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The Great Crane Escape or “Should I Trim My Bird’s Flight Feathers?” – Part 2

Sarus CraneIn Part 1 of this article I mentioned some general considerations regarding the trimming of flight feathers, and then launched into a story about a huge Saurus Crane (Grus antigone) that, while under my care at the Bronx Zoo, launched itself into the air and went sailing out over the South Bronx (its previously trimmed flight feathers had grown back in with astonishing rapidity).  I continue with the story here….

Brave Young Bird Keeper to the Rescue

Amazingly, while I was out searching for the nearly 6-foot-tall Saurus Crane, a 13-year-old boy of slight stature showed up at the zoo with the huge bird in tow.  He had its rapier-like bill, which had sent one keeper to the hospital for stitches in the past, tucked beneath his arm, exactly as should be done with potentially dangerous birds.  Read More »

The Great Crane Escape, or “Should I Trim My Bird’s Flight Feathers”? – Part 1

The trimming of flight feathers is often touted as an important first step in training parrots and other birds, but the process has many other important implications that should not be overlooked.  Parrots, finches, softbills, quails – and, as you’ll see, Saurus Cranes – each present different considerations, as do your reasons for keeping the birds and the situations in which they are housed.

Age Considerations

It is true that, in general, birds with clipped wings are easier to work with and train than are those capable of flight.  This is the most common reason that owners trim flight feathers, and the fact that the feathers will grow back does seem to provide an “insurance policy” of sorts, in case all does not go as planned.  Read More »

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