Should you clip your sun conure’s wings?

my sun conure is well-behaved most of the timePeople often ask about wing clipping pet parrots and whether or not to do it. My sun conure Goldie does not have her wings clipped. She flies freely when she is out of the cage which is at least several hours a day. 

When she was around 2-years-old, she started flying around, back and forth, and high up in the air. I was really afraid she was going to hurt herself and she also seemed to be acting unruly, screaming, and having temper tantrums. So I decided to have her wings clipped. 

After it was done she was much more subdued. I used that time to teach her some manners. She ate meals at the table, learned her name, and became much sweeter and better behaved. 

After I felt she had learned enough I allowed her to fly. Now she knows her way around the house. She understands her limits and where she is supposed to go. She doesn’t fly around the house back and forth like she used to. She much prefers to be with me and sit on my shoulder. She does however know where her cage is and will fly to her cage when she has to potty. 

I don’t recommend unclipped wings on a parrot for most people however. It depends on the house set up and how well trained your parrot is. If you have people coming in and out of the house and tending to leave windows and doors open; it’s best to have the birds wings clipped. Also make sure that they cannot reach height when they jump because when my sun conure is startled for instance by a loud noise she will fly up. There are many stories of people thinking that the bird’s wings are clipped and that they cannot fly, but the bird can fly but just not very far. 

Take your conure to an avian vet to have its wings clipped the first time and get a check up if possible. Then start work on training. Potty train, step up, name training, play, and time out. Use positive reinforcement. Reward good behavior, use positive tones with the same simple phrases. NEVER punish by yelling, hitting, or in anyway reward bad behavior. Parrots love attention and sometimes even bad attention.   

Remember that sun conures are like tiny 2-year-old children in intelligence. They need limits, but also need interaction, love, and guidance.

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