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Some questions about newby who isn't sure he can fly

orphansparrow

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Hi everyone.

New guy (still no DNA results yet) isn't sure about flying. I've seen him fly twice because he was startled, and neither time went well. Once, an awkward crash land, the second time, he aimed for a dresser and couldn't seem to lift himself up to it, and awkwardly fluttered to the floor. He does that aerodynamic, shaky wings thing where they're looking at a place they want to fly to and their body says "do it" but with no confidence in the mind. If you know what I mean. I've just never had to deal with this before.

This makes me hesitant to introduce him and Duckie. I imagine that Duckie might be pushy if not an outright bully (judging by his past and how he is with many humans as well). He is not an easy going guy. But before I introduce them, I want to make sure new guy will be able to get away if need be.

So my main question is, how do I help him learn to fly, or encourage him to fly? I've been trying holding treats just out of reach so he can fly to them, or setting treats down in his line of sight, somewhere close so he can fly to them, and he just does that twitchy, lean-in thing like he really wants to fly, but just doesn't believe he can.

Another note, he also doesn't seem steady on his feet. If he is on my shoulder, he holds on like he's holding on for dear life if I'm walking or moving around, and often will stumble. He also has fallen off of his perches a few times at night - which are textured, natural wood perches, flat perches, and one of those sandy nail filing perches.

In his old cage, which I was able to see when I picked him up, he had sort of a loft area, basically a grate ledge up top, like a balcony kind of thing, and mostly flat perches. So it seems like he maybe just hasn't had a lot of experience with being on a shoulder, with flying, and mostly perched or moved around on flat grated surfaces and perches. Even perched on my finger he doesn't grip as tightly as Duckie does.

The step-up training is going very well by the way and we're now at about 90% when I ask him to step up. So that's good!

Also, by the way, the vet said he was in great shape, good muscle tone, excellent feather.

So I don't know! What do you all think?
 

Shezbug

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You will want to set up a decent easy landing place (like an arm, table top or couch) which is not too far away from him and encourage him to start off with distance that he can basically jump between then slightly move the starting perch back a tiny bit increasing the distance he needs to jump. Lots of praise and lots of teeny tiny steps to increase the distance.

Also sounds like he needs to learn how to balance and use all the muscles needed for that more regularly to build them up.

Lots of praise and encouragement and always set him up for success- so basically set the first perch/landing areas so close that he nearly only has to step from one to the other, master that then give some tiny distance.
 
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orphansparrow

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Ok. I’ll just keep at it then. He has a portable perch thing that I start him off on and put it on the bed so he has a big, wide, flat place to land. We’ll just keep working at it! It’s been just over 3 weeks.
 

Pixiebeak

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I do not like hearing about falling off of a perch , thst is not normal...but I see you say night...is he getting spooked ? If he is covered try leaving uncovered or partially covered .

Like mentioned by shez.. a lot of it really is learning to land . If kept clipped or no chance of flying, they can have had a lot of falls and learned fear of falling...and the crash landing leads to fear of flying.

It's just so awful when birds don't get to fledge , it's so hard for them to learn later in life. They don't have that program instinct to fly that helps them over come fear , the instincts that has them stand up and beat wings as babies getting ready to learn .

Penny was an old non flying lady bird when I got her . Even had wing structures, the muscles had contracted over her life time, so she couldn't even raise and open wings . So much so that my vet didn't think she would ever be able to fly. She didn't even raise wings out if you did a quick hand drop down , which should be instinctual and to help balance . She also didn't hop between perches . If she couldn't lean out and grab another perch she was " stuck " and didn't move ...at first she didn't even climb cage bars to move around, her old horrid small cage that I got to see had to wide of bars that were vertical...I really had to set her cage so she could move by connected or overlay oerches ...so sad so sad..

Anyway her recovery! When her flight feathers came back . And I had her complete trust . I started very very gentle wing stretches , just until I felt resistance..I did several times a day for months probably.

As sometimes the other birds or something would startle her to flutter fall, I put deep blankets in radius around her cage on the floor, and around my chair where she would sit with me. So she would have a soft landing and not get hurt.

I also started a very gentle toss, from like an inch or two above my bed . With so much praise and happy dance and treats. When this was fun and she felt confident and I'm sure it was a very slow process! I did it from an inch higher and so forth. Then to the back of my chair or couch .

