Q & A: Clipping wings

Q: Should I trim my bird’s wings to prevent him from flying away?

A: There is no simple answer to this question. If you are in a situation where your bird can safely fly around, then this is first prize.

Birds are meant to fly.

Flight is excellent exercise and is also good for confidence building, and important for the psychological wellbeing of the bird.

Many people however just do not have this type of safe environment, in which case clipping the bird’s feathers is necessary to avoid accidents and escapes while still allowing them to spend time outside their cages, with their human families.

It is critically important that the wing trim be done in the least traumatic manner, by an experienced person.

Clipping the incorrect feathers may give a false sense of security while still allowing the bird to fly. Clipping too many feathers will cause the bird to fall heavily instead of being able to glide safely to the ground. This can cause severe injuries as well as negatively affecting the bird’s confidence.

Dr Dorianne Elliott, veterinarian


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