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Learning to fly vs. Not clipped correctly

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

Learning to fly vs. Not clipped correctly

Postby Kirsten » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:55 am

So after considering the fact that we have a predatory cat in our house that would probably be set off by a flying bird, my vet and I decided it was best to clip Skittles' wings. So that was less than a month ago. At first, things were as I expected: Skittles was off balance and flopping around all over the place. However, recently, he has randomly just gotten VERY good at flying. Obviously not full-flighted, but he has at least glided from his cage to the bedside-stand (a good 10ft) and was pretty darn accurate. At this point he has been flying clear across rooms only to land on a safe patch of carpet or latch onto a window drape.

I am simultaneously proud and scared for him due to this and I'm not quite sure what I should do. I plan to keep him flighted at least during certain times of year once I move out and have no cats to worry about, but right now I have one cat in particular that I wouldn't trust as far as I could throw him. I'm afraid that the fact that there is sudden movement would actually trigger his predatory instincts instead of acting as a way for Skittles to get out of harms way.

Could Skittles just have gotten a poor clipping job? Maybe the feathers just grow back faster this time of year? Or is this just inevitable and maybe he's just growing up and learning how to compensate? Should I leave him be or go back to get him clipped again?
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Re: Learning to fly vs. Not clipped correctly

Postby Galerita » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:21 am

What kind of cut has been made? (Which feathers are clipped?)

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Re: Learning to fly vs. Not clipped correctly

Postby entrancedbymyGCC » Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:18 pm

Has he been actively molting? If so, there is a good chance he's grown some back. OTOH, I don't really want my clipped bird flopping around without control, I want him to be able to control a glide and land safely. It does NOT mean they will necessarily stay where I put them, although I expect they tend to for longer than if fully flighted. I avoid leaving my birds out unattended with the cats in the house even if clipped, but I figure this way I can keep up with them. Fully flighted, they could get out of my range.

Cats are likely to stalk before pouncing, but, yes, the sound of flapping will draw the attention of one that's inclined to hunt.
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Re: Learning to fly vs. Not clipped correctly

Postby Kirsten » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:59 am

As far as type of cut, I know that it wasn't a full-on job since I only wanted a trim. Just enough that he could still glide and not drop like a brick. I remember the vet mentioning that she cut out some dead feathers and I've found feathers around the house. This morning, Skittles flew a good 10ft from his cage and on to my shoulder. I have to admit, while I am worried, the fact that he flew to my shoulder was pretty awesome.
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Re: Learning to fly vs. Not clipped correctly

Postby 111olbap » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:42 am

A parrot is no easy prey for a cat unless it has guts of steel. The cat would likely suffer a massive gouge to the nose. You'd end up with a dead parrot and a mortally wounded cat that would require massive surgery to fix its face.

I have a Senegal. I used to have a cat. One day the senegal decided it did not like the cat (who was a mouse murdered btw. I'd get 3 presents a day from her).

The bird made several dive bomb attacks biting the cats ears and face. Cat couldn't catch it (free flighted bird). Then it decided it didn't like the dog (a 14 year old senior, german sheppard) and bit her ears too.

Finally my bird got what he wanted with 2 mammals refusing to use the front half of my house because it belonged to the bird. Be more careful with your cat. your bird may not be as vicious under pressure as mine, and it's also lighter bodied.
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Re: Learning to fly vs. Not clipped correctly

Postby 111olbap » Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:35 am

Also, of course. None of these animals ever interacted without supervision. If the cat had retailated (which it wouldn't because it knew I'd kick it out of the house) I could have gotten the parrot out of danger quickly.

You'd be surprised how often small animals dominate large ones. People's tortoises beat the snot out of their dogs every day

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKYlPU1bgsI
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