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Fledging/Fledgling

Fledging is the period of development prior to weaning where a fledgling (a young bird) is learning to fly.

DEFINITION OF FLEDGING/FLEDGLING

Prior to weaning and becoming food independent, young birds need to build up their stamina and learn to control their flight. This period of development is called fledging, and the youngsters are called fledglings. Contrary to public opinion, all birds (exempting nonflighted birds like ostrich, rheas, kiwis, etc.) are born knowing how to fly. What they do not appear to know is how to master the intricacies of flight, such as split-second decision-making and hairpin turning, obstacle avoidance and safe landing. Ages for normal fledging vary from species to species.

CAUSES OF FLEDGING/FLEDGLING

This is a normal developmental period for young companion birds, and aviculturists are encouraged to allow normal fledging even if a bird’s wing feathers will later be trimmed. Having the ability to control one’s flight is a prime survival tool, and having that skill enables parrots to attain a higher level of self-confidence and safety.

WHAT TO DO

Humans need to keep fledglings safe in case they go crashing about. Covering windows and mirrors during initial stages can be useful, as well as providing multiple safe landing sites around the area. Other than trying to keep fledging birds from banging into, knocking over and breaking things, there is nothing else the human needs to do.

Disclaimer: BirdChannel.com’s Bird Behavior Index is intended for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the expertise and experience of a professional veterinarian. Do not use the information presented here to make decisions about your bird’s health if you suspect your pet is sick. If your pet is showing signs of illness or you notice changes in your bird’s behavior, take your pet to the nearest veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic as soon as possible.


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