To Clip or Not to Clip - Information for New Parrot Owners

One of the first decisions a new parrot owner faces is IF and WHEN to clip a young parrots wings.

Larger parrots and macaws can be trained to be fully flighted. This is ideal for the health and happiness of the bird, BUT takes a lot of commitment, dedication and time on behalf of the bird owner. It's obviously not without its risks as well.

The following video is of me flying my pet Green Wing macaw. It took many months of training to get to this point.

Free flying is probably not recommended for most beginning parrot owners AND most new parrot owners simply don't have the time to train their birds for free flight. Plus, for smaller birds, including African Grey Parrots, it's often just not safe to fly birds in outdoor environments due to the presence of predators such as Cooper's Hawks.

That does not mean that clipping feathers is the only option. If you are extra careful about open doorways and windows most parrots can learn to maneuver around the house in the air and fly to you on command. Plus there are leashing options for safely taking a fully flighted bird outside with you.

Even if wing clipping ends up being the best and safest option for your home situation with your new parrot, I always recommend allowing the bird to remain fully flighted for an initial period so that they can learn to fly a little bit and develop their flight muscles. This will allow them, once clipped, to at least give themselves a soft landing if something scares them off their perch in your home.

For extensive information about training a parrot or macaw for outdoor flight check out the Liberty Wings website - HERE

This EDITORIAL by Chris Shank is a great read about free flying parrots and states much of what I believe much more eloquently than I can.

Also, check out this video by my friend Marc Marrone about leashes for unclipped birds.