I noticed at first her startled flight flopping got a little further away from the cage ...and I had to move my blankets farther out . I noticed she started being able to land on her feet instead of crashing on her keel .

She started being more confident moving around the cage .

At some point I started moving my hand to kinda get to jump back to the top of her cage when we were right next to it ..then further away as her abilities improved . I started standing with my shoulder just out of reach fir her to hop to. She has a very strong drive to get to and be with me so she would.

I know this whole process took 2 years !!

One day Ta-dah punked her ( they didn't like each other much in the beginning) and I was standing less than 4:feet away and she flew to me !!!and landed on my shoulder!!! Just a couple of flaps but she did it! I praised her to heaven !! At this point she could glide to the floor and land fine so my blankets were gone. After that first flight to me , oh what a day, she would flutter between cage perches when out. She started flutter from my shoulder to the back of the chair or to the couch . Then my brave girl was hanging out on top of the cages and flew all the way to me , 12 feet!!! Just because she decided she wanted to be with me !

She began choosing to fly to different spots after this . But for a long time could only fly one direction without change in direction, but flew and landed where she chose. She improved over time to be able to do some adjustments in direction and up and down . But never became a great flyer . But she could fly to me or furniture and back to her cage . I'm so very proud of her . I miss her , what a special girl.

So anyway! That's what I did :)
 

Pixiebeak

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I do not like hearing about falling off of a perch , thst is not normal...but I see you say night...is he getting spooked ? If he is covered try leaving uncovered or partially covered .

Like mentioned by shez.. a lot of it really is learning to land . If kept clipped or no chance of flying, they can have had a lot of falls and learned fear of falling...and the crash landing leads to fear of flying.

It's just so awful when birds don't get to fledge , it's so hard for them to learn later in life. They don't have that program instinct to fly that helps them over come fear , the instincts that has them stand up and beat wings as babies getting ready to learn .

Penny was an old non flying lady bird when I got her . Even had wing structures, the muscles had contracted over her life time, so she couldn't even raise and open wings . So much so that my vet didn't think she would ever be able to fly. She didn't even raise wings out if you did a quick hand drop down , which should be instinctual and to help balance . She also didn't hop between perches . If she couldn't lean out and grab another perch she was " stuck " and didn't move ...at first she didn't even climb cage bars to move around, her old horrid small cage that I got to see had to wide of bars that were vertical...I really had to set her cage so she could move by connected or overlay oerches ...so sad so sad..

Anyway her recovery! When her flight feathers came back . And I had her complete trust . I started very very gentle wing stretches , just until I felt resistance..I did several times a day for months probably.

As sometimes the other birds or something would startle her to flutter fall, I put deep blankets in radius around her cage on the floor, and around my chair where she would sit with me. So she would have a soft landing and not get hurt.

I also started a very gentle toss, from like an inch or two above my bed . With so much praise and happy dance and treats. When this was fun and she felt confident and I'm sure it was a very slow process! I did it from an inch higher and so forth. Then to the back of my chair or couch .

I noticed at first her startled flight flopping got a little further away from the cage ...and I had to move my blankets farther out . I noticed she started being able to land on her feet instead of crashing on her keel .

She started being more confident moving around the cage .

At some point I started moving my hand to kinda get to jump back to the top of her cage when we were right next to it ..then further away as her abilities improved . I started standing with my shoulder just out of reach fir her to hop to. She has a very strong drive to get to and be with me so she would.

I know this whole process took 2 years !!

One day Ta-dah punked her ( they didn't like each other much in the beginning) and I was standing less than 4:feet away and she flew to me !!!and landed on my shoulder!!! Just a couple of flaps but she did it! I praised her to heaven !! At this point she could glide to the floor and land fine so my blankets were gone. After that first flight to me , oh what a day, she would flutter between cage perches when out. She started flutter from my shoulder to the back of the chair or to the couch . Then my brave girl was hanging out on top of the cages and flew all the way to me , 12 feet!!! Just because she decided she wanted to be with me !

She began choosing to fly to different spots after this . But for a long time could only fly one direction without change in direction, but flew and landed where she chose. She improved over time to be able to do some adjustments in direction and up and down . But never became a great flyer . But she could fly to me or furniture and back to her cage . I'm so very proud of her . I miss her , what a special girl.

