In this article, we’re going to be showing you how you can flight train your bird or teach your bird to fly back to you on command. So by the end of this article, you should be able to recall training your bird.
Flight training is really amazing exercise for your birds especially at home where they might not be getting as much exercise compared to if they were still in the wild. Though in the wild of course they would be flying around all day, meeting new birds, maybe finding a lady friend or a man friend, also foraging for food and flying away from predators of course.
It’s also great for your birds to know if they’ve accidentally flown out where you would then need to retrieve them by calling them back to you.
Keeping your birds flighted is really great for their overall health.
If your bird was clipped before it learned to fly or if you’ve had a bird that has been clipped for a while, now would be a great time to teach it to fly as well as to help it rebuild and regain any muscles it may have lost from not flying. You might also be assisting them in regaining their confidence.
Things you will need to teach a bird to fly
So you are going to need some things before you start.
You are going to have to find a treat that your bird really loves, I’m using safflower seeds because that’s my bird’s favorite treat.
You could also use spray millet or sunflower seeds and I like using safflower seeds because it’s small enough for her to be able to finish right away so we can get right back to training.
Also, a good thing to note is that seeds won’t work if your bird is on an all-seed diet because it won’t be enticing enough for them to want to work for the reward.
It’s really important for your bird to be on a healthy diet consisting of pellets, fruits, and veggies and seeds should only be given as a treat or a snack to reward them.
You can also use a clicker which is completely optional and that would just help you to let your bird know that they’ve done something correctly.
The last thing that you’ll need is a surface for training so that could be the top of your cage, a training perch, or in my case, I’ll be using the back of a chair. So let’s get started.
8 Easy steps to teach a bird to fly
1. Place your bird on a surface
Your birds should have already mastered stepping up, that way it’ll make flight training a little bit easier. To start you want to place your bird on a surface. Since I’m using the back of my chair I’m going to call it a perch for the sake of this article.
So place your bird on the perch and you want to place your hand in front of your bird with the treat behind your hand that way it’ll make them want to step up onto your hand to get the treat.
2. Place your hands a couple of inches in front of your bird
Then you want to make sure that you place your hands a couple of inches in front of your bird so that they have to jump onto your hand to get the reward.
After they’ve jumped onto your hands you want to reward them and place them back onto the perch and then you want to do this a couple of times until your bird understands what you want from them.
3. Not show them the treat
Then you could eventually not show them the treat so that they can just jump onto your hand on command.
4. Move a couple more inches away from your bird
You could move a couple more inches away from your bird so that they have to use their wings to fly to you instead of jumping and then reward them and place them back onto the perch again and then repeat.
Now as you’re moving farther away from the perch you’re going to realize that you have to constantly go back and place them back onto the perch.
5. Teach them to fly to you and land on the perch
So now would be a great chance to teach them how to fly to you and back onto the perch. To do that you want to ask them to fly onto your hand and then tap on the perch and ask them to go to perch.
Once they do that you want to reward them right away and then repeat the steps again. As your bird gets the hang of flying to you and back to the purge you can ask them to fly back and forth a couple of times before rewarding them.
As you keep practicing with your bird and you realize that they’re getting better and better at flying you then want to take it up a notch and teach them how to ascend and descend.
6. Teach them to descend
Teaching them to descend is really great because it is going to help them to learn how to fly back to you in case they get stuck up in a tree.
To do that you just need to place your hand a little lower so that your bird can fly down.
7. To teach them to fly up, raise your hand a bit over the perch.
Place your hand a little higher than the perch to teach them to fly up. Then you can start moving farther away so that they can ascend and descend from larger distances.
You can take this even further by training your birds on a flight of stairs. Now I, unfortunately, don’t have a set of stairs to train them on because I live in an apartment. But this can also be achieved if you place your bird on a higher surface like the top of a bookshelf or the top of your fridge.
8. Train them to fly around corners
If you want to take flight training to another level you can start training them to fly around corners.
To do that you want to place the perch next to a corner of the room and then place your bird on the perch and ask them to fly to you and back to the perch and as you’re slowly moving back you’re going to turn the corner so that they have to learn how to maneuver through the air to land on your hand.
Things to keep in mind while training a bird
So here are some things to keep in mind while you’re training your bird.
Just know that parrots have their own learning process. Some parrots will learn faster and then some birds will take a little longer to learn. Going to take lots of patience and consistency on your end with any training that you do with your birds.
Also really important especially if you have eclipse birds that are learning to fly.
Make sure you read your bird’s body language and if at any point that you see that your bird is struggling or straining to fly then you should definitely take a break from training just so they can recuperate and get back to training maybe later on in the day or the next day.
For clipped birds especially if they’re learning to fly again it is going to take lots of effort and it’s going to put a lot of strain on their bodies because they are still trying to regain those flight muscles that they might not have been able to use for the time that they were clipped.
Don’t forget to share this article if you found it helpful and comment down below and let me know if you’re going to flight trainer bird right now.
FAQs on how to teach a bird to fly
How long does it take a bird to learn to fly?
After hatching, birds learn to fly in an average of around 19 days, ranging from 12 to 21 days.
Can caged birds fly?
Generally speaking, your bird must be a “domestic bird” in order to fly. Alternatively said, your bird must be a pet rather than a wild bird.
Do birds enjoy flying?
The majority of birds prefer to walk over fly because it requires significantly less energy. However, a number of variables, including intended trip distance, feeding requirements, and the immediate need to flee, determine whether birds choose to fly or walk.
Do birds naturally know how do you fly?
No bird is born with the ability to fly, and none of them are born with the timing of when to leave the nest. The path from fledge to flight is filled with several stumbles and setbacks, jumps and lessons learned, but most importantly, courage. It’s risky to grow up. Transitional periods are the most dangerous in the natural world.