Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login

:iconmechanicalmasochist: More from mechanicalmasochist

Featured in Collections

Journals by TheBlackAngel07

Journals by Vampirkaetzchen

More from DeviantArt


Submitted on
January 11, 2013


28 (who?)
  • Mood: Regretful
  • Listening to: GANGNAM STYLE
  • Reading: Bioshock: Rapture
  • Watching: Transformers: Prime
  • Playing: PERSONA 3 i swear
  • Eating: my brains out
  • Drinking: lighter fuild
Okay I don't know why but everytime I see someone with a clipped bird heck even a picture of one I get really mad or upset and really want to try and reason with the owner about it

and I know I should calm down about that as its not my right to say but its just, I cant help it.

I find it even worse when I see photo's of the same bird with full primaries and  then newer images with it clipped I just really feel people aren't taking into consideration the birds needs and only their own.

though I guess looking up the effects of wing clipping lately probably hasn't helped

(as it turns out to no surprise wing clipping as a psychological effect on the bird causing them to be more fearful of  things passing over their head and an extreme fear of falling which obviously would not occur in a flighted bird)

I just feel people aren't doing their research on how it effects their birds mental health which is very important!

yeah i knwo I've ranted about this before but I just needed to rant again to stop myself  sending messages and  and stuff.

(they wouldn't be mean messages but i knwo people get very offended if you tell them what they re doing is not in the best interest of their bird. as people who clip their birds do love them but usually don't see the problem because they are used to how a clipped bird behaves and thus consider any possible symptoms normal.)


reposting my longer rant here so I can stop repeating myself in the comments:

As promised here is my full blowing rant on my opinion on wing clipping and the reasons why I am thoroughly against it, though i am not the best writer i do have a lot of experience with birds including having owned them for several years, having family members who have been hobbyist breeders, having experience working with birds of prey as voluntary staff and finally having completed a course in animal care in which I created  a research paper on the effects wing clipping has on a bird:

though wing clipping may seem like a good idea to prevent a bird escaping
it is known that clipped birds , if they get out side and panic  can easily get lift if their is any wind and be blown away.

Now a clipped bird has no chance of survival while a flighted bird does.
in fact it is much easier to recover a flighted bird.

one example would be the time my grandad walked outside with one of our budgies on his shoulder, a simple mistake and the bird flew off panicked and landed in a nearby tree.

my grandma immediately went outside and hung its cage on the washing line, the bird seeing it home flew straight back in

I have also learned that training your bird to fly to you can actually allow you to recall it if it ever escapes outside and actually training your bird to become free flighted (but still keeping it indoors and not free flying it just teaching it how to) will make losing your bird  very unlikely  as you will be able to recall it and it will be strong enough and familiar enough with open spaces to be recalled (people will often use a large room in their house or a gym to train free flying)

it also should be mentioned that a clipped bird is susceptible to just as many dangers such as falling from something if startled and injuring itself.

getting stepped on or having something fall on it.

or being caught by another family pet.

now aside from the physical effects the mental effects should be taken very seriously;

catching a bird to clip it causes a great deal of stress and as we know less hardy birds can die from this now because wing clipping has to be done  more than once  (in fact throughout the bird's life) this means you are causing stress for the bird  a lot more than possibly is necessary.

the mental side effects also have a negative effect  and more so on a bird that was previously flighted.

as this bird will try to fly and then suddenly find t can't now because flying is a bird's main method locomotion it itself will feel vulnerable and will be well aware that it is disabled.

I've been told a just clipped bird will often sit preen its wings for hours trying o correct the problem  it is having and often this can lead to the bird becoming an obsessive preener which can cause feather damage.

the bird will also feel a lot less confident in itself and as a result will be a lot more wary of objects passing over it  or being near the edge of something.

this of course is not normal for an animal which should have no fear of heights and unnatural for the animal

in extreme cases birds can become depressed (this is most common with birds that have previously been flighted for a long time or live with flighted birds) and begin feather plucking, lashing out at toys and fingers and screaming.

