Photo by Chris Biro Location: Moab, UT Parrots Pictured: Shamrock Macaw "Buckle" and Blue Throated Macaw "Gleam"
I recently found out through an avian vet that a free flighted bird who flies outside should not have its nails clipped due to being able to grasp its landing spots more securely outside. That doesn't mean I want my birds landing in trees or on rocks... but means if they need to that they will make a firm landing.
So, my hands and arms have been covered in scratches and I feel like I'm training an eagle as I look down into my cute macaw's face yet cringe from his nails digging into my arm for a firmer grasp.
I added sandy perches to the high points of my parrot's (namely my macaws) cages. This way, they aren't walking around on the sandy perches all day creating foot sores but they are sleeping on them and filing them down a bit themselves so I don't feel the need to use a glove just to hand feed. And yet, it doesn't file them down so much that they are the direct equivalent of clipping them but does the job for me personally to be able to handle them for more than a few seconds.
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.