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Covering windows and mirrors

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

Covering windows and mirrors

Postby snakesentwined » Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:36 pm

Hi everyone

I'm the new dad of a 14 week Yellow-crowned Amazon called Isis - and still getting used to the pleasures and anxieties of owning a flighted bird!

Isis hasn't been clipped, but she spends several hours of supervised time out of her cage every day. I've been reading the posts here about indoor freeflight - and am interested to read that some people have successfully introduced their birds to the windows and mirrors in their enviroment. Our bird's breeder sternly told us that all our windows must be curtained and every mirror removed or covered - for fear the bird would fly into them and break her neck...!

We don't have a large house, and most of the windows are small anyway - but we do have a conservatory that I wanted to let her into for sunshine in the cold UK winter; I've been trying to think of ways to obscure the glass roof and windows - and have even been looking at decals and bead curtains! (it's so large that I couldn't afford to have professional blinds). Interestingly - we have a window mounted bird feeder, regularly visited by an expanding collony of sparrows living in the hedge that borders our garden - and we have never had a single strike from them in 4 years.

So - do we need to remove/cover all mirrors and drape our house in nets - or will Isis learn under careful supervision?

David
"every man and woman is a star, governing their own orbit"

http://www.11am-gmt.blogspot.com/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/snakesentwined/
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snakesentwined
Cockatiel
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 54
Location: GLoucestershire, UK
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Types of Birds Owned: Yello-crowned Amazon Parrot
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Re: Covering windows and mirrors

Postby Michael » Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:52 pm

I don't think it's a problem. She probably will crash a few times but that's what it takes to learn her lesson. Unfortunately it sounds like the breeder DID cover the mirrors and windows, so she would not have learned that yet. But when they are young, they heal quickly and the bones are softer like human children. So you need not worry too much about it.

Both of my parrots have crashed into something or other while learning to fly. But since then they don't crash anymore. I can't remember the last time Kili crashed. And I remember the last time Truman crashed perfectly well. He flew into the giant store front window at full speed in my office. He bounced off of it and then flew back to me and landed on my hand. Here's the full story about his window crash. He had never crashed into an ordinary house window before that though (at least not with me) because he probably learned about those at the breeder's. She purposefully does NOT cover the windows so that the babies can learn about them. It's just this bigger window did not have the crossbars and frame an ordinary window would have. This is why it's important to introduce them to this kinda stuff early.

Personally, I prefer to keep my window shades all closed at home (live in busy city), but I have no fear of letting my parrots fly with them open. I also take my parrots to other people's homes with mirrors and windows. I don't really have any problems. I just go around and show them the different windows and let them feel their beak against it. I even have the parrots out loose in the car sometimes and they have never flown into the windows there although they are quiet large. So basically you don't need to worry too much about it. Just hope she doesn't get too hurt if/when it does happen. Figure it's a valuable life lesson learned. You should go around and show each window to the parrot and let it feel the hardness by touching it up against them.

You may want to place some perches (I suggest Parrot Training Stands) around the room to provide alternative landing places so that it wouldn't head for the window. My parrots know to fly back to their stand, cage, or me when scared so it's a much less likely chance that they'll even head toward a window. The way to do it is by doing frequent flight training to a designated training perch.
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Michael
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
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Location: New York
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Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
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