finally wing clipping has a negative effect on the respiratory system as  a bird's lungs are built for flying (they contain many air sacs and every  thing in their body from bone structure to organs to their feathery outsides has been designed for flight)  if they are not allowed to fly their respiratory system does not reach its full capacity and thus they end up with weaker a weaker one.
though this may seem not like much of an issue sine the bird has no need to fly it does mean that if a bird does get in a panic of flutter it will get out of breath quicker (making stress in to an issue again) it will also mean your bird will be more susceptible to respiratory infections which are often a big problem among birds and can result in death if untreated.

it should also be noted that the lack of flight also means your bird does not get as much stimuli as it would naturally if flighted
this means your bird cannot excessive itself properly and can result in a bird which is very lazy and risks becoming overweight or obese.

which in such a small animal can be a major problem.

So in my opinion wing clipping really is not a fair option to the bird  and when owning a pet I believe the owner should be most concerned with the mental and physical well being of their pet and not on the convenience of their pet.

there are many other option other than wing clipping such as simply shutting a door and placing a sign on it to let people know when your bird it out, placing beaded curtains in front of your door will also help prevent a bird escaping so there are many options to explore before reaching clipping.

finally I will leave with a rhetorical question:

If you had a dog that ran to escape out your front door every time you answered it;

would you consider crippling your dog so it couldn't run out the door?

or would you buy a baby gate or perhaps lock the dog away when you had to open the front door instead?

this is a question my mother told me after I first mentioned wing clipping to her after finding out it was commonplace overseas, her opinion I believe she makes quite clear.…
Add a Comment:
froggyribbit Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014   Digital Artist
i'm not sure what side I am on, but don't you have to reassure and calm you're bird before and after the wing clipping? I've seen plenty of birds with clipped wings that are very happy. Also if you have a bird you really shouldn't have any cats/dogs that can become a threat nor should you be unaware when the bird is walking around. A good bird owner knows where their bird is at all times. Crippling a dog is not like clipping a bird. Clipping a bird is painless, and they can still move while crippling a dog is just......plain wrong. At the same time, my bird's wings are not clipped mainly because she won't let me (she's untamed :P)
mechanicalmasochist Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
well its no different to declawing a cat or docking the ears/tail of a dog,
your changing the animal , altering it, to make your life easier, it does not benefit the animal and wing clipping can result in obesity in birds and high pent up energy, to be honest people owning birds in general is a problem as most people get them because they look 'pretty' or they want a pet that 'talks and sings'

In reality these birds often end up spending their whole life in a cage with no human interaction or bonding even attempted, or they end up being kept while they are young and tossed aside once they reach 4 years of age and become a problem (birds tend to start throwing fits and biting at this stage because of hormones and the stress to find a companion)

clipping a bird is painless physically
but a bird will know it can't fly if it once did, and like I said they end up more stressed because they cant  excersize and get rid of all that energy, birds dont walk everywhere it isn't their natural way of moving, and clipped birds can and do, fall off of things, damage their wings when flapping/trying to strengthen flight muscles so they can fly.

birds will also obsessively groom clipped wings 'trying to fix' the feathers because they dont understand why they are missing part of their wing and why they cant fly anymore.

clipping doesn't even solve any problems it just creates new ones and the only benefit is that the owner can place the bird on a shoulder or perch and the bird cant do what it pleases and fly off that place.

to me its unnecessary because you don't need to own a bird in the first place.

though as of current im against buying birds as pets as too many birds end up in shelters in need of homes because people don't know how to deal with them, I'm much more on th adoption side now .

personally I think: if you don't have a room for a bird in its natural state , if you dont have the capacity to shut doors every time you let the bird out, cover windows or buy net curtains, if you cant and don't want to put that effort in
then you shouldn't own a bird.

it should also be noted that most people who own birds dont really view the bird as anything more than a small pretty pet, and the damage happens here with clipping as bad clips can permanently damage wings.

too me it seems like the US has a huge thing for altering pets to make them easier to deal with (like declawing/debarking and wing clipping) or look more pleasing (docking tails/ears) stuff taht is either rare here (none of our pet shop birds are ever clipped but some people do clip here in the UK though I've never met any at the numerous bird places I've been) or against the law (declawing/debarking/docking are all against the law here unless for medical reasons as well as live feeding which is also a problem in the US)

it just seems the US likes the idea of pets as things you can do with what you please rather than living things but its very ingrained in society it seems...

though if people want o clip their birds I cant do anything about it so its what it is...

getting back on topic though

if you own a single bird you should really try working on taming it, there's lots of ways to do so  though taming a bird can take anywhere from a month to a year depending on age , the bird will be lonely if it cant interact with anyone or thing.

