How far is too far out of the birdcage?

old man on motorcycle with sun conure parrot on head
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This post was originally published 04/30/16

This image received a lot of negative blow back on social media about how the bird was being imperiled.

As an avid motorcyclist, I know the first rule motorcycling is “if you don’t want to be injured on a motorcycle – don’t get on a motorcycle”.


If this motorcyclist were to have an accident – be it solo like running off the road or a collision with another vehicle – I think it would be more likely that the bird would fly away unharmed With the human sustaining injuries.

The discussion till now has been “to clip or not to clip”.

I’d like to shift the discussion “to fly or not to fly”.


Cage bird keepers determine the environment and the quality of life for the bird.

Some feel they are protecting their birds by lopping off the wings and putting them in cages 12 to 14 hours a day.


Ironically it IS like night and day for the bird.

Our pet birds actually like to be within the confines of their birdcage at night.

Their birdcage makes them feel safe which is why we practice the theory of the birdcagecanopy.


Once the sun comes up, open up any birdcagedoor and watch what happens.

The bird comes out it’s time to deal with the world beak first.


There are various ways to measure happiness and satisfaction.

Google just revealed that because your face can be seen in your smart phone (think selfie) – a signal to Google that you are pleased or displeased with the result of your search will be the look on your face – you heard it here first.


Birds offer no facial expression so it’s a bit harder to determine if they are happy we need to look at their actions.



Some Bird Keepers feel there is no place for a cage in a birds life

Does that sun conure look unhappy to you?


Some sun conures THINK

they want freedom but then they change their mind


Birds of prey have been used for hunting since the time

of Genghis Khan (who had 100,000 falcons by the way).

When you hunt with birds, it is essential that

they either return to your gloved hand or remain with their kill.


Hospitals now offer acupuncture – medical therapy thousands of years old

humans have been teaching birds that free flight is OK

just return as they’ve been trained to do – for thousands of years


me with my class training 2 – 3 month old Harris Hawks

this process is the same used in Mesopotamia circa 2000 bc

we’ve got it down


Others are confident enough to let their birds

not only out of the birdcage but out of the house and out of the car


The areas we frequent here in Chicago and Northwest Indiana

have skies filled visibly with Peregrine Falcons and red tailed hawks

Also published on Medium.


He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they would visit their monthly birdie brunch in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.