How Do I Train My Birds To Always Fly Back To Me?

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Original verbatim Quora question(s): How do I train a budgie to free flight and come back to me without having to fly away?

How do you train two budgies to free flight?

Can you train two budgies to free flight at the same time?

These questions were found as a single question on Quora.

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Please help me not starve my parrot

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We’ve got some feedback on our statement “50% of captive birds deaths are from malnutrition” and I’m horrified.


Dollar’s Mum asked some pointed nutritional questions below and I’m always glad to have this discussion.


I think that people who serve their bird’s “chop” are well-intentioned but very misguided. A parrot living on nothing but chop is a malnourished bird.

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Find out how much you know about keeping birds and parrots with this exam – even earn a certificate!

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Why do we not trust our birds to fly?

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Why is it that some of us don’t trust a bird’s 99 million year old instincts to fly – but will trust a teenager to navigate a 3500 pound terrestrial vehicle at 60 MPH on a crowded highway – after 36 hours of classroom and road training? 

The below video received 349,906 views on YouTube. We got 11,000 views in a week after placing this video on our Facebook fan page.

From the 11,000 views we received the following comments

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How long should it take for a Cockatiel to grow back clipped wing feathers?

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How long should it take for a Cockatiel to grow back clipped wing feathers?

I have a 7 month old cockatiel, he’s super happy all the time and is “shedding” his down feathers constantly lately. The people we bought him from at about 2 to 3 months old were clipping his wings and he still hasn’t been able to fly properly. We keep him clean, happy, and healthy.

my answer

For the record we are proponents of keeping birds flighted. So if a person loses a bird because it is flighted and they walked outside with the bird on their shoulder un-tethered – they are a dumbass.
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My Conure Went to the Library and Won

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Oh No! My Conure Went to the Library Alone and Won’t Come Home

Retrieving Escaped or Stolen Parrots: Part Three

A Surprise Flight Lets Mango Fly to the Library Trees and How He was Retrieved

I am a proponent of clipping wings. I know not everyone feels this way, but I’ve had a cockatiel break his neck flying into a mirror when a loud, unfamiliar noise outside frightened him and other bad experiences with flighted companion parrots.

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Let’s place the burden of bird behavior on humans not birds

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I had to jump in and provide a voice on the other side. I remember reading this article last month about keeping birds flighted and feeling very conflicted. My friend’s green cheek conure, who often came to visit, was fully flighted, while my own green cheek is not– our respective choices. His bird, despite being able to follow us humans everywhere, was a screamer anyway and mine is not.

Bungees & other Soft Perches
Both were playful and spoiled, so it’s hard to say what causes behaviors with any certainty. My main point is this: His bird was quite the nimble flyer, but yesterday it hit a window in his home and died on impact. What on earth is a bird owner to do in a large house, for example, when no quantity of decals is enough to cover them all?

It’s unreasonable to expect most owners to be able to adequately bird-proof the entire space, and so CAREFUL wing-trimming to limit distance and speed is the far more humane solution we’ve come up with. I worked with several respected avian vets and experts, and they agreed that most homes just aren’t safe enough no matter what we do, but we can’t all build giant aviaries.

Wing trimming does not seem to limit the quality of life at all for my own little guy– he is out on his various play stations all the time and goes everywhere with me at home, from room to room. If my friend had followed suit, his would still be alive. So I think my mind is made up.


editors note: I’m the guy whose cockatiel followed him around a 65 foot long apartment for 3-1/2 years with out one incident.

Let’s start at the beginning


(h)yo͞oˈmān/ adjective

  1. having or showing compassion or benevolence.
  2. “regulations ensuring the humane treatment of animals”

Chopping any body part off any animal or any human is not humane – I’m sorry.

The blood may have left the feather but the feather is still anchored to the skin controlled by muscles – it’s still a living organism that you have removed from the animal.

A bird that has lost the ability to fly has a diminished quality of life they are – handicapped.

If you are clipping your bird properly you are clipping the largest feathers on their body.

All birds preen – have you asked it how it’s dealing 20 feather shafts that been rudely and abruptly terminated?

No I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect most bird owners to be able to adequately bird proof their entire space

I do think it’s reasonable to limit the room(s) the birds are in much like grandparents limit certain rooms to grandchildren.


You’re arguments are putting the whole the whole burden on the bird and the bird isn’t the problem it’s the human.

Statistically floor walking birds are five times more likely to get stepped on then a flying bird getting killed upon impact with a vertical surface BECAUSE WE LOPPED OFF ALL THEIR WINGS!.

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