Thursday, April 21, 2011

Why my birds are flighted

I had researched bird care for months before I got my first bird, a cockatiel. All the literature I’d read said the same things: If you keep your bird flighted, he won’t want to interact with you. It’s impossible to keep a flighted bird safe. Flighted birds fly into windows, mirrors, and pots of boiling water. Responsible bird owners keep their bird’s wings clipped. And so on.

So I had my Mojo clipped.

Soon enough, she went through a molt and grew in pretty new flight feathers. Since she’d been flightless for so long, she didn’t realize that flight was good, and she really only used her newly-found freedom when something scared her and her instincts told her to flee. I didn’t know anything about keeping flighted birds back then and we all (my family and I) made many mistakes. The biggest mistake resulted in Mojo and my sister’s cockatiel, Nadia, getting out the door and disappearing forever.

I made a decision: I would always keep my birds clipped.

Fast forward a couple years, and as I got over the grief of losing the cockatiels, my feelings about clipping softened. I started perusing various websites with information from people who believed in keeping birds flighted, and got a whole new set of theories and beliefs: Clipped birds can never be as physically fit as a bird than gets the rigorous exercise that flying provides. Flighted birds are smarter than clipped birds because they use more of their brains. A flighted bird is more secure and mentally stable than a clipped bird. And so on.

This new information made sense to me! It wasn’t just words I felt I should believe because they were written in a book, it was stuff that made me think and consider, and eventually it became something I agreed with wholeheartedly to the point where I decided to let my birds grow out their wings.

My birds are now all fully flighted, and we’re all happier than ever.

They still always want to interact with me, in fact I feel my bond with each of them has grown substantially and vice versa. They are no longer subject to various household dangers because they have the ability to avoid these dangers, they can flee. I wouldn’t say they were unhappy before, but they definitely enjoy life a lot more now that they can fly like they were designed to. And I get to revel in the beauty of life with flying parrots.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Training Time with Nin

I finally did receive the mini ring toss game from Parrotdise Perch for the lovies and I have added it to Nin's training time. Right now he's learning that "hoop" (I thought "ring" would be too similar to his name) means to touch the ring. This video is from his second session involving the ring toss. I confused him a little at the end when I placed the ring on my flat palm and gave the cue -- he is used to a flat palm paired with "come" to mean recall -- but he figured it out!

Today was our fourth session, and he will now *sometimes* lift a ring off the post when I show it to him and give the cue.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Just a Couple Lovie Pics

I am planning to buy a new camera tomorrow, so excited!
Leyla and Nin preening.

Rigby's favourite spot.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Rigby has a crush

So first, L&N are terrified of tiny Rigby and he is aggressive towards them. Then Leyla asserts herself and reclaims her spot at the top of the totem pole, and Nin ends up at the bottom, because although Rigby submits to Leyla, he still chases Nin. Now, Leyla is still aggressive towards Rigby, but he now has a crush on her and tries to regurgitate for her.

My birds are so weird. Also, Rigby needs a buddy!

Rigby has a crush-036.jpg

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Naptime, Dinner, and Kermit

I took the following photo a couple evenings ago. It was getting close to the fids' bedtime, and Leyla, Nin, and Chewy decided to settle down for the night on me. There's nothing quite like cuddletime with the flock!  
Nap/cuddle time with "the tame ones".

A photo of this evening's dinner: 
Avian Organics Quick Serve, sprout mix (a little overgrown), black sesame seeds, chopped veggies, papaya + seeds.
 We haven't had a papaya in months. Chopping it made me a little sad as papaya was a favourite food of my little lovie who was euthanized back in November. Kermit always gobbled down papaya like it was going out of style! He also loved blueberries!

Kermit had polyfolliculitis (like Leyla), which caused him to mutilate severely under his left wing. He eventually damaged so much skin that it would never be able to heal, so I had him put down. He wasn't "tame" persay, but he left a huge hole in my heart and I miss him so much. Maybe I will do a post with more photos of him some day.

Kermie wearing his collar, hanging out on the rope bridge.