Clipping a pet birds wings is a common grooming procedure and is necessary for training as well as for your pets safety. You might feel like you are being mean to the bird, but the fact is that it does not hurt the bird and can help to keep him from flying out of an open window or door and becoming lost. Most pet birds would not be able to survive in the wild, especially if your climate is not one that is natural for the bird.
You can clip your birds wings yourself at home, but it is best if you take him into the vet or pet shop and ask if they can show you the proper way to do it before trying it yourself!
Do not try to clip your birds wing until he is very tame and used to you holding him, otherwise the procedure will be very traumatic for you both. You need to make sure that your bird trusts you enough to hold him and open up his wings. Until your relationship has reached this stage, it is best to have this done by a professional.
Once your have your birds trust and are ready to clip the wings yourself, take your bird out of the cage and hold him for a while. You may need 2 people for this as it can be kind of awkward with only 2 hands. Spread the birds wing out and hold it out with one hand, have your scissors ready with the other hand.
You want to cut only the longest feathers – the one on the very bottom layer. Cut halfway up from the bottom of the wing in a line that is parallel to the wing. Some people leave the very last feather intact so when the birds wings are folded in, you can’t really tell that they are clipped.
This should be a quick and painless procedure. After you have clipped his wing, your bird will still be able to fly, but not for any distance. When he does fly, he will most likely, have a downward motion to the flight, so if he starts off at a high spot, he’ll able to fly to a lower spot with no problem. Make sure that there are no other animals in the house that could hurt him if he lands on the table or floor as he may not be able to fly away from them to protect himself.