Learning from a Cockatiel

I have a five month old cockatiel named Weddnesday. She's totally adorable, but still very rebellious. One issue she has is that her wings are clipped. She will not have flight feathers for at least another month (her six month molt). That means she cannot fly. Actually, they clipped ALL her flight feathers so she more so just flutters and then plops to the floor. When I clip my birds, I usually only clip the first five feathers on each wing. This way they can still get distance but not altitude, and it keeps them from just falling like a rock.

One would think after a few rough crash landings she would get that currently her wings do not work. Instead, she keeps trying to fly with the others. I can't imagine falling to the ground is pleasant. Nor do I think she's a big fan of breaking more tail feathers (broken tail feathers = balance issues and baby birds really already have enough of those). However, she keeps trying. She knows the negative consequences, but she tries at least once a day.

Then after she crashes into the floor, she has no way of getting back to the cages. I attempt to help her, but she runs away from me. Now you would think she would notice that anytime I "pick up" one of the birds it is only to return them to the cage. They step up, I take them back to the cage and they step down. Even once I catch her, all I do is return her to the cage. No harm is ever done.

In a way Weddnesday is more like a human than I give her credit for. She is stubborn. Even after it as been proven that her wings do not work, she keeps trying to fly with the same result. Maybe it is blind child like optimism, but at some point she has to realize she is hurting herself more than it is worth. She can see there is someone there to help her. She knows she can't make it back to the cage on her own. No one has ever shown her reason to fear being helped up. Still she runs from the hand that just wants to get her back to the cage.


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