I did a diary of when I was raising my bird,he was bought as a young flighted bird from an aviary with no human intervention but she is now tame:…

it might be able to help you out though if your bird is older it'll take a lot longer but I do urge that you give it a try though your bird will probably freak at first its better than being alone forever!
froggyribbit Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014   Digital Artist
Okay, thanks for clearing things up and I completely agree with the whole altering the pet's appearence. Tail docking/ ear clipping is just messed up. Here in California we have lots of pets that are illegal to own (possums, hedgehogs, etc.) Overcrowding shelters are becoming a problem and it's just really sad to see old pets getting thrown away just because they "aren't cute anymore".
KIRSCHTElN Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013  Student

My friends' bought their birds with clipped wings, but let them grow back, seeing that they have cats.
SO if a cat were to try and attack, the bird could at least have a fighting chance.
The also rescued a poor red shouldered macaw. His wings were clipped rEALLY short. He's very skittish, and will strike out at alot of people. He's also very easily stressed, and pulls his feathers. Poor thing, he's a very pretty bird.
iSnowOnAsh Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
my conure's wings were clipped when I gave him away, he had his wings clipped years ago around when I first got him and I didn't want them clipped again
she said they had moved into a new house and were worried he'd fly into the windows as it was hard to block them off (they're a bird only home, their birds are out with them like all day) so though I am against clipping, I was fine with it because they really have made him so happy... I was told he let them just stretch his wings out to clip (he never flew around much anyway, to be honest. He preferred to walk... No idea why) and he's just been so happy since he arrived at his new home; he's got two other conures, one of which he has bonded to and no longer bites or screams; they've done better than I could with him
I would have rather his wings not clipped
but I suppose it didn't seem to make a difference to him- he never used them anyway (honestly was kinda sad, I wanted to teach him to fly to me)

My lorikeet had his wings clipped too (notmychoice) and his are growing out, I don't think he'll ever be much of a flier either, I'm assuring it's because they think they cant fly - ever. After their wings are clipped

... If I said something stupid excuse me I feel. Weird? xD Today.
gingertail98 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So I only just saw this now, but this was a topic I never had a super strong opinion on. We always had birds when I was growing up, and it is only as of recent that we do not have any. We always had cockatiels, and the last one we decided we were going to have was one my mom got for her birthday. We named him Smokey, and my dad had retrieved him from an exotic bird rescue, and we learnt couldn't fly. At all. But he was a lovely tiel who always wanted to sit on my mom's shoulder, and when I grew older he would love to crawl up and down my arm. When he was about 17 (So I was nine) My dad, who was a social worker, was coming back from a daycare heard an awful squawking, and a male yellow cockatiel swooped down from a tree and perched itself happily on his shoulder. He was missing half of three of his toes, but seemed quite happy otherwise. We tried to find his owners, but no one ever claimed him. So, we took him in and named him Hamish. Hamish and Smokey got on fabulously and loved each other. We never clipped Hamish's wings, because we found he never wanted to leave Smokey's side, and if Smokey couldn't fly, Hamish wouldn't either. He tried a few times, flying in circles, then returning to wherever Smokey had climbed up to perch. It was really quite sweet. However, due to having his wings not being clipped, Hamish had obviously gotten out and flown quite a distance from his original home (and we had put out many ads and contacted many shelters to find his original owner) and was probably a well cared for, according to our vet. When Smokey passed away (At the age of 24 I might add!) Hamish became very depressed, and we decided to do what was best for him (As we could not financially take on another pet at the time) and rehomed him to a good friend who had a female tiel around the same age as Hamish's estimated age. She never clipped Hamish or her other tiel's wings either.

