is common practice for people to have their bird’s
wings clipped in order to prevent it from flying. Jerry
wonders if that is the right thing for Alfred, his palm
major fear is that Alfred might fly out an open door
into the wild blue yonder, never to be seen again.
a bird’s ability to fly can make training it a more
rewarding experience, as the bird is no longer able to
escape by taking flight. Birds that cannot fly are less
likely to reach areas that may pose some sort of danger.
Ceiling fans come to mind, along with hot cooking
surfaces. But I prefer to allow my birds to fly.
is an important exercise for aerobic fitness and for the
development and maintenance of good muscle tone. Flight
can allow a bird to avoid danger or flee from it —
think four-legged pets. Obviously, this would not be a
factor for all bird households. Birds can be taught to
avoid things in the house while flying.
course, every situation is unique. Birds that are not
handled and that don’t spend much, if any time, out of
the cage may need to be clipped. If they were allowed to
escape their enclosures, they would fly in an unfamiliar
environment while experiencing some degree of panic.
This is precisely why I believe it is very important to
make your bird a part of your life. Play and interact
with it and it will not fear flying in the house. It’s
best to start doing so when birds are young, but still
can be accomplished with older birds, albeit with more
for Alfred, I suspect he can be allowed to fly. From
Jerry’s description, Alfred is very bonded to Jerry. I
imagine he is very secure and should do quite well
flying through Jerry’s house. Palm cockatoos are large
birds and can knock things over with nothing more than
the air movement created by their wings during flight.
Jerry’s main concern that Alfred might fly out an open
door and disappear would always be a potential concern
of mine. I cannot advise testing that theory, but I will
tell you that birds well-bonded to humans do not
generally fly away, never to return.
can attest to this from personal experience. One of my
birds, Tuki, was outdoors with me on my shoulder while I
was working in the yard. She was suddenly spooked by the
rotating blades of my windmill and flew off into a
Cypress tree, 25 feet off the ground. She was obviously
scared and would not leave the tree. I climbed the tree
to rescue her, and she came right to me.
advise discussing the clipping of wings with an avian
veterinarian and with other bird owners. If a decision
is made to clip your bird’s feathers, make sure it is
done properly. Inappropriately clipped feathers can
cause problems such as bleeding from the feather shafts
and poking of the body wall with the cut feather ends.
This can lead to plucking behavior.
cutting the proper amount or proper types of feathers is
another concern. This may allow the bird to fly or,
worse, cause it to fall and potentially be injured.