I’ve read that 30% of flying is done for fun with regards to parrots. I’ve also watched numerous hours of video footage of parrots in their natural environment in the wild, as well as flown my own to see that this is true. I’ve even witnessed predatory birds make this fact true. While in Key Largo on vacation I visited the Theater of the Sea. I saw a show with sea lions as well as another with dolphins and got to see large amounts of parrots outside hanging out on trees and man-made perches. An older lady was their primary caretaker and her favorite of the flock was a Moluccan Cockatoo. I happened to nab some video footage of some of the various parrots out there for you to take a look at:
It was the first time I’d ever seen a Miligold Macaw before which is a hybrid macaw from a Military Macaw and a Blue and Gold Macaw. But what I asked this lady was, “Why don’t these parrots fly at all?” I was surprised to see them climbing down to the ground or to the bottom of one perch only to climb up another rather than fly from perch to perch easily. She went on to tell me that everything they needed was right there and they had no reason to fly. Their food was all provided and they chose who they wanted to hang out with on their perches so what else was there for them via flight? I wasn’t convinced at the time and now I know why – because 30% of flight is done out of fun! Birds will play with one another in mid-air.
I later realized all the parrots’ wings were clipped where the longer flight feathers still looked nice when closed onto the body but if you were to pull the wing out in its entirety you would see a large gap of missing/clipped feathers. This allows your parrot to look fully flighted without being so. They can still fly if they got spooked and the wind was at their aid – but at that point it’s too much work and too uncomfortable to fly for fun or to get from point A to point B.
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.