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How much time does your flighted bird spend flying?

Discuss indoor freeflight and managing freeflighted birds around the house. How to live with a flighted parrot.

How much time does your flighted bird spend flying?

Postby entrancedbymyGCC » Fri Oct 08, 2010 4:14 pm

I am curious how much time flighted birds actually fly. How many hours a day are yours out of the cage, and what fraction of that time do they actually spend in flight as opposed to perching, walking, climbing, playing, eating, getting petted, watching TV, etc?

Despite being painted as rabidly anti-flight I'm not. I am just quite unconvinced we can make our situation safe for that with reasonable measures, and in the current situation, the birds would be cooped up in their cages even more of the time if they could get around anywhere they wanted on their own. So how much advantage do your flighted birds take of their flightedness in their normal routine?
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Re: How much time does your flighted bird spend flying?

Postby lzver » Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:26 pm

Lucy is the one that prefers to hang out and be left alone when she is out of her cage. She actually doesn't spend a lot of time flying. On occassion Lucy will fly back to her cage for food/water and sometimes she actually flies over to see me on the couch and for some one on one interaction.

And Jessie does even less flying. He relies on me for transport and just flies out of curiosity from time to time.
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Re: How much time does your flighted bird spend flying?

Postby Giantmoa » Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:46 pm

my cockatiel used to fly a lot! I don't know much about her past history since I actually found her flying outside and lured her home. After we came home each day and let her out she would fly around the house a couple times to let out pent up energy and then she would hang out for a while before doing a few more laps... she became really good at finding perches like the ceiling fan and crown molding (which could be frustrating to lure her down from at times) :lol: I think she just generally liked to fly...

so I guess it varies from bird to bird, different species, and whether or not they were clipped before?
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Re: How much time does your flighted bird spend flying?

Postby Azure Hanyo » Sat Oct 09, 2010 11:56 am

Cloud is really the only one that likes to fly just for the sake of flying. He goes back and forth from me to the curtains and then he sits on the TV for a bit, gets bored, goes to me again, the computer, bites at my keyboard...

You get the idea. He's insane! Has never crashed at all, ever. He is an expert flyer! Archimedes not so much...he's like Truman.

:lol:

Sorry Michael I had to go there!!!!

Galileo has never flown, only clumsily fluttered down and only has done that maybe twice. She normally drops like a rock if she slips and falls, and I have had to catch her a couple times.
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Re: How much time does your flighted bird spend flying?

Postby rebeccaturpeinen » Sat Oct 09, 2010 1:57 pm

Joey doesnt fly that often, just when he knows he has to go back to his cage so he will try avoiding it. he will fly from his cage to his tree and he likes flying up to the pictures frames and hanging from them but that is about all the flying he will do. sometimes he uses his wings more in the cage than out... he will just sit there flapping his wings :D he can also fly from the bottom to the top of the cage and from side to side.
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Re: How much time does your flighted bird spend flying?

Postby Titanius » Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:02 pm

Even though I give them the freedom to fly they really don't fly unless their startled. And sometimes Diamond might fly when she's looking for me. Other than that they really don't. I don't think they really feel the need.
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Re: How much time does your flighted bird spend flying?

Postby zazanomore » Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:11 pm

Einstein's wings were clipped when I got him this summer. But they are growing in. Right now he can make lift off, but he's a horrible flier. He always bonks into things and has crash landings. He has never gotten hurt though.

But each day he gets better and better. Whenever he is far away from me, he tries his hardest to fly over to me. Half the time he misses, but half the time he lands on me. He's such a clumsy flier. He's flown into my face before, but I'm sure he'll learn eventually. He's flying a million times better than in summer, and I can tell his confidence is improving.

The budgies were clipped when I got them, but their flight feathers are back and full of fury! Bonnie likes to fly in circles in my room. Sometimes she'll even land on me. Clyde isn't as adventurous, but sometimes he'll follow Bonnie. They always need to be together, it's so romantic <3
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Re: How much time does your flighted bird spend flying?

Postby Michael » Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:22 am

Surprisingly they don't fly all that much. My biggest worry about a flighted bird initially was that it would be flying all over the place, all the time, and be impossible to catch. In reality, none of this is true. Having had experience with a clipped parrot and now flighted ones, I can compare them with some insight. 98% of the time there would appear to be no difference between clipped or flighted parrots in the home (psychological concerns may always be present but just for the sake of what we'd see, I think this is a good number).

