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How to encourage a previously clipped bird to try to fly

Discussion in 'The Airport' started by Leih, 8/2/19.

  1. Leih

    Leih Rollerblading along the road

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    My linnies, Caspar and Emrys, came to me clipped. And it's taken For.Ever. for their flight feathers to come back. Emrys still is a little lopsided and still needs to replace maybe 3 on one wing, but Caspar has a full set on both sides. I am unsure if they got to fledge.

    I got them in September '18 when they were about 6 months old. They've had a few instances where one will fall off a perch while out of their cage and Caspar will readily hop on a perch while Emrys is terrified and I have to quickly scoop him up. I have been unable to train them as they're a bonded pair and like I said, Emrys is terrified/not the smartest (but so adorable!), and Caspar can be over protective of him and I haven't tried to separate them for a while. Caspar won't step on a perch unless it's "emergency transport."

    So today I put a millet spray a bit far enough from their cage (they have a dome top that opens on top and I let them hang out up there) so they'd try to "jump." They wanted that millet so bad! (Linnies are part hog) Eventually Emrys took a leap and ended up on the floor, but when I scooped him up he flew a short distance back to his cage. Caspar just wouldn't do it.

    After all this back story about them, I'm basically looking for suggestions on how to encourage them to try. I know that they may never fly due to the clip, especially if they didn't fledge, but my lovebird came to me clipped as well and she's an excellent flier now, so I want to try. I'd love for them to be flighted.
     
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  2. Leih

    Leih Rollerblading along the road

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    Not sure why this isn't showing up in recent threads?
     
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  3. Leih

    Leih Rollerblading along the road

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    There it is. Fixed my own issue.
     
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  4. Cat The Great

    Cat The Great Walking the driveway

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    Hi Leih! That is great that you are encouraging your birds to fly. Unfortunately, its going take some time for your birds to gain the confidence to fly again. Georgie now flies every single day, but when I finally let her be fully flighted (she was clipped only twice), she wasn't eager to do it. It took her some time to began understand that she could fly and that she wasn't going to be clipped. I would say it took about 3-6 months of tentative flying to understand that she could fly well and that flight wasn't just for when she was scared or wanted to get away, but for her enjoyment. As this is my experience with Georgie, I would say that your linnies might be scared to fly. They have just endured some time with their flight taken away and this has them caused to be cautious and frightened at potentially flying without control. My suggestion would just to continue to do what you are doing. If they love their cage and millet, use that to your advantage. Keep putting the millet at a short distance on the cage and between them. They will eventually learn that they can fly without issues. As they get better, gradually increase the distance. You are already doing a great job encouraging them to fly, just continue what you are doing and they will eventually learn that they can fly for their enjoyment and it won't be taken away. I hope that is helpful.
     
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  5. Dona

    Dona Rollerblading along the road

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    Gigi's story is like your Aoife. She was clipped at 2 months but regrew her feathers and flies well. I didn't have to do anything to make this happen. She just experimented more and more as her feathers grew in.

    Were the boys clipped right before you got them at 6 months? I wonder if it has something to do with timing. But I do think that if there is enough incentive they will try eventually. I wonder if you could bring just one bird with you, not sure who it should be, but maybe the other will fly to you, or yours will fly to his buddy? Maybe over a bed? So we know they are food motivated. How about something they love to eat in their cage, door open and them on a play gym a few feet away?
     
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  6. Leih

    Leih Rollerblading along the road

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    @Dona that's a good idea, putting a treat in their cage. They won't fly to me, they like me, but not that much hahaha and I think they may have been clipped just before I got them. I didn't understand what "grooming" was.
     
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  7. Leih

    Leih Rollerblading along the road

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    Thanks, it's encouraging! I was really thinking they're just afraid so definitely going to keep doing this. Linnies are garbage disposals so they'll work for food. Except for when I was trying to teach Caspar to step up and he's incredibly impatient when I have a treat in my hand.
     
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  8. Dona

    Dona Rollerblading along the road

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    You should hear me acting like a maniac when I'm bringing in Gigi's afternoon Nutri-berry. "OH GUESS WHAT GIGI??? IT'S NUTRI-BERRY TIME!!!" Maybe you could talk up a certain fave food each time you offer it, then do the same and put it in the cage with them nearby.
     
  9. Dona

    Dona Rollerblading along the road

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    Yeah so maybe it was being clipped at 6 months vs 2 that is the problem. Also I'm told Linnies are heavy bodied, like Amazons, and flying isn't as easy for them as say a budgie. However Gigi can fly soaking wet from the hall to her cage, maybe 30 feet.
     
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  10. Ripshod

    Ripshod Rollerblading along the road

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    Fear of flight.
    Firstly a bird that was clipped before fledging has never learned to fly and so doesn't understand the mechanics of it. They have to learn from scratch as an older bird who doesn't know or even realise their wings will work.
    Then there's the bird that could fly for a while but their last memories of flight is plummeting toward the ground out of control and possibly injury. Again these birds won't realise things have changed and their wings will work.
    Both have a fear of flying, but I'm inclined to say the bird that was clipped after fledging will probably have the greatest fear.
    As for teaching them to fly every method has it's risks so I'd rather let birds 'discover' themselves again. It's not difficult to adapt things for a flightless bird. @Leih you've probably already done this.
     
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  11. Dona

    Dona Rollerblading along the road

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    I'm also remembering the beginning of Gigi actually flying. She would stay on her half moon cage door, pacing, for many minutes building up her courage to fly to the gym. Now she just steps out and flies, boom. So she built her confidence slowly, with each success. I like the idea of getting them to hop from one place to another, gradually adding space between. That's how Gigi did it, the play gym was on the coffee table, in front of me, on the sofa. She hopped to me at first. Then eventually she could fly to me. So what do they want enough to try to get to it? Each other? Food? Cage?
     
  12. Leih

    Leih Rollerblading along the road

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    I tried the "drop the perch but not too fast" with Caspar on it to get him to flap, but only once. I think I need to find a good short distance that they're willing to test.
     
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  13. Leih

    Leih Rollerblading along the road

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    Definitely food! And if one hops over, the other will likely follow.
     
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  14. Ripshod

    Ripshod Rollerblading along the road

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    Put treats on a bed. Start close and work your way away.
     
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  15. Lady Jane

    Lady Jane Joyriding the Neighborhood Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting!

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    @clawnz may have some good suggestions.
     
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  16. clawnz

    clawnz Rollerblading along the road Avenue Veteran

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    Yes it is a shame and disgusting that the practice of clipping is still so popular.

    keep the faith, and hopefully the damage is not too bad.

    Yes it does or can knock the confidence out of them, if they have a few crashes. Note MOST Crashes are to clipped birds. Not parent raised tame birds.
    Not knowing when they were clipped is a pain. But I will say most birds can still fly, by instinct. Prey birds natural instinct is to fly from any perceived dangers.
    Not being hand tame, is not on your side. Other wise you could of taken them into a bedroom and fly them on to a bed, or onto a flat surface.

    Will they ever fully recover?
    All we can do, is try our best, and hope.
    Never give up.
    I am still making advances with Alex. And that has been 4yrs. He will never fully recover, due to the time he was kept handicapped. Both confidence and muscle atrophy have caused a lot of damage.

    Good luck and keep trying, even if it means forcing a little now and then.
    The more they fly, the better chances are of any sort of recovery.
     
  17. Leih

    Leih Rollerblading along the road

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    I just saw Caspar jump-fly from one perch to another! Yay progress!
     
  18. clawnz

    clawnz Rollerblading along the road Avenue Veteran

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    I have consent to share this thanks to Steve Hartman.
    Please assume this is copyright, and consent is needed before you copy/share.


    HARTMAN AVIARY
    9000 Cheshire Road, Sunbury, Ohio 43074
    740-965-1965 hartmanaviary@aol.com
    2003 AFA CONVENTION ABSTRACT
    OPTIMAL NEUROPATHWAY DEVELOPMENT OF THE PSITTACINE
    Author: Stephen P. Hartman
    Providing appropriate stimulus to the fast developing avian brain is most
    important during the third and fourth months of life. Parrots as a prey species
    experience rapid brain development to enhance survival potential. Within 30 to
    90 days after the juvenile begins to leave the nest, he will have learned as much
    as 75% of everything he needs to achieve his optimal potential (I.Q.). By six to
    nine months a parrot will accumulate 90% of everything he will learn in life.
    Learning and programming of the brain requires specific stimulus in the correct
    sequence. During this early phase, neuropathway development in most areas of
    the brain are symbiotic, cumulative and exponential. Aviculturists who emphasize
    safety over the necessary exposure to environmental and social experiences,
    often overlook this developmental phase.
    Quite rapidly a parrot must program the parts of the brain responsible for flight,
    foraging, predator avoidance, body language interpretation, social etiquette and
    language ability. Each area of the brain has an optimal time frame for
    development. Skipping an important stage, like development of the cerebellum,
    can have catastrophic consequences and severely limit the ability of the adult
    parrot to thrive. Improper or delayed development of the cerebellum will
    significantly affect vision and self esteem, which ultimately leads to an individual
    unable to appropriately respond to its environment. These birds will have a
    greater tendency toward antisocial behavior like biting, screaming and feather
    mutilation as an adult.
    By understanding the sequential development of the avian brain, aviculturists will
    be able to produce happier, healthier and well-adjusted ADULT pet parrots.
    Just in case.
    A contemporary explanation may help. Most mammals and birds are born with a hard drive
    located in our limbic system, sometimes known as the primitive brain. This hard drive is then
    augmented by the installation of additional programs. The operating systems, internet access and
    other programs like Windows and Quicken have to be installed in the proper sequence after the
    computer is born. This programming of the computer is accomplished during the “juvenile” stage
    of a computer’s life. Once the programs are added, the computer now has perhaps 90% of all the
    information that will be input in its lifetime. Once programmed, the computer is now ready for the
    mammal or avian equivalent of “adolescence” and “adulthood.” Being used every day, the
    computer will now add perhaps 10% more information during the rest of its life by personalizing
    and learning to use these programs. Unfortunately, the programs installed into the brain cannot
    be changed or significantly modified after the appropriate stage of development has been passed.
    Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Title: MAXIMIZING BABY PARROTS’ IQ THROUGH NEURO STIMULATION WITH AGE
    APPROPRIATE TOYS
    Abstract: (PowerPoint presentation)
    Properly stimulating the baby parrots’ brains during each developmental stage is important to achieve the
    highest intellect available for each individual.
    Development of the brain is exponential until a parrot is about halfway to adolescence. Activating as many
    senses at the same time is a necessity for maximum neuro stimulation. Proper selection of toys (stimulating
    tools) can capitalize on the innate development process. Over and under stimulation with inappropriate toys
    causes low-level stress that will interfere with optimal development resulting in a lower intelligence.
    This lecture describes the sequential stages of mental and physical development, and levels of intellectual
    awareness at each stage. These stages are then matched with appropriate types of toys that will supply
    appropriate stimulation.
     
  19. Leih

    Leih Rollerblading along the road

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    Very interesting, much like other mammalian brain development. My birds were with me at the age of 5 months and I would definitely say I gave /give them a lot of stimulus in a wide variety of toys, however they weren't flighted. Fortunately though, there's neuroplasticity, at least theoretically, I don't know what can be actually proven when it comes to neuroscience, so I am hopeful that they can slowly reform neuropathways, especially ones that are so integral to their avian brains. Ie like a human relearning to walk. I was thrilled to see Caspar do that jump fly a few more times! He often flaps away while in his cage, which is why I think he gets it, but he needs the confidence to try and of course he needs to build muscle, which really short jumps like this are great. My lovebird made a complete recovery, and it's incredible to see her so happy.
     

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