Keeping Your Bird Safe in a Human Environment

One of the first things people think of when considering keeping their birds “safe” is the hotly debated topic of clipping their wings. But that “safety” is really an illusion. What you are doing is trading one set of risks – for instance: flying away, flying into windows, flying into ceiling fans, etc., for another set for risks. Birds with clipped wings CAN fly. It’s a myth that “with a proper clip” they can not fly upwards. I have personally witnessed birds clipped by an experienced avian vet fly upwards very well. When they are startled, the adrenaline will give them the strength to flap hard enough to create the thrust that will propel them forward and upwards. The lack of surface area (missing flight feathers) can be compensated for by increasing thrust. Rockets fly, but they don’t have big wings. They do so because they have an incredible burst of thrust that propels them upward. This is the same principle that birds demonstrate when they flap wildly in an adrenaline fueled panic.

There are many stories across the Internet of those who have lost birds because they took them outside thinking that a clipped bird cannot fly away. Sadly, many of those we’ve helped to seek have not been positive outcomes. Birds that are clipped find themselves in a tree after being startled but lack the means to safely return. Unfortunately, in trying they are often injured or even killed when they cannot safely control their descent.

The absolute SAFEST bird is one who is confident, flies well, and is recall trained. Recall training is super easy – especially if you’ve got a strong bond with your bird. Anyone who spends time with their bird and develops a relationship can attest that their bird’s favorite spot is often perched on their shoulder or atop their head. They WANT to be near the person they love. So use that to your advantage!