Does STAR promote wing-clipping?

“If a dog gets out of the yard and bites the postman,

we don’t cut off his legs. Instead we build a better fence.”

– Jim McKendry

STAR does not perform wing clipping on our adoptable birds.  We fully believe that every bird should be given the opportunity for flight, since it has massive benefits for both their mental and physical wellbeing.  That being said, we understand that the subject of wing clipping can be quite controversial and so we leave this decision up to our adopters.  Will we decline an applicant for clipping their birds’ wings?  No, but we would likely discourage them from applying to adopt a bird who has never been clipped or who is particularly skilled at flying.  There are plenty of birds who come to us having been clipped their whole lives and, sadly, never gained either the skills or muscle mass to take flight successfully.  We would likely consider one of these birds for a clipped home over that of a bird whose passion is flying.


Some people clip their birds due to misinformation about safety, believing that a clipped bird can be taken outside without risk of flying away.  Unfortunately, this is a myth that we are working hard to debunk.  A clipped bird can still fly some distance and, depending on whether they are outdoors and if/when the wind blows, can be carried away on a upward draft.  Although they cannot fly as far, clipped birds do not possess the skills or understanding of flight in order to escape predators or even glide down from a high place (like a tree).  This leaves an escaped clipped bird even more vulnerable than one who is flighted, with less of a chance of surviving at large.


While we would never judge someone for clipping their bird, we do encourage everyone to do their own research on the subject and make the best decision based on what is best for their pet.  There are lots of alternatives to taking a bird outside that does not involve clipping, such as outdoor carriers, backpacks and harnesses.


New to the world of harness training?  Check out Aviator Harnesses using the link below!



For more information regarding wing-clipping and the importance of encouraging natural behaviors in captive parrots, check out this article by Pamela Clark,  IAABC Certified Parrot Behavior Consultant and veterinary technician: