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Learning to fly

Kassiani

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Good girl, Koko! Those are beautiful, big wings :xflove:

I hope the x-rays don't show anything that would keep her from flying at least a little bit.
 

Macawnutz

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I'm not seeing anything that would concern me enough to do Xray. Kailua can flap hard and fast enough to fly to Canada when she wants too. When she is relaxed and just stretching she really favors a wing.
 

Greylady1966

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Koko's wing are getting stronger from her wing exercises. It's amazing how much air she can move when she really gets going. She's bending more in the front now instead of leaning back like before. Yesterday I thought she was actually going to let go and fly in my direction. I have also learned that getting hit in the face with a flapping wing hurts.
 

Shezbug

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Koko's wing are getting stronger from her wing exercises. It's amazing how much air she can move when she really gets going. She's bending more in the front now instead of leaning back like before. Yesterday I thought she was actually going to let go and fly in my direction. I have also learned that getting hit in the face with a flapping wing hurts.
So right you are! A wet wing is worse than a dry one lol
 

Kassiani

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I’m sorry you got smacked! It sounds like she’s really making great progress. Did the vet find anything or was she given a clean wing bill of health?
 

flyzipper

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All kinds of nice...

 

Greylady1966

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I don't know who was more excited, the macaw or the women. I don't know how many times I've asked myself how can a bird not know how to fly. The questions that I think about are, do they need another bird to show them and wouldn't it be in their instinct to fly. Just a couple more things to keep me up at night. Lol more research.
 

Kassiani

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I think confidence is an issue, too. Opie can fly but doesn’t unless startled or he loses his balance. He doesn’t have confidence in his wings, it seems. And my Rudy was kept in such a tiny cage his whole life that his muscle tone is bad, so he’s working on getting stronger.

Has Koko taken short hops from cage to perch or chair? Anything like that?
 

Tazlima

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I don't know who was more excited, the macaw or the women. I don't know how many times I've asked myself how can a bird not know how to fly. The questions that I think about are, do they need another bird to show them and wouldn't it be in their instinct to fly. Just a couple more things to keep me up at night. Lol more research.
This article is a pretty good overview of why it's harder for adult birds to learn to fly if they weren't able to learn properly at the fledgling stage. (This website is great about citing its sources, too).


I wish it were as simple as just having another bird to observe. I've been working on teaching my older TAG to fly for several years now. She sees my other birds fly, but that wasn't enough to get her moving.

She began like the bird in the video, where she didn't even use her wings to do an assisted hop. She's also more aloof about training than my other birds, so perch to perch practice was an exercise in futility. Instead, we feed her on a stand and keep moving it to make the flights incrementally more challenging. It's been amazing to see her improve. but also agonizingly slow.
 
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Xoetix

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I've been following this a lot, because I'm starting to worry about Isadora some. Her previous owners stated they had only recently clipped her, but when I compare her to what Pudge was like... Pudge fluttered all the time. He would take off from one room to another, despite not being able to fly. She doesn't even attempt to. She's gotten startled twice and there were a few flaps but she doesn't really make a lot of flight effort...
 

Tazlima

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I've been following this a lot, because I'm starting to worry about Isadora some. Her previous owners stated they had only recently clipped her, but when I compare her to what Pudge was like... Pudge fluttered all the time. He would take off from one room to another, despite not being able to fly. She doesn't even attempt to. She's gotten startled twice and there were a few flaps but she doesn't really make a lot of flight effort...
Did they say whether she flew regularly before they clipped her?

Boo came to me with flight feathers intact. Her previous owner didn't "need"* to clip because after 11 years of not being able to trust her wings, she never even tried to fly. She had long ago given up flapping except in a panicky way to break a fall. Her wings may as well have been glued to her sides. Having her sit on your hand and raising and lowering it? She wouldn't spread them an inch. The most she would extend them was a bit out from her sides on rare occasions when she bathed in her water bowl. (She gets offered regular showers, and she likes hanging out in the bathroom, but she rarely actually chooses to get wet).

I strongly suspect that, despite her clean bill of health from the vet regarding arthritis or other serious issues, the severe muscle atrophy made it actively uncomfortable to spread her wings, let alone flap.

One of our greatest triumphs with her is that she now raises her wings on command (eeaaaagle). It took 3 years to get her to that point.

My next goal is teaching her how to turn. Currently she only flies in straight lines. I'm still puzzling over how to set up her stand to start encouraging her to curve her path a bit without making it so difficult she won't attempt it. (The layout of my house is such that there just aren't many turns).

*Need is the wrong word, but you know what I mean.
 

BrianB

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Perch Potatoes - what a great name. Flying takes a lot of self-confidence and if they haven't ever flown it's frightening for them. For some birds, it's a total mystery why they don't. Our blue & gold Christopher can fly but shows no initiative to do it. I don't believe she was ever encouraged to fly as a youngster. She can spread her wings far out. I spread my arms and say "Big Scary Bird" and she stretches her wings out as far as she can to match me. She just doesn't seem to want to fly. The few times I've seen her do it she goes in a straight line, crashes into whatever is in front of her then swears loudly when she crashes to the floor. I've tried to coax her to fly to me but she just looks at me like I'm asking the impossible. I'm working on her attitude, then I'll be working on her ability to fly.

All you can do is encourage her to move her body and keep pushing her. Using her favorite food in the world as a bribe is great motivation too.
 

Fuzzy

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Yay for Koko's clean bill of wing health! Hope she learns how to fly.

Bobbie, Red-lored Amazon, couldn't fly when she arrived. She was about 15 years old then. I guess it helped that she wanted to. I put her cage near-ish to the sofa (the sofa had foot toys, etc. on half of it) and gradually she learned to jump onto the sofa to get to them. Then bit by bit I pulled her cage further away from the sofa. It took her about a year to be able to fly properly and land on other things. She doesn't fly as well as the rest of the flock - she's heavy, so more of a flying elephant, but she definitely improves as the years go by. She can fly upwards now! :laugh:
 
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