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Filing & Clipping

In a similar style to Oz, my feathered friend, my partner has decided that she would also like to have a pet bird. As she lives in an apartment block, we've had to do a lot research to find the ideal variety. She wanted something that was extremely colourful with a good personality, but nothing that was noisy.

This pretty much rules out lovebirds, cockatiels, sun conures and many larger parrots - a macaw, apart from the obvious financial implications would have the neighbours complaining in no time.

During the course of our research, we stumbled upon many different varieties of parrot, which naturally leads on to investigating the recommendations for their care/diet/etc. I can't believe so many people advocate the filing down of a parrots beak, or the clipping of their wings. It's just plain wrong.

Parrots fly and nibble things. That's how you know it's a bird. It's part of their personality. To stop a bird from flying through wing-clipping is like removing three toes from each foot to stop a human from running. Just the mere discussion/suggestion of the subject is enough to get my blood-pressure rising.

And don't even get me started on filing beaks. Give your bird a good diet and something to chew on and this won't be an issue.

I've read all sorts of rationale for these activities:

1) Behavioural - Wing-clipping eases training and reduces aggression. Maybe this is true, but in effect you've broken the birds spirit to get it to do what you want. Hardly positive enforcement, is it?

2) Safety - Stops them from flying away or into things that are dangerous. The reverse of this is also true. If the bird can only fly down, it can't fly away to escape a predator or escape something else that's dangerous. It also suggests that the location of the bird's cage is not entirely in the safest of places.

It seems that people can justify mutilating their animal for conveniences sake. Grrr.

Anyway, my better-half has now purchased a peach-fronted conure (sometimes called a petz conure) - there's a picture of the little chap below. I've never known a bird so cheeky and relaxed, even during the car journey on the way home. She's undecided on his name as yet. I'm sure something will come to mind. Oh, and the ruffled feathers are from him being damp after a shower.

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