However, my grandmother has an African Grey Parrot called Peek-a-Boo (Peekie). She's been clipping his wings for years, and he hates it. He knows when she's going to do it and will start screaming and flapping his wings, and I hate being over there when they're doing it because he sounds so distressed. However, she used to never clip his wings, until he became to smart for his own good, and learnt how to open his cage and the sliding screen window and would fly away in the summer (Thank god someone found him every time) And instead of getting a new cage/finding a different solution she opted to clip his wings, and I'm not sure I quite agree with that? It's obvious it terrifies him. I can hear him from another room and it sounds like someone is torturing him, and for the next week he'll flop around miserably on the floor.

Really I guess all I'm saying is I personally don't agree with wing clipping, as we never had to with the many cockatiels we owned, but I can understand why some people might, I could just never do it.
Silenced-Dreams Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This journal is so full of misinformation and anthropomorphisation it's rediculous. Now I'm gonna talk specifically about psittacines here as they are all I have experience with, so here goes.

1. CLIPPING WINGS IS NOTHING LIKE DECLAWING CATS OR DEBARKING DOGS. It is no more traumatising than trimming your nails or cutting your hair. You are clipping FEATHERS which are DEAD STRUCTURES and have NO NERVES. The bird feels nothing and will grow in new feathers once it goes through a moult. Unless your bird has a condition affecting feather growth, they will grow back in JUST FINE.

The only comparison I can physically see between clipping and declawing is if you're talking about PINIONING a bird, where you remove the "hand" of the wing to take away the need to interfere with the bird at all. Pinioning is only performed on birds such as waterfowl in exotic collections to prevent the birds escaping and becoming an invasive species. In the UK it can only be performed by a vet, at a certain age and only on birds in collections and not in farmyards.

2. IT WILL NOT MENTALLY SCAR YOUR BIRD. Most clippings are not severe enough to cause the bird to plummet like a stone. They will still be able to flop to the floor. It won't be pretty, but it won't do them any harm. Parrots are also natural climbers so they spend MUCH MORE TIME CLIMBING THAN THEY DO FLYING. Providing your parrots with toys and things to shred/play with will keep them plenty happy. If your bird is mentally damaged in any way, it's because of poor conditions rather than lack of flight feathers. A healthy, happy bird doesn't need to be fully flighted at all. In fact I know of plenty of clipped birds who could care less and will actually HOLD THEIR WINGS OUT TO BE CLIPPED.

This being said, clipping is a personal decision so if you don't want to, you don't have to, but I STRONGLY SUGGEST YOU TEACH YOUR BIRDS RECALL TRAINING OR YOU USE A FLIGHT HARNESS. That way if they ever do get out you can call them back to you with minimal problems. As for birds being better able to defend themselves in the wild, you shouldn't be thinking about them getting away, let alone giving them the opportunity to starve to death. IT IS YOUR JOB AS A BIRD OWNER TO MAKE SURE YOUR BABIES ARE SAFE AS POSSIBLE. If clipping their wings will do it, then so be it.

The only exception to this rule I can think of is aviary birds, but they're not companion birds so they can deal with being outdoors in their aviary without much human interaction.

3. IT DOES NOT LEAVE THEM VULNERABLE IN YOUR HOME. If you're worried about stepping on your bird whilst it's out, you're not a good bird owner. If you're worried about other animals hurting your bird whilst it's out, you're not a good bird owner. IF YOU HAVE YOUR BIRD OUT, IT SHOULD BE SUPERVISED AT ALL TIMES. If you're introducing it to other pets, SUPERVISE IT, otherwise LEAVE YOUR OTHER PETS OUT OF THE ROOM WHEN YOU HAVE YOUR BIRD OUT.

Being so unobservant as to actually NOT know where your bird is can be fatal, clipped or not. If you're dumb enough to step on it then you're dumb enough to have it fly into a ceiling fan or a window or get underfoot and stood on anyway.

Birds are prone to spooking, no matter how careful you are or how safe their environment is. Anything can cause it. Cockatiels especially are prone to night-frights, where they are in danger of hurting themselves. I have known of so many flighted birds flying into windows, walls, screens, etc. NOMATTER HOW WELL YOUR BIRD KNOWS YOUR HOME, IF IT GETS SPOOKED IT WILL INEVITABLY LAUNCH ITSELF INTO THE AIR REGARDLESS AND ACCIDENTALLY KILL ITSELF.

