Rainbow Lorikeet - Wing clip?

by Ros Stiles
(Adelaide South)

Hi, My problem is similiar to "Sheri's" 2008. My bird is about 11 months old. She is a Rainbow lorikeet called Swiz - she/he has obsessessed over me and loved me to bits for months. Her situation is open range of the house and she used to be able to go into the backyard and play on her tree. She had her wing clipped so she could fly a little bit. She would fly to the back door and come inside through the pet flap when she was ready and we would always be around keeping an eye on her.

One day I was gardening and she discovered she could fly further from behind a shed in the back yard around to the back door. But once she made a mistake and almost got over the high fence.
I thought I was doing her a service by trying to trim her wing just a little bit so she couldn't get lost and eaten.

We are building a very large aviary for her day time pleasure and don't want her to stop flying completely. Cant let her go cos we've had her from a week old and she thinks dogs are for cleaning their teeth. would not survive in a world where she is not the boss. Later she made an escape attempt and climbed a very large tree and flew down 1.5 hours later when my partner came home. Wouldn't come near me.

We have added insult to injury by not taking her outside any more. She used to go out to her tree for half an hour in the mornings and for about an hour in the evening. But now she tries to climb up over the shade cloth area which covers her tree to a very high tree - especially if she can hear other lorikeets.

She will only come to me as a flight station and tries to play with me all the time to chase her but will not settle on me and acts as if I am a cat. 2 weeks ago - She kept trying to get me to chase her and play fight. I let her start the game and chased her cos she loved it but it has gone too far and she does not see me as Mum any more.
There is virtually no love there and I am heart broken. Help???

I'm not even sure if clipping her wings again would help?? I've been told that she will just learn how to fly again.

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Dec 05, 2012
Update
by: Ros Stiles

Hi, I just found my old posts. We have transitioned from having two lorikeets - to 17 rescues and now down to three (including Swiz) that are kept. We released 14 earlier this year, 5 return every day - two of them hatched two in our open aviary and they climb all over me, let me lift them up and blow on their tummy and they give me little kisses.

Swiz never dd like the aviary. She remains lightly clipped. Swiz wanders outside at will when we are home. She usually has an evening burst of tree and aviary climbing.

I have never chased another bird in play.

Thanks for all your previous kind advice.

Feb 12, 2012
My Lorikeet
by: Anonymous

After my son surrendered looking after his adorable bird mum has taken over.I must admitt the joy he has given my family and all our friends I have taught him all our names he knows us one by one .calls for us as soon as he hears us home. Tells me he loves mum.and the list goes on.Unbelievable,never thought a bird could be this intelligent.Im hooked on him,Our friend bought there dog over they where playing chasey together im only sorry i never filmed it,but ill do it again.Put him back in his cage and was feeding the dog water.
Thats my bragging,

Janice

Aug 13, 2009
Swiz is slowly coming around
by: Ros

Thanks for your advise. The birds are moulting at the moment but I will have their wings clipped when they're finished. The new bird "Mack" has reverted to being wild and will not let us near him. He flys around the house quite well for an injured bird. He came from "Fauna Rescue" which is a south australian fauna rescue group we have recently joined.
Swiz is coming around very slowly. She is happily perched on my shoulder at the moment. If we are active she will come up to us to hang off of our sleeves or sit on our head or shoulders to join in. She still likes to be spoon fed twice a day. But she is still scared of my outreached hand and will run away if I hold my hand out for her. She is often happy to jump on me if I offer a shoulder instead. Funnily enough she still gives me kisses and tries (unsuccessfully) to stick her toungue in my mouth. Birds are very fickle indeed. She will play with her new friend and they will follow each other all over the house at times. At other times she wont go any where near Mack and just hangs out in her play gym/cage by herself.
Ros

Jul 27, 2009
Bird Chase
by: Ros

Thanks Linda,

We have now got an additional lorrikeet from fauna rescue. This bird cannot fly much. In some ways it is tamer than Swiz. Swiz is still acting very strange with me and continually trying to initiate chasey. I am refusing however and she will still come to me for her morning spoon feed. It is heart breaking because she never left my side when I was home and now she hardly wants to be with me.
Swiz is slowly making friends with Mack - the new member of the family. Mack was a wild lorrikeet with an injured wing that has been rescued. Thanks for the advise on the wing clipping. I think she is still moulting at the moment but will take her to the vet soon.
Ros

Jul 27, 2009
Clip the Wings
by: Linda

First of all, birds already know how to fly, they don't relearn how to fly. Have the PRIMARY FLIGHT FEATHER ONLY CLIPPED ON BOTH WINGS. This allows birds to glide gently down to the ground or floor without being hurt. When only one wing is clipped, they are constantly off balance whether trying to fly or just sitting on a branch or perch.

Birds molt twice a year, once at the end of summer and again after winter, beginning of spring, so the primaries would need to be trimmed twice a year. Always wait until molt is completed as this can take a month to complete. You must wait until all feathers are in on the wings so you are sure there are no blood feathers. I'd have vet show you how to do this, and explain about blood feathers, so you don't make a mistake that can cost your bird's life.

Don't ever play "chase" with birds, as while you are thinking this is a game, it is NOT a game for your bird. Like any other wild animals, birds may try and engage a human in a game of chase, but soon as the game is in earnest, they become frightened. Birds are wild prey animals in that they are not domesticated and will behave as wild ones do. Wolf hybrid dogs do the same thing. They tease you to chase them, and then when you do, they start to get nervous, and next they can become dangerous. It does not mean a wolf hybrid dog is BAD as I've raised two of the best dogs I've ever had, and they were hybrids. What it means is that they are wild at heart like the parrots, and will behave unpredictably depending on the stimulus.

So, though you thought you were playing, your bird now sees you as a possible predator, so no more chasing and let things get back to you again being the Mum and the bird the bird friend. It will take a while for her to trust again, so don't push it, and don't chase her again. Always let them come to you even if they have gotten themselves into a predicament like going too far from their normal range. If you will have the primary wing feathers clipped on both sides, she will not get much "lift" and will mostly glide down to the ground. Also make sure there is nothing on the ground to hurt her when she does come down.

It is a pleasure talking with you, and keep us informed as to how this all works out.

Linda

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