Photo by Dave Location: Moab, Utah Pictured: Galah "Bondi"
Today I went to move my small birds from their travel cages to their aviary. It isn't a long distance, maybe 60 feet... from the gravel to the grass. I opened the aviary door and left it that way, as it was empty, and I planned on getting two birds in at once to lessen the amount of trips I had to make.
I grabbed my grey parrot, Cressi, in one hand and my galah, Bondi, in the other. As I walked towards the aviary, holding both of my parrots' feet, Cressi spooked and tried to fly. Because I had her feet, she couldn't go anywhere and remained on my hand flapping. With all my attention diverted, I must have lessened my grip on Bondi because she spooked within seconds after and I felt my hand barely have a hold of one foot. Before I knew it, she was in the air circling around.
I rushed Cressi into the aviary and watched as Bondi flew around. I yelled for Dave, as I knew she would be more likely to be recovered with both of us there calling her. But he couldn't hear me, as he was inside the trailer with the radio on. First chance I got I swung the door open and yelled, "Get out!"
Photo by Dave Location: Moab, Utah Shown: Blue throat macaw "Jinx", Galah "Bandit", Camelot macaw "Comet"
Bondi was flying around with complete excitement now, and she was staying rather close. She came and landed on me but the wind took her a couple times in her landing attempts before she made it.
All I could say was... Thank God we trained our birds for outdoor freeflight. Otherwise that accident could have been the END of having Bondi.
Accidents are going to happen, there's no avoiding them, there's no being perfect as a bird owner. And today was the first real time I could turn and say, if we hadn't done that with our birds, we could have lost them. Today made it ALL worth it. Because I got my bird back, within seconds (even though it felt like forever watching her have the time of her life up there)
And even though our birds are trained for outdoor freeflight, an accident will still scare the hell out of you because you aren't prepared for it or planning for it to happen. I was just lucky it wasn't super windy out, to the point of being past Bondi's experience level. Most people aren't that lucky. So if you want to teach your bird freeflight, which I'm beginning to think EVERY bird owner should do no matter what their beliefs are after this experience... email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how much the freeflight course is and get started with your bird today.
Article by Jamieleigh Womach. She has been working with parrots and toucans since the age of 17. She isn’t homeless but is home less than she prefers to be. She travels the world with her husband, daughter, and a flockful of parrots whom she shares the stage with.