Obviously in the cage the birds are good as clipped cause there is insufficient space to really take flight. In the aviary, flight gives them the confidence to hop from toy to toy. I definitely know from having a clipped bird previously, that clipped birds are too scared to make these kind of hops. Now in the open room, they do fly some.

A lot of the flying they do outside the cage was influenced by me. The flight recalls, tricks, and flights to the potty were all influenced by me and they probably wouldn't do all that flying on their own. Kili follows me around or goes back to her cage as she pleases. In one time out of the cage, this might be 10 flights averaging 25ft. I suppose this would be all of one minute out of an hour or two out of the cage. Truman is more comfortable in the air since he was never clipped. He'll fly around just for the hell of it sometimes. He's also more adventurous and flies to places he's not supposed to be to explore. Even with complete liberty to fly around, he probably doesn't spend more than 2 minutes in the air out of an hour.

The simple fact is, they have nothing to do while in the air besides fly. All the fun things they want are on the ground (food, toys, attention), so to them, flight is merely a means of getting there. Over short distances, they prefer to walk or climb. However, once the distance gets a bit too large they do fly. It's really funny playing fetch with Kili. If I roll the ball close she walks or hops to get it. But if I roll it a little too far, she flies along the floor to hurry up to get to it.

But then there's the flight recalls and training. Lately I've scaled it back a lot with Kili since she is having trouble flying with missing feathers. But I was doing as much as 2 miles of indoor flight with her a day by doing extensive back and forth recalls. When I was doing variable ratio reinforcement flight recall trials with her, she was probably spending as much as 10 minutes in the air out of an hour of training. Don't forget she must eat her treat and rest between flights. The actual flight goes by pretty quickly.

However, the amount of exercise they get during these short bursts of flight outweigh hours of walking around and stuff. It gets their heart, lungs, brain all going. By giving them the freedom to have indoor freeflight, you let them get the amount of flying in that they need/want. By encouraging them with some flight training, you can give them even more (think gym buddy). So unlike what I initially believed, they actually fly much less and it is quite manageable.
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Re: How much time does your flighted bird spend flying?

Postby pchela » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:54 pm

Well, Rupert and Nicky only fly to get from one place to another and Nicky only does that once in a while (maybe once a week). He generally relies on me for transport despite being flighted. Rupert has never been clipped at all and he really only flies to get from point a to point b or to flee from Pippin. Pippin on the other hand is flying all over the place since his flights came in. He is a little terror. It gives him more freedom to terrorize the other birds and he will sometimes just fly in circles around the room several times for what appears to be the hell of it. I was hoping that it was a stage since his flights just came in so he was flying a lot because he couldn't before but it's looking more and more like that's not the case. He has also discovered that he can now fly away from us at bedtime (mainly he does this to my husband) which is not a good behavior. I'm torn because he seems to love flying but at the same time, he is a huge bully and spends most of the day now chasing the baby Jardine's from one perch to another, terrorizing him. He chases him off of his own cage, off of the playstand, off of me... I've had to take them out one at a time recently which means much more cage time for each since they are usually out most of the day. This cuts the time in half for both of them. I've about decided that Pippin is going to have to be clipped again. *sigh* I'm still giving it a bit more time.
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Re: How much time does your flighted bird spend flying?

Postby Mona » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:55 pm

Babylon Senegal is my best flyer. I like to say that she "wears her heart on her wing". She flies all over the place. She also likes to forage around on the kitchen counter and the floor. She's kindof like living with a curious, small crow.

Jack Senegal basically follows Babylon around. These days, the birds have their own bird room where they hang out and flock together. I would not allow this if they were not all flighted. They have to have the ability to fly away from trouble and each other in case somebody decides they aren't going to play nice. Flock activity is enriching but they all have their own tastes and bugaboos.

It took years for Phinney TAG to become a proficient flyer. Today, she is a very good flyer and can maneuver just about any where, up and down. She probably flies about 10 - 15% of the time, preferring to forage in a phone book or box. I'd like to add a photo of Phinney this weekend at our fly building. She seldom flies up this high, but for some reason, she did yesterday. I forgot how to add a photo, though...:


All the birds in our house would follow us around all day if we let them.

Have fun!

Thx

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