Bird on a Wire
So obviously this plants me firmly in the camp of “one of those bird people”. I’m so torn between all the information about whether to clip wings, if it’s cruel, how much Pixel even cares.
What’s funny is that in America people thing it’s dangerous and in a way mean not to clip a bird’s wings. “What if he escapes?” “He’ll surely die.” Etc. Etc.
In Europe apparently it’s the opposite, you can’t clip your bird’s wings because it’s considered cruel. Furthermore the argument goes, if a bird is never taught to fly and to return, then when he (inevitably) does escape, you’ll have no way to get him back. Whereas if he is trained to fly around and return your chances are much better.
Finally, the whole wing-clip conversation gets even more confusing when you consider that it’s not a permanent change. You can clip feathers for part of the year, say winter, and let them grow out in the summer. You can clip some feathers but not others, or clip them to give the bird only partial flight.
I’m not sure what I’ll do in the end, but for now I’m growing out Pixel’s flight feathers and training him to use a bird leash. It’s the Aviator Flight Harness, and it is damn small. After a few training sessions getting Pixel used to seeing it, it was finally a nice day here in “sunny” California so I just went for it.
Here’s Pixel walking around outside with his new leash on.