The concept of leaving your parrot flighted or clipping its wings is a huge topic with much debate. There are many opinions going both ways based on health, safety, welfare, and psychological benefits.
It shouldn’t be any surprise that here at Avian Behavior International, we are very much pro-flight when it comes to all birds. But our ethos is that of using science based methodologies to inform our decisions and suggestions. This means that rarely is there a one-size-fits-all solution or recommendation and that many variables impact the quality of choices that we make. So it may or may not be surprise that when it comes to being pro-flight or pro-clip, the answer from us is, “it depends.”
While we do feel that flight is an option that needs to be strongly considered when bringing a parrot into your home, it’s also a way of potentially easing into living with birds and we don’t want it to be the thing that leaves parrots homeless, either. What we do feel strongly about is that it is necessary for parrot welfare for all parrots to fledge as babies and learn to fly confidently and fluently, regardless of whether they will stay flighted or later become clipped. This is perhaps one of the most important aspects of parrot welfare, in my opinion. Parrots are incredibly long-lived, and life changes for all of us in ways that we can’t predict. Our skills grow, we move, we learn new things, or maybe something happens and we are faced with the decision to rehome our parrots. By setting up our parrot with a life-long capability of flight, even if we choose to clip for a spell, they can regain that skill when systems change.
This podcast addresses this subject and the ways that we take it on in the global space online. The goal of a good teacher is to provide their audience with the most qualified information to allow them to make educated decisions about what is best for them given the variables they are faced with at that moment. As denizens of social media groups, we often find the goals of commenters and posters is to get others to agree with them. Those two are not one in the same.
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