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Old 21-02-2017, 01:34 PM
Egg
Join Date: Jul 2015
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Question Conure won't fly

Hi,

Forest is a Roseifrons Conure, he is perfectly capable of flight!
We've seen him fly, he's been checked by the vets a few times and as far as they're concerned its a behavioural issue just not one they can help with.
He simply doesn't want to fly, he walks everywhere.
He is out of his cage nearly 24/7 and only shut in when no one is home, or its bed time. He is obscenely spoilt in the toy department and we've gone as far as to hang toys from the ceiling and he has 2 perches aside from his cage top in the living room alone but he doesn't want to fly.
He climbs out of his cage, up to the top to screech for attention and if it isn't given he climbs all the way down to the floor and will walk over to you.
To get to his hanging toys he sits on shoulders until someone stands up and he will use you to get to them and if you dont help him down, he will screech and eventually do a glide down to the floor.

The vet thinks he is just stubborn and maybe too indulged to feel like he should fly, but we've never gone out of our way to have him on our shoulders or anything, its always been if he wants to come sit with us, not us wanting him sat with us.

We're starting to get more and more concerned that he will get fat as he isn't getting the right exercise, we have tried to use his favorite foods to encourage flight but he just walks over to us instead?

We really don't want to own the first conure with super buff legs?

Ideas??
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Old 21-02-2017, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeighCoralAnn View Post
Hi,

Forest is a Roseifrons Conure, he is perfectly capable of flight!
We've seen him fly, he's been checked by the vets a few times and as far as they're concerned its a behavioural issue just not one they can help with.
He simply doesn't want to fly, he walks everywhere.
He is out of his cage nearly 24/7 and only shut in when no one is home, or its bed time. He is obscenely spoilt in the toy department and we've gone as far as to hang toys from the ceiling and he has 2 perches aside from his cage top in the living room alone but he doesn't want to fly.
He climbs out of his cage, up to the top to screech for attention and if it isn't given he climbs all the way down to the floor and will walk over to you.
To get to his hanging toys he sits on shoulders until someone stands up and he will use you to get to them and if you dont help him down, he will screech and eventually do a glide down to the floor.

The vet thinks he is just stubborn and maybe too indulged to feel like he should fly, but we've never gone out of our way to have him on our shoulders or anything, its always been if he wants to come sit with us, not us wanting him sat with us.

We're starting to get more and more concerned that he will get fat as he isn't getting the right exercise, we have tried to use his favorite foods to encourage flight but he just walks over to us instead?

We really don't want to own the first conure with super buff legs?

Ideas??
I'm subscribed to 2 Cockatoo channels on youtube. And they don't fly but walk/hop/run everywhere. Seems like they're comfortable and know they're safe.
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Old 22-02-2017, 01:08 AM
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Sounds like a bird that was clipped as a youngster so never got the chance to fledge. Flight takes practice and confidence which is normally gained when the young first leave the nest. If they miss this vital stage then they may just become accustom to being flightless even when physically they are not. As you said, this can cause health issues due to lack of exercise. It can also be the cause of other confidence related physiological problems such as phobias, biting when handled (from a fear of falling off) and, as you have noticed, screaming when he wants something that he feels he can't achieve by himself.

To get him over this you will need to train him to fly. Start by training him to step from a perch to either your hand or another perch for a reward then slowly increase the distance until he has to jump, then flutter, then eventually fly. Keep the sessions short and always try to end them on a positive, i.e it is better to finish when you think he would still do one more jump/flight than for you to push too far and he refuse the last one. Don't try to progress too quickly as if he gets scared or frustrated by the training this will reinforce the negative association with flight.
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Old 22-02-2017, 10:09 AM
Egg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corvid2e1 View Post
Sounds like a bird that was clipped as a youngster so never got the chance to fledge. Flight takes practice and confidence which is normally gained when the young first leave the nest. If they miss this vital stage then they may just become accustom to being flightless even when physically they are not. As you said, this can cause health issues due to lack of exercise. It can also be the cause of other confidence related physiological problems such as phobias, biting when handled (from a fear of falling off) and, as you have noticed, screaming when he wants something that he feels he can't achieve by himself.

To get him over this you will need to train him to fly. Start by training him to step from a perch to either your hand or another perch for a reward then slowly increase the distance until he has to jump, then flutter, then eventually fly. Keep the sessions short and always try to end them on a positive, i.e it is better to finish when you think he would still do one more jump/flight than for you to push too far and he refuse the last one. Don't try to progress too quickly as if he gets scared or frustrated by the training this will reinforce the negative association with flight.
Forest has never had his wings clipped to our knowledge and we're assured he was raised by his parents so i'd like to think they taught him to fly? He is capable of flight, we've seen it and when he does fly he looks amazing.
He's never bitten or protested to being handled aside from those first few days when he came home. If offered a hand he happily jumps onboard his human ferry.
Is his screeching frustration? Cause he is capable of getting himself around when given no other choice, for instance he decided to fly up the stairs yesterday evening for no apparent reason, noone was upstairs and hes never been restricted access up there but he seemed to fancy sitting on the windowsill on the upper landing for whatever reason his bird brain had although he did have to be carried back down once he started to have a whinge as upstairs isnt soundproofed against his noise for the neighbours.

Training him to fly we already did with him when he first came home, i should probably mention he is only a 'baby' bird or rather a young bird, we got him last June when he was only young and told he hatched late March.
He's been with us ever since and one of the first things we did was teach him hands are happy places and encourage flight.
Given no other choice he does fly, or like yesterday evening the fancy seemed to take him.
His outdoor space is nearly completed now so we're hoping that will encourage flight once he gets out there and feels the wind in his feathers so to speak although we may hold off until it is warmer for that.
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Old 22-02-2017, 06:45 PM
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Sounds like the bird has trained you. Stop carrying it about and picking it up, you're gonna have to put up with the screaming for a while. He screams, you pick him up - don't. Put his toys and food on various platforms around the room, some close to the cage others further apart. Alter the cage set up so he can't climb down to the ground, mount the bottom of the cage on a metal pole. Basically give him no option but to fly.
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Old 14-03-2017, 04:52 AM
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Take what the others are saying and use it to your advantage. It's great advice! Even if he can fly its worth a shot!

As for the exercise, it shouldn't be too hard to provide. Just like birds with clipped wings, you can always just do the "unstable perch" move and "drop" your hand with him on it, so suddenly lower it at a not to fast not to slow speed. This will make him flap his wings and maybe even take flight. This is what I do with my cockatiel sometimes- even though he is flighted and will fly around for a full minute if he wants to. You can also try "throwing" him off your finger by giving it a sudden jerk forward, making him loose his balance, fall off your finger and fly forward. Otherwise he could just refuse to fly and fall to the ground, so do it 1-2 feet off the ground to start?

Haven't dealt with this kind of thing personally but those ways get my bird to fly.
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