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Ugh THANK YOU. I will read your paper later on when i'm not mobile, but I am of the firm belief that wing clipping is a case by case thing and dependent on the individual bird and his/her circumstances.

My birds are excellent flyers. Their coordination is fantastic and their landings are USUALLY always perfect. All of my windows have coverings, and there are no unsafe items/spaces around my home that pose a danger. I still clip. I clip my birds when the risk of them flying out an open door is quite high, such as my busy times when I have people coming in and out randomly during the day that don't knock/ring the doorbell every time when they come, and tend to forget about the birds when they go. During quieter times, I allow them to be fully flighted and I put a sign on my door saying "Uncaged birds inside - Please ring doorbell and wait". This arrangement has worked well for me for several years and I don't plan on changing any time soon. I have been 'scolded' for and lectured about wing clipping by many people. But I have felt first hand the devastation of watching helplessly as a beloved bird flies out an open door. But i've learned to ignore them now. I'm not going to risk losing my birds and never seeing them again just because some people think clipping is mean.

I DO think though, that birds should be allowed to grow their feathers out and refine their flying skills from time to time. I also think that ALL baby birds should be allowed to become confident flyers before their wings are clipped, because I imagine it would be pretty mentally damaging for a baby bird to have clipped wings at fledging and can't figure out why they don't work.
 

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I'm also all for case by case basis. That's how I've always done it. My ONLY issue is with baby birds. I truly feel they need to learn to fly and fly well before you clip them, otherwise they drop like rocks. But that's based on my own personal experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I DO think though, that birds should be allowed to grow their feathers out and refine their flying skills from time to time.
This makes a lot of sense to me, thanks! I've been wanting to let Kirby grow out his wings, but I don't feel like I'm ready yet. Kirby has so many accidents already, much less with the risk of crashing into windows as well! Going on what Roxy said, I think that Kirby might've been clipped as a baby, because he has terrible landings, and can't seem to judge distance for his life. I can't count how many times I've targeted him to fly to the couch (about a foot away) and he's taken off at full speed and smacked into the cabinets. Because of the last bloodfeather spook we had, I've put Kirby's flight on hiatus. I figured that when I have a stronger bond with him (and maybe after I've moved out, so that I can cover the windows and whatnot) I'll let him grow his feathers out.

I considered using his Aviator Harness to help teach him to fly better. Because it has the elastic leash, when he reaches the end of it it gently pulls him to a stop. I thought that maybe we could continue the ban on flight, EXCEPT for while wearing the harness. This way he can still fly, and maybe I can help teach him? What do you guys think?

I've also been training him "recall" and "target", and I think that might help him distinguish distance and work on his landing.
 

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I agree that it's a case by case. I got my Charlie at 8 weeks old and he had his wings clipped, I hadn't thought about not having them clipped. However, he then got startled and ended up trying to fly, but he dropped to the floor and ended up with a fractured foot. After that I made the decision not to clip. It was the best decision - Charlie LOVES flying, he is also really really good at it (and he likes to show off every day!)

I personally think that I have such a strong bond with Charlie because he had to rely on me in those early days to get around. But now we still have a really strong bond and he is super happy coz he can fly and zoom around like the crazy little featherball he is!
 

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I'm also a big supporter of case by case, bird by bird. Joey is fully flighted and it works great for him and us. Mom's Moe is fully flighted, and it suits him and her. She has had other tiels in the past. Some have been fully flighted and not others. She went by what was best for each tiel.
 

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I also agree that it is case by case! Lorenzo wasn't clipped when I adopted him and he could fly very well. Because he hadn't bonded with me yet he would fly up on top of our high Windows and I wouldn't be able to get him down. I opted to clip him so we could bond a little bit better. It worked! I didn't clip him again until we moved. Now he's not used to the surrounds yet and was flying into everything. He freaked out all the time. I just clipped him yesterday for the second time so he can adjust to our new home. Then I'll hopefully never have to clip him again!

My new little tiel Sebastian is 8 weeks old and was clipped when I got him. I feel horrible because he never even tried to fly. He walks everywhere and when he goes to the bottom of the cage he has trouble getting back up. I wish the breeders would have left his wings alone and let me decide what I wanted to do with them. I'm hoping that once his grow out Lorenzo and I can teach him to fly.
 

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wing clipping

I have had only 3 cockatiels. I lost my first to an escape and it broke my heart. I live in a rural, heavily wooded area and she flew out one cold winter late afternoon. She flew across the road and high up in a big old maple tree. I took her cage out, begged, whistled and pleaded until dark to no avail. I was devastated to leave her out there, but had no other choice. In the morning she was gone and I never saw her again. Since then, I have kept my birds clipped; I don't want to go through that again. But that said, Bennie's wings are nearly fully grown out. Birds' wings are so beautiful and I would like to have Bennie keep his God-given looks and flight. I am fearfully considering keeping him fully flighted. He doesn't fly around my apartment much and when he does, he usually lands on one of 2 places. Once he stuck a window, but not hard and he has not done that since. Yet, I am terrified of losing him to an accident or escape. I may still give in and get him clipped.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have had only 3 cockatiels. I lost my first to an escape and it broke my heart. I live in a rural, heavily wooded area and she flew out one cold winter late afternoon. She flew across the road and high up in a big old maple tree. I took her cage out, begged, whistled and pleaded until dark to no avail. I was devastated to leave her out there, but had no other choice. In the morning she was gone and I never saw her again. Since then, I have kept my birds clipped; I don't want to go through that again. But that said, Bennie's wings are nearly fully grown out. Birds' wings are so beautiful and I would like to have Bennie keep his God-given looks and flight. I am fearfully considering keeping him fully flighted. He doesn't fly around my apartment much and when he does, he usually lands on one of 2 places. Once he stuck a window, but not hard and he has not done that since. Yet, I am terrified of losing him to an accident or escape. I may still give in and get him clipped.
I'm really sorry to hear about your escaped tiel, that's got to be so hard :(

I'd really like to let Kirby grow out his feathers sometime, It's just that our house is WAAY too dangerous for a flighted bird. My parents leave ceiling fans on all the time, we have a big sliding glass door that goes to the backyard, and our front room windows are never covered all the way because of the dogs, my parents often leave doors and windows open, etc. When I move out, I might let him grow his feathers out.
 

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To be honest this is an ongoing dilemma for me. I have two boys and I used to clip their wings. Even so I have had several flyaways with them ending up in neighbours yards or a few streets away, but was very lucky to find them after persistent calling and searching. I think this is because I used to take them outside alot free with me but now keep them in a cage outside. Now I am not clipping them as one of them really seems to enjoy flying around the house now and I dont think I will clip him again. The other is a bit older and has never really flown all that well, even now that he isnt clipped. However I still may in the future have to clip especially as the weather warms up and the doors are often half-opened by the dogs. Or perhaps I will investigate harnesses. We tried one once and Pipp hated it.
 
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