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Our cinnamon pearl had two clutches, her mate died, but we thought she was ok. Her chicks are full grown and part of our flock and we keep their wings clipped. She had become an excellent flyer, and we let her fly out of love, as she showed so much confidence and happiness buzzing around. After the mate died I noticed her looking out the windows frequently, and then, even waiting for us to come home in the window, screeching as we approached. In retrospect, she was yearning to leave. She tried once, but as I opened the door, I put my hand up and she veered course - disaster averted. But 2 weeks later, my wife was not so lucky - out the door she went and she timed it much better this time - full velocity as the door was still opening, right over her head. She flew very, very high, off to the north. All our begging and yelling/whistling did not good, she flew in circles about 300 yards away, maybe 500 feet up, chirping wildly almost in a panic or out of excitement. Then the chirping faded as she left the area. I ran down the street and into the woods, no luck, and the entire day and next we searched the local area, until the sun went down. Heartbreaking - such a great bird, very strongly bonded to all of us with a family. I suspected she wanted to taste full flight and then found it impossible to undo the decision - looking down it must have been impossible to find the way back to our home. The next day, in addition to hoofing it around the neighborhood, I printed flyers with her photo and posted them all over the neighborhood. We then went to local pet stores with them and they were all very accommodating. Something told me to go out to a remote pet store about 15 miles to our northwest, out in the middle of nowhere really, since that was in line with the direction she took off. Today we got a call from a wonderful woman that found her perched on her 'tiel cage squawking wildly with her birds, almost in a panic. She let our bird into the cage and reported she was near starving as she began to gorge on seeds and water. Going to the "remote" pet store to buy it a cage she asked if anyone reported a lost 'tiel and they showed her our flyer. We saw the photo and it is her - we are picking her up tomorrow AM and are so grateful to this woman. My kids crying has gone to complete joy.

Why did she leave? Its mating season, she is a great flyer, her old nest is still in our laundry room (maybe she felt the need to make a new one, get away from the old one), and her babies get more attention with neck rubs than she does. She flys, they dont, and the more they fly the less tame they seem to become. I used to be the one she perched on all the time, and had her undivided attention, but once the babies came after they were full grown I began perching them. I could tell she was jealous, but she was also gracious and stepped aside to make room for her babies. Even when the babies challenged her for the perch/neck rubs, she was gracious. Plus, her mate died, --- all suggests she was driven by instinct, and this eventually overpowered her bonding to us. It seems to me as a scientist that 'tiels may want to remove themselves from prior nesting areas by instinct to avoid inbreeding and competing with their offspring for limited resources. There was no startling involved - she intended to do it, waited patiently for the opportunity and timed it perfectly.

I need advice - My question to you is how we should proceed. I am thinking when we pick her up we do so with a brand new, large cage. Also straight to the vet for wing clipping. I am concerned about her becoming depressed, no longer able to fly properly. but it seems better than dying from hunger/thirst after she escapes again. Would you folks recommend against clipping our bird after she has mastered flight so well, or do you feel like I am feeling that we made a mistake letting her develop flight and should clip the wings and keep her sheltered as a maladroit aviator like her kids? I dont want her to become depressed and possibly lose the will to live - though I am not certain this is possible or reasonable, and maybe she would also remember how much pain flying off caused. She was near death when she was found on the cage..

Thanks in advance.
Tony Frudakis
Bradenton, FL
 

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Well I'm glad you're going to get her back. Sounds like such a happy ending to a sad story!

I would say that if it were me... I would clip her wings. it won't be a forever deal, of course. The only other thing is to be super careful about doors. Is there a room that she could fly in that would be away from the main entry? Or a back door you and your wife could use that she wouldn't have as much access to? It would be a compromise, but since she's escaped once then extreme caution has to be taken if you don't want another escape.

I'm not very experienced with this, though.
 

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I don't know if it's possible because of space, but do you have an extra room you could turn into a bird room? You could bird proof it and let her fly around in there. Or maybe build and outdoor aviary. I would clip her wings, but that is a decision that you should make for yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I don't know if it's possible because of space, but do you have an extra room you could turn into a bird room? You could bird proof it and let her fly around in there. Or maybe build and outdoor aviary. I would clip her wings, but that is a decision that you should make for yourself.
Thanks guys for your thoughts. I went ahead and clipped her wings. I thought about the dedicated room but then worry about one of my kids shutting the door on her. Or door left open accidentally. I've lost 3 cockatiels including this one lost then found - other 2 were sudden deaths- and all were flyers. Have had no problems with clipped wing birds... Though I have to admit I feel really bad for her but it isn't permanent as you said
 
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