There are basically two different sides to the pet parrot wing clipping controversy. The Clippers believe that any bird that is not wild should have its wings clipped. The Un-Clippers believe that clipping a birds wings is unnatural and should not be done. They both have very valid points that leave some people confused about whether or not they should clip their bird’s wings.
The Clippers argue that a captive bird needs to have their wings clipped for safety reasons. While a captive bird is considered a wild animal, they are not accustomed to the wild and therefore cannot survive as a wild bird. Clipping a birds wings helps to prevent a captive bird from escaping, getting lost, and hurt or killed. Some pet parrots are allowed to roam around free inside of its owner’s home. Clipping their wings prevents them from flying around the house, possibly injuring itself on walls, doorways, and other obstacles.
The Un-Clippers will tell you that clipping a birds wings is unnatural. It strips away the bird’s independence. Birds need the ability to fly in order to get exercise and mental stimulation. The parrot needs to be able to escape danger and flying is their main way to do that.
Working with rescued parrots, and being a multiple parrot owner myself, I can see both sides of the argument. I believe that a captive parrot should have its wings clipped for their own safety. They do not know how to survive in the wild and if they escape they can get lost and injured. At the same time, I do have one pet parrot who does not have his wings clipped. He has a deformity in his leg and talon which causes him to loose balance. The ability to fly has saved him from many potentially harming falls. We keep a very close eye on him when he is out of his cage and use a harness when he goes outside.
I guess what I am trying to get at is that the decision to clip your parrot’s wings is dependent upon the individual circumstance and should always be made with the consult of your avian vet. The most important thing to remember when making any decision is that your parrot’s safety must be the number one priority.