It also prevents the likely-hood of them zipping out an accidentally open window or door when spooked.

I'm sorry if this is a bit harsh but you're putting too much personal bias and humanising birds far too much for me to take this journal and almost all of the comments with any ounce of seriousness. You are spreading a LOT of misinformation. Misinformation that is potentially downright DANGEROUS to companion birds.

Like I said, you don't have to clip your bird's wings. My girlfriend has raised several large parrots and currently owns a few, a macaw and two cockatoos. All of them are flighted. But she is a responsible bird owner who knows what she's doing, and knows what they need and how they need it. You have to know your bird and your environment and how they work together before you even get a bird, let alone consider clipping it.
mechanicalmasochist Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
it is also wrong to inform people they need to clip their birds wings just as much as it is to tell them they shouldn't

I would also like to point out that you should have a 'bird proof' room if keeping a bird anyway

I have owned bird's all my life they have all been flighted and I have never lost a bird due to this.

your argument for saying a wing clipping is not like declawing because it is not painful or permanent overlooks my point of the comparison, which was to compare how the animal is aware it is unable to do something it once did and this in turn can effect a bird.

I agree with your last statement but however clipping a bird does bring up as many risks on injury as an unclipped bird,

my referral to a clipped bird getting stepped on was to refer to having guests over, which I am aware having a clumsy guest come through a door and almost step on your bird is also the same as having a clumsy guest come through the door and give your bird a chance to fly away.

I would continue to provide more points but however i have grown rather tired of replying the same things over and over, thus instead I will post some links which provide some insight:


It should be mentioned that I did post this journal in a fit of rage as i was angry at people claiming not clipping as cruel and other false calls, more so after reading about birds going missing after being taken outside despite being clipped.

I actually should have mentioned I am very specific about clipping and this journal was aimed at smaller birds such as tiels and budgies and not large parrots, I am also okay with one type of clip which is the 'managed flight' clip

I was actually about to update this journal and remove it from my main page as I am tired of the same heated debate
brokenthroat Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013
so i've been listening to more arguments on the subject and two particular conversations from one person have interested me. to be honest, they seem to make sense.

mechanicalmasochist Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
fair enough but
I would like to point out that they said most breeders clip their birds
while like I've mentioned in the UK they don't and it is generally seen as more of a taboo here

As for birds being depressed, perhaps depressed was'nt the right word for me to use but it is known that clipped birds get bored more easily and tend to be less active than a flighted bird

I do believe this article was the one that made me bring it up in the first place:


there is just one thing that confuses me with wing clipping

and that is people say it is to stop their bird flying in to windows or out of the house or in to a fan or in to a frying pan etc'

But what I never understand is our are these opportunities arising?
for example my bird simply isn't allowed in the kitchen or anywhere near where the front door is, she is only allowed out when I am in the room and I have a net curtain up at my window so there is no worry for flying in to it.

people say the biggest worry is a bird flying away but if your bird is kept in a room away from the front door then why would this ever occur?

the person also argue that it is not like declawing yet a beg to differ apart from it being permanent in cats wing clipping isn't exactly like cutting hair as the big difference is birds use their wings to get around so they are going to notice.

further more awe know as a fact a bird clipped too young that has not learned to fly will suffer in confidence this isn't an anthropomorphism but a fact well known which is why most bird vets wont clip a bird till it has learned to fly , most breeders too, so an effect does occur.

Then again I will say most of the animal laws and general cares methods preformed in America I disagree with as a lot of it is questionable common practice here in the UK

I suppose its different countries different methods in the end.

though I can say this person's choice of calling me misinformed is quite insulting considering I have completed two years in animal management of exotic animals ad passed with distinction level-I like to believe that means I have some knowledge on the subject,
I feel their few is rather cold and more distant from the animal's needs as despite them saying my argument was too anthromorphized I believe from what I have learned that approaching animals as more emotionless creatures which do not know of changes to themselves and do not suffer emotional is wrong

but tahtw ould be a completely different argument alltogether

Add a Comment: