can cockatiels learn how to free flight outdoors?
Posted: 14 July 2008 11:15 AM   [ Ignore ]
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i would like to try and teach my next hand reared cockatiel to free flight outdoors and im just wanting to no if it is possible!

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Posted: 18 July 2008 01:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I have seen it done: http://www.flickr.com/photos/parrots/2423413433/in/set-72157604614013595/

But expect a lot of casualties as goshawks and similar species will take their toll! So something I would definitely not recommend!

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Posted: 07 August 2009 09:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I took my Cockatiel to my college ceramics class the other day and despite the very unhappy teacher, we had a lot of fun. It wasn’t until after I got kicked out of class that I realized..  -She loves me and is cautious of what she doesn’t know-

For some reason I started feeling safe, having let her out through the various buildings and let her out of my carrier, outside.

A few things happened. She sat on me for awhile getting adjusted, not flying till a bug startled her. When she flew, she kept her head turning in my direction, watching me nervously, finally landing in a tree and not coming down until she was ready.

_She was easily overpowered by the wind_

These birds are rockets!

I wouldn’t do it on a windy day and with extreme caution on a breezy day. She is so light-weight, less than a year old and doesn’t know how the wind works. When we flew a second time, she was caught up and pulled hundreds of feet over trees very rapidly and I had to run to keep up. One of the only reasons I was confident enough to let her out is I’m secure with my ability to run after her through the terrain (woody forest of the northwest).

We both stayed in audible contact until she settled in a tree and I was able to sit nearby. I think girl birds are more relaxed and a boy would want to fly more.

There numerous hawks in this area and her distressed whistles drew them in close. My response was to stand my ground and whistle at them in a threatening tone. This worked well and any hawks that came in for inspection were inspired to leave safely. She reacted to them instinctively. It was cool.

To get her out of the tree on a windy day, she wasn’t able to fly down to me. What I had to do was walk down-wind a distance, calling her until the wind (thus her flight) was aligned with me.

We’re both new at this, but loves me and doesn’t want to leave. She loves to fly and would love to go do it… but she doesn’t want to leave. We’re both looking for the safest places. I don’t have a bike or I’d let her go outside sooner.

Also, she had her wings clipped as a baby and all it did was give her bloody injuries and put her in extreme pain through her first molt. I won’t ever do it to my bird and believe it should be stopped to prevent needless hurting of birds.

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Posted: 29 September 2009 03:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thanks eluviation for posting. This has been very helpful.


Regards,
softpout
Placement financier

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Posted: 17 April 2010 05:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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eluviation:

Any updates?  How is your cockatiel doing?  I just got one and I want him to be able to fly free too.

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Posted: 27 April 2010 11:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Cockatiels are one of the difficult parrots to free fly. They are large flock birds by nature and react best as a group when dangers arise. They are small and basically unable to defend themselves against predators of all kinds. They are natural ground browsers who do not always prefer to be high up and safe like conures for example. They are nomadic instinctively and do not always have a keen circle and return mechanism. They have been bred so many generations in captivity that many of their wild skills are totally gone—especially the light colors and mutations far removed from normal. Hens are often in more danger than males when flown alone.

This said, it has been done by friends of ours—always with some emergencies as the months go on!!  Take care, train for six months or more, keep your eyes open and watch for dangers like loud noises, running dogs, windy conditions, etc. Fly the parrot before feeding if at all possible. Choose the terrain carefully and if hawks are present, avoid the early morning and late afternoons or sunny days after a day of rain and cloud cover.  cool smile

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