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.
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
which is why we don’t allow her to free fly – relevant here because
we not only allow her out of her birdcage
we take her almost everywhere.
Brief off road trip:
A few years back some volunteer conservationists built an eagle refuge in Rockford about 90 miles west of here on the rock River.
The Eagles embrace the area and after a long hard winter the volunteers returned for spring cleanup – which unearthed eight small dog collars – you’ve been warned
Peaches is happy to be anywhere we are.
As for health it’s hard to say – she does stay active and makes me crazy throughout the day because she likes to sit on my leg and poop – jump on the keyboard which changes data – it’s all good
I’m not advocating that you take your bird outside to see what happens.
And if you would like to take your bird out of doors allow free flight
while keeping a tether you can always acquire one of these.
The risk is lessened substantially if the animal is trained.
written by mitch rezman
approved by catherine tobsing
your zygodactyl footnote
this was not the post I started to write
Also published on Medium.