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Whiz

Worried - relearning to fly

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Hi everyone,

I'm getting worried about Zu. He has his wings clipped, they were like that when he adopted me, his clipped feathers have fallen out so presumably his new ones are growing. The problem is he's now flying a lot more, which is fab, but he has no control and keeps crashing into walls, doors etc.

 

I'm absolutely terrified that he's going to break his neck or hurt himself. I don't know what to do. I close the curtains so he won't crash into the windows but I can't do anything about the walls.

 

I love my birdie so much and he's out of the cage most of the time but I just don't know what to do to keep him safe!!

 

I can't find an answer and it's beginning to really upset me because he really is so tame now, I couldn't bear it if something happened to him.

 

Thank you

 

Alison and Zu

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Your bird is discovering skills all over again and, yes, it can be frightening to watch.

 

This thread gives some idea about how to make a room a better/safer flying place for our birds:

https://www.parrot-link.co.uk/topic/14759-safer-healthier-surroundings/

 

and this may help too:

HAND-FLYING - HELPING A BIRD REGAIN FLIGHT MUSCLES©:

https://www.parrot-link.co.uk/index.php?topic=21789.0

= from the INFORMATION TOPICS© section: https://www.parrot-link.co.uk/forum/22-parrot-link-information-topics/

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Poor Zu! Are you able to handle him? If so take him round the house and let him tap all the walls and windows with his beak. He'll then learn to associate these as hard areas. We did this with our birds and they learn to fly round them.

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I had the same really scary time with my grey when his feathers grew back after a horrendous clip.

 

I've just done a search and found this piece which I wrote for someone else a way back. It may be of use to you...

 

Has he got enough landing places available to him? Places he recognises and can aim for?

 

Have a look round the room - can you find him, say, one place per wall? Things like the back of a chair, sofa, his cage, a play stand (could be a free-standing one or a small tabletop, any other suitable pieces of furniture with a good shape to land on....

 

Then take him up to each one and let him see/discover that they make a good place to sit.

 

Just a thought. :D

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Thank you for your advice,

 

Yes I can handle Zu, I can do anything with him, he's turned into a right softie.

 

I take him every where with me and he's really content but then he seems to want to just take off at a moments notice and he'll fly towards a wall or a door and then crash into them. I don't understand why he flys towards them in the first place. The only place he seems to be able to land on safely is his cage.

Even if he lands on the carpet he rolls over onto his beak. I don't know whether it's something to do with his feet, they're huge. When he crashes he just whistles at me, lifts one foot up and asks to be picked up as right as rain till the next time.

 

I'm just hoping he'll improve, after all he is only 8 months old I just worry incase he hurts himself...

 

Alison

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Whiz you will be surprised how fast they learn. Net's advice about introduction to windows is great. my Sonny and Cher now "circle the wagons" I also have parrots that were clipped. pretty sure they flew strong before original clip. he will improve but it will take time. personality improvement is a biggy.

i know they are happier which makes me just as much.

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Sorry i could not find in past posts about the clipped wings, and how many and which feathers were.

But if the feathers have fallen out, it will be hard for Zuri to have good or indeed much control until they grow back if it is a lot of them.

Sorry for the questions, also he is still very young too at eight months?

So he has had clipped wings and not been able to fly with a full set from an early age, and now is even a bit more "handicapped" until they grow back.

That is probably why he crashes so much and rolls over on landings, he has impaired steering and brakes.

 

Though you said he always makes a good landing on his cage. Is that from anywhere, or just because he usually goes there from a nearby familiar jump-off?

You might want to consider carrying him on your hand and having a gentle hold over his toes in other parts of the house for now.

I think he wants to fly and is trying for doorways, but can't because of lack of feathers/control.

 

You could try more of MMM link of hand exercises, to wear him out?

I know it is hard and horrible to watch them crash, and they can and do get hurt sometimes. But not as much or as often as we worry about.

I hope Zuri's new feathers grow in really soon!

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Guest Gwydhyel

Maybe a bit of help or encouragement from me!

 

Summer (Jardine) is an accomplished flyer. I don't know if she was ever clipped, but she is able to adjust her flight to whatever size room she is in, even if it just means circuiting and looking for somewhere to land. She will often "hover" when deciding whether to change direction, which I believe takes some skill and experience, as parrots are not helicopters!

 

Lola (Meyers), who has a horrendous wing clip, and has never been able to fly, is gradually learning to use what little stumps of wings she has to get some height and movement. She has a long way to go, but because she watches Summer, and tries hard to copy her, she is doing really well. She is such a fiesty and determined little thing, and won't give up. She does softer crash landings than she used to, and often bangs into things, but it is all part of the learning process for her, as she was deprived of naturally learning to fly from a baby.

 

It is really hard watching them crash, it's a bit like having a clumsy toddler who keeps falling over, but as long as you have taken the appropriate precautions to prevent serious injury, and stand by to intervene when things look tricky, he will get better. :D

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Hi there,

thank you for your help. Zu usually takes off from my hand as we near his cage from a metre or two away and lands no problem. I think this is because his feet can grip the bars and he steadies himself. If he lands anywhere else he just falls over forward, he seems to have no balance or brakes!!

 

As I said before, he's only 8 months old so he's got a lot to learn. I think his wings had been clipped for a few months before I had him so his flying experience must be pretty minimal.

 

I like your idea of having my fingers over his toes, this will work when he's with me but not when he's perched somewhere in the house!!

 

Thanks again

 

Alison

 

Sorry i could not find in past posts about the clipped wings, and how many and which feathers were.

But if the feathers have fallen out, it will be hard for Zuri to have good or indeed much control until they grow back if it is a lot of them.

Sorry for the questions, also he is still very young too at eight months?

So he has had clipped wings and not been able to fly with a full set from an early age, and now is even a bit more "handicapped" until they grow back.

That is probably why he crashes so much and rolls over on landings, he has impaired steering and brakes.

 

Though you said he always makes a good landing on his cage. Is that from anywhere, or just because he usually goes there from a nearby familiar jump-off?

You might want to consider carrying him on your hand and having a gentle hold over his toes in other parts of the house for now.

I think he wants to fly and is trying for doorways, but can't because of lack of feathers/control.

 

You could try more of MMM link of hand exercises, to wear him out?

I know it is hard and horrible to watch them crash, and they can and do get hurt sometimes. But not as much or as often as we worry about.

I hope Zuri's new feathers grow in really soon!

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Thank you,

I hope he'll be just like Summer in the flying department!!! Yes please...

 

Alison

 

 

Maybe a bit of help or encouragement from me!

 

Summer (Jardine) is an accomplished flyer. I don't know if she was ever clipped, but she is able to adjust her flight to whatever size room she is in, even if it just means circuiting and looking for somewhere to land. She will often "hover" when deciding whether to change direction, which I believe takes some skill and experience, as parrots are not helicopters!

 

Lola (Meyers), who has a horrendous wing clip, and has never been able to fly, is gradually learning to use what little stumps of wings she has to get some height and movement. She has a long way to go, but because she watches Summer, and tries hard to copy her, she is doing really well. She is such a fiesty and determined little thing, and won't give up. She does softer crash landings than she used to, and often bangs into things, but it is all part of the learning process for her, as she was deprived of naturally learning to fly from a baby.

 

It is really hard watching them crash, it's a bit like having a clumsy toddler who keeps falling over, but as long as you have taken the appropriate precautions to prevent serious injury, and stand by to intervene when things look tricky, he will get better. :D

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Guest Gwydhyel

Alison, You mention that Zu's problem may be with his feet, and he finds it better to land on his cage. Does he have good strength and grip in his feet (generally)? Is he trying to land on flat surfaces, or those with no gripping point? I will watch Summer, but I can't recall seeing her land anywhere other than a fixed perch/landing point like the back of a chair, sofa, hanging stand, (me!) etc. I have not seen her fly to the floor, or another flat surface. I expect the choice of a good landing point comes with age and experience!

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Hi there,

He only flys to his cage when I'm standing directly in front of it. I don't think he has any idea where he's going to land, he just takes off and doesn't seem to have thought about where he's going ! I don't think it would make any difference at the moment because he appears to have no steering and no brakes. I really don't think he knows how to fly, I think he'd been clipped for several months before I had him and he's only 8months old now so if you do the maths there's very little time to learn to fly. He really does seem to have trouble with his feet. I don't know what's normal in a parrot but he walks by putting one foot over the other not with his feet pointing in front of him like a human!

 

We've made his perches 1" in diameter because all the smaller perches his feet go all the way round and overlap!! He doesn't seem to have a problem gripping with his feet.

 

We're doing lots of muscle strengthening exersises so I'm hoping that will build him up.

 

Thank you for thinking about us, I really appreciate it.

 

Alison

 

Apart from his cage, he's never landed anywhere except the floor and I wouldn't call that landing, more like crashing!!

 

 

Alison, You mention that Zu's problem may be with his feet, and he finds it better to land on his cage. Does he have good strength and grip in his feet (generally)? Is he trying to land on flat surfaces, or those with no gripping point? I will watch Summer, but I can't recall seeing her land anywhere other than a fixed perch/landing point like the back of a chair, sofa, hanging stand, (me!) etc. I have not seen her fly to the floor, or another flat surface. I expect the choice of a good landing point comes with age and experience!

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Ah yes from your description, he can grip with his back toes when he lands so doesn't "tip over".

Gwydhyel has a wonderful hanging stand for Lola, grr can't find the post and pics. I couldn't think who it was, glad you posted about Lola.

 

lol attach velcro to his feet,

:wink:

 

All joking aside I hope he get those new feathers soon, save you the worry.

I do know how you feel as one of our birds has all secondaries and only two primaries each side, he never has, and I don't think he ever will fly. So any leaps from a height...argh...my heart goes too!

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When I USE to have Sonny and Cher clipped which was considered the "minor, humane" clip it still took 8 months for them to regrow their their full flight flight feathers back. Sonny's actually took over 1 year and after many molts, my avian vet could not believe how long it took him to regrow his flight feathers back especially after his moulting. I still continued his "swing" exercises everyday. that was where he would perch on my index finger and I would gentle raise him over my head and then slowly lower my hand to my side, but quick enough to get them wings flapping because he is trying to keep his balance on his perch, your finger. probably repeated 4 consecutive times, min. 2 times a day. I still do this for both Sonny and Cher even though they have their flight feathers back. actually they now consider it their ritual of the day. Sonny first then Cher sits on door cage squawking---me next, me next well not actual English put in bird talk. I cannot take credit for this great exercise because someone here on this great parroty place told me.

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Guest Gwydhyel

It's perfectly normal for him to walk like that. Summer is exactly the same. If you look at videos of the larger parrots, particularly Macaws, they look even more awkward.

 

From what you have replied, I'm sure it is just a learning curve Zu is going through. Summer never takes off without thinking ahead about exactly where she wants to land, and that is just because she has learned that is the safest way. You can just see what is going on in her head when she does it. Lola is about the same age as Zu, and although she can only flap about and run, she really doesn't have a clue where she is going. If she was learning to fly, she would be just as clumsy! :roll:

 

You just have to be patient and hope your nerves hold out! :lol:

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I'll do my best. I don't mind how long it takes for him to learn to fly I just want to get there without any accidents...

 

I'm glad his walking is normal because it certainly looks like he was given the wrong feet. My other half says perhaps he'll grow into them, cheeky whatsit!!! It's hilarious when Zu is on the floor, as when I call him he runs as fast as he can to get to me and then I get a kiss, bless him. He seems to be quite happy on the floor but to me it can't be a naturally comfortable place for a birdie to be...

 

All I want for Christmas is some flight feathers for Zu!!!

 

Take care

 

Alison

 

It's perfectly normal for him to walk like that. Summer is exactly the same. If you look at videos of the larger parrots, particularly Macaws, they look even more awkward.

 

From what you have replied, I'm sure it is just a learning curve Zu is going through. Summer never takes off without thinking ahead about exactly where she wants to land, and that is just because she has learned that is the safest way. You can just see what is going on in her head when she does it. Lola is about the same age as Zu, and although she can only flap about and run, she really doesn't have a clue where she is going. If she was learning to fly, she would be just as clumsy! :roll:

 

You just have to be patient and hope your nerves hold out! :lol:

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