editted on 12 Oct 2013 to add
The precursor to this is
On clipping wings written 11 Mar 2007 a couple of weeks before this
That should be read as well
A letter from http://www.greyforums.net/forums/limitstart/30/african-grey/8152-wing-clipping.html
Dave is an old friend from another forum that I met again in greyforums recently as MrSpock.
Proper wing clipping will allow a bird horozontal movement and the ability to glide downward to a floor. The ideal wing clip is one that allows a bird to fly about 8 ft before gliding down.
In an ideal world, what you say above may be right.
The other extreme will be extremely severe clipping of wings. When I was in Riyadh and in a parrot shop, this grey jumped off the top of cage about 5 feet from ground. The sound of him hitting down, the spray of blood around him, and the screaming of that poor guy hurt me crazy. I do not wish ever to have another keel bone broken even if not in front of me.
People clipped for a few key reasons.
1. They had been conditioned to that because of what they read or were told. This seemed to be peculiarly American. Tinkerbell wings were so nearly clipped by me at the beginning as the books I read all recommended that (all American books) as well as forums in 2002 when I first had Tinkerbell. I was lucky enough to bought a British parrot mag to give me second thoughts.
2. The sight of initial flights, the crashing into walls was extremely frightening and I thought my precious Tink was crazy in trying to fly through walls while I stumbled about chasing her with a pillow to cushion her falls after hitting the wall. Once again, I so nearly reached for that scissors and Tink the flyig grey of Taiwan so nearly did not exist. But that british mag persuaded me to let that continue for a few more days.
She then found her flying skills to turn, slow, hover and stopped banging into walls.
Folks, this episode is inevitable. Your birds may be natural fliers, but even so, they MUST develope their muscles , flying skills and sense of balance. But at this early stage, their speed will be very slow(even if it appeared fast to you) and chances of harm to them will be there.
You can minimise this by letting them fledge in a small room, with curtains or rope nets around the walls for them to fly to and cling too. Or you can run around like me with a cushion.
If you see a human toddler trying to walk and falling down, will you have fear for his/her safety and not ever let him discover balance and walk? Will you have him/her crawl for the rest of their life because you are afraid to see them fall?
This is same as your choice for your bird.
3 By clipping wings and thinking thus the clipped bird will never fly away. I need not repeat my earlier postings of clipped birds that flown away.
In what Dave said , that is true in an ideal world. Unfortunately, we live in the real world.
But most people then went on to extrapolate that then, their bird will never be able to fly away. That is where I draw that line.
So after you got that 'perfect clip' and your parrot then fly about 8 feet and not gaining height. But again, have that clip been tested under worse case condition? Such as a sudden blast of air horn , or a strange hat thrust in front to see if that parrot cannot gain height in a spook situation?
Can you bear to do a sudden spook, or allow others to do that to your parrot? To see if that clipped wings hold good in spook conditions? And with Murphy at your elbows, how about throwing in that gust of wind at the same time?
Can you ever guarantee such conditions will never ever occur to you?
People had thought so. Their parrot paid heavier price than they did.
Your choice again to see if you can beat those odds.
On a different note Dave, I tried to log in to your old forum to let you and other friends there know about my last trip to be with Tink in Nov last year. If you did know, fine. If not, you might like to read this
Tinkerbell Interlude photoset and videos, and start of next chapter of life. Also as to why I am now here in Brisbane , down under.