So anyway! That's what I did :)
My sharing about Penny was supposed to be an inspiration, and to show that even after near 20 years of not flying they can learn.

I'm still heart broken over her loss , I guess I get long in my replies.

But from your other post, it sounds like your gorgeous baby isn't going to take as long to get those wings going. Does he/she get tired after attempts or breath hard?
 

Emma&pico

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I didn’t see this until now

have you tried recalling training if he’s got step up down you could move your hand a bit further away so he as to hop onto your hand from perch treat and praise slowly moving further away each time he gets it I found helped with my babies it helps build confidence on flying landing

do you know what perches he had in his older cage maybe he only had a certain size that he used to for so long
 

Emma&pico

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I do not like hearing about falling off of a perch , thst is not normal...but I see you say night...is he getting spooked ? If he is covered try leaving uncovered or partially covered .

Like mentioned by shez.. a lot of it really is learning to land . If kept clipped or no chance of flying, they can have had a lot of falls and learned fear of falling...and the crash landing leads to fear of flying.

It's just so awful when birds don't get to fledge , it's so hard for them to learn later in life. They don't have that program instinct to fly that helps them over come fear , the instincts that has them stand up and beat wings as babies getting ready to learn .

Penny was an old non flying lady bird when I got her . Even had wing structures, the muscles had contracted over her life time, so she couldn't even raise and open wings . So much so that my vet didn't think she would ever be able to fly. She didn't even raise wings out if you did a quick hand drop down , which should be instinctual and to help balance . She also didn't hop between perches . If she couldn't lean out and grab another perch she was " stuck " and didn't move ...at first she didn't even climb cage bars to move around, her old horrid small cage that I got to see had to wide of bars that were vertical...I really had to set her cage so she could move by connected or overlay oerches ...so sad so sad..

Anyway her recovery! When her flight feathers came back . And I had her complete trust . I started very very gentle wing stretches , just until I felt resistance..I did several times a day for months probably.

As sometimes the other birds or something would startle her to flutter fall, I put deep blankets in radius around her cage on the floor, and around my chair where she would sit with me. So she would have a soft landing and not get hurt.

I also started a very gentle toss, from like an inch or two above my bed . With so much praise and happy dance and treats. When this was fun and she felt confident and I'm sure it was a very slow process! I did it from an inch higher and so forth. Then to the back of my chair or couch .

I noticed at first her startled flight flopping got a little further away from the cage ...and I had to move my blankets farther out . I noticed she started being able to land on her feet instead of crashing on her keel .

She started being more confident moving around the cage .

At some point I started moving my hand to kinda get to jump back to the top of her cage when we were right next to it ..then further away as her abilities improved . I started standing with my shoulder just out of reach fir her to hop to. She has a very strong drive to get to and be with me so she would.

I know this whole process took 2 years !!

One day Ta-dah punked her ( they didn't like each other much in the beginning) and I was standing less than 4:feet away and she flew to me !!!and landed on my shoulder!!! Just a couple of flaps but she did it! I praised her to heaven !! At this point she could glide to the floor and land fine so my blankets were gone. After that first flight to me , oh what a day, she would flutter between cage perches when out. She started flutter from my shoulder to the back of the chair or to the couch . Then my brave girl was hanging out on top of the cages and flew all the way to me , 12 feet!!! Just because she decided she wanted to be with me !

She began choosing to fly to different spots after this . But for a long time could only fly one direction without change in direction, but flew and landed where she chose. She improved over time to be able to do some adjustments in direction and up and down . But never became a great flyer . But she could fly to me or furniture and back to her cage . I'm so very proud of her . I miss her , what a special girl.

So anyway! That's what I did :)
Love hearing about penny she came on so such with you
I know you miss her so much I still believe she will send you a special little bird to help and love
 

Parutti

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I agree that it sounds like your little one mostly needs practice.

My Quaker was clipped and still young (hadnt had his first adult molt yet) when I got him. He was quite unsure, so we practiced "Opie come!" where i'd have him in one hand and hop to the other then get lots of rewards.

@Pixiebeak I always love hearing about Penny and I hope I can use some of those same techniques some day for Cotton! It's helpful to read the step by step process for our birdies who have forgotten or lost muscle memory :heart:

Also @orphansparrow I have to say your new guy is so very lucky to have you as a parront! Patience and practice and I bet you both will be surprised :)
 
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