Tinkerbell shanlung's Tinkerbell photoset
From: shan lung <shanlung9@y

From:  shan lung <shanlung9@y...>
Date:  Mon Feb 16, 2004  

Subject:  Period of fledging before clipping.



I am glad I asked around before getting back to you.
It is so easy to be mesmerised by your own 'answer'
that you forgot what you have seen yourself.

I was going to say 2 weeks from the time your fid
first fledged. Using my own experience from
Tinkerbell, the first 3-4 days of her fledging flight
were nightmarish to me. That was because I did not
prepare sufficiently for that and had not know of
groups like freeflight.

Early flight is difficult for fid. Tink could fly
only in straight line and meet the wall in heart
rending crash, so much so I nearly took up a pair of
scissors while I ran around with a pillow trying to
soften her fall. I suspect many people took fright at
those first flights and clipped the wings there and
then. I so nearly did myself.

But by the third day, Tinkerbell managed well enough
to make clumsy landings. And by end of 2nd week, flew
quite well from my perspective at that time.

With my renowned hindsight, I would have prepared for
fledgling flight with drapes around the room so the
fid can have adequate footholds to avoid crashing to
ground. Or fly the fid in an aviary so they can cling
on the mesh and otherwise have enough perches to land

Dean Moser, a breeder of Eclectus, felt it is
important that they fly past their own volitional
flight, flight they made of own accord. He felt
clipping them before volitional flight may hinder them
possibly for ever any volitional flight. He clips his
babies at 5 months prior to sending them to their new
homes (only for those who demand them clipped).

Chris Biro and guru emeritus of Freeflight


"the bird should be fully weaned and probably at least
6 months to 1 year old or older if possible. Their
personality needs to have some
time to "form and begin to solidify" - I know, not
very scientific
terminology here <grin>."

Rex added "My take on it is that learning flight
skills is very non-linear; just
after fledging, every day brings noticeable
improvement, but later
improvements are much more gradual."

The addition of Rex kicked in a very recent
developement of Tinkerbell that I otherwise will not
have noticed and added here.

Tink have been flying about 1 year 9 months now and
you have read of the gradual flying skills that she
showed and I thought like Rex, improvements will be
more gradual as she was already flying very well. The
last three nights showed a further change. She flew
at full speed towards the wall, then abruptly turned
on the proverbial dime to a new direction. She did
that consistently so I have to disagree with Rex as
Tink demonstrated breath taking improvemment in
agility even though I did not expect it and it wasn't

Back to your question, and as you may have clients
breathing down your neck and your cannot afford to
wait one year and nine months, I do believe that if
your babes are weaned and 2 weeks past volitional
flight, clipping them then prior to sending them to
new homes is far better than not letting them fledge
at all. Best is to keep them to 6 months as advised
by Chris. But by letting them fledge and fly, you
will still be doing far better than breeders who may
not even let them fledge at all.

When I was in Wellington, I saw Dino,a free flying
Alexandrine kept by Jennifer Randell and her lovely
daughter Shannen. Proud as I am of Tinkerbell, the
flight of Dino was breathtaking in grace and beauty.
It brought to mind the swimming and leaping of
dolphins as Dino flew down the corridor between the
living room and her room. Dino's grace and beauty was
in contrast to the raw power and agility of
Tinkerbell, like comparing a ballerina to Mike Tyson.

Dino's heart was clearly with Jen though she came to
the bribes offered by me and my wife.

Do have fun with your Alexandrines.

With warmest regards

Joy - wife, Tinkerbell - CAG & surrogate daughter

earlier emails and photo links on Tink -