flown into pots or pans cooking on the stove and been severely burned, sometimes not able to recover. Free flighted parrots have flown and drowned in open toliets, open containers of water, or even pots on the stove. It does not take long for a bird to drown in those situations.

Free flighted birds also fly out open windows or door ways and many, if not almost all, are not recovered. Most parrots are not going to be able to make it safely in the wilds as they were probably not raised in the wild and have no idea how to find food and shelter, not to mention what a tasty meal they can make for hawks, falcons, foxes, and other wild predators out there just waiting on the inexperienced prey. Also many fall victim to area cats and dogs as some parrots are not afraid of them, having been used to living with these other pets many times.

However because this topic is such a controversial one, we have decided to provide some links where you can learn why you might want to consider clipping those flight feathers and how to clip if you do in fact decide to do so.

Properly clipped by someone who knows what they are doing is painless and very safe. Properly clipping flight feathers should not in any way prevent your bird from safely gliding from lower perches or cages onto the floor, nor should your bird ever be off balance causing an uneven landing ability. Clips are very different for different species of parrots. Heavy bodies parrots to tend to land "hard" should never be given a short severe clip so that they can always safely land. More streamlined light weighted parrots may require a much shorter clip to prevent them from gaining great altitude to help keep them safe. Young parrots need a more gradual incremented clipping to keep them safest. We refer to this type of clipping as "junior clipping".

On a personal note, our aviary has parrots that are fully flighted, parrots who have junior clips, as well as parrots who are fully clipped. It all depends on the individual bird, the housing for the bird, and always number one priority for safely of each bird.

Wingclipping 101