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I've lived with Peachfront Conures Aratinga aurea for 30 years. I've bred 'em, trained 'em, even visited Bolivia to observe them in the wild. For more about me, click right here.

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10:49 a.m. 2012-06-23

a free-flight tip

From my February 1989 article in BIRD TALK called "Free-Flight Time:"

It's a wonderful feeling when a beautiful bird flies to your shoulder, but it's also a responsibility. Get into the habit of checking for possible hazards in your home before you release your bird, so you can enjoy the miracle of flight without regret.

I did a lot of free-flight with my first Peachfront Conure, the amazing Arthur. He was a rather indolent little bird, so I liked to encourage him to fly from his cage or playpen to my shoulder. He would protest by hanging from the side of the cage and flapping his wings pathetically, while still gripping the cage bars for dear life so he wouldn't accidentally take off. Like I couldn't figure out that he could fly? I would just giggle and continue to respectfully request that he fly to my shoulder. He'd break down and do so eventually. The lure of being physically close to me was too much to resist.

However, you need to know your Peachfront very well and you need to have a secure, bird-proof home where people are not coming and going constantly. If one kid can leave the wrong door open, or if someone can stroll in from the outside at the wrong moment, leaving a path clear to the great outdoors, you could lose your precious Peachfront.

So, for the most part, since Peachfronts do love to exercise by climbing (and they do love to try to evade exercising at all), I generally advise people to clip those wings. If you choose not to clip, YOU are the only person responsible for the safety of your pet.

Key suggestion from the same article:

Lock all doors and windows from the inside. If people with keys are outside the house, put up the latch or chain so that they will have to ring the doorbell to get inside.

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