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Jandaya Conure All Suited Up!

Adapting a Bird to a Flight Harness

Before the flight feathers are fully grown?

HARI Pre-Fledgling is already desinsitized to his flight harness
HARI Pre-Fledgling is already desensitized to his flight harness

How preposterous! Well, not really, if we’re talking about a HARI Fledgling! One of the most chronic ailments in many companion birds is dealing with an overweight condition as a result from lack of exercise.  Birds have wings and they’re designed to fly. But, we must be responsible with companion birds and their flying exercise regimens.  And, a quality made flight harness is just the tool required for responsible flying.

The least stressful way of adapting a bird to a flight harness is to start them out as babies.  At HARI, we introduce the flight harness at a very young age-before the chicks even have feathers. This desensitizes the chick to a foreign item. Simultaneously, we continue to offer towel cradling, nutritional support, as well as nurturing. This all reassures our chicks that it’s ok!

HARI Fledgling flight lessons are started on the ground for safety
HARI Fledgling flight lessons are started on the ground for safety
Nuturing is a must for a HARI Fledgling's first time outside!
Nuturing is a must for a HARI Fledgling’s first time outside!

As the fledgling advances with further lessons in his weaning stages, he will have mastered the idea of ‘getting dressed’ for his flying exercise. Once a bird’s wings are grown and he has graduated to advanced levels, HARI staff members spend time doing supervised flying regimens with him.

With proper instructions and guidance, quality flight harnesses are an amazing tool that benefits a companion bird’s physiological and psychological well being.  The mere act of flying burns off extra calories and keep the bird in top physical shape.  Many brain functions are stimulated simultaneously during flights which are practical in behavior situations such as aggression. For further information on the studies of how flying benefits companion birds, we do invite you to download Parrot Life Magazine #5 and read the article “Thinking on the Wing”, by Steve Hartman of The Parrot University at Hartman Aviary.

Melanie Allen

About Melanie Allen

Melanie got her start with Parrots in the 1980's with her first parrot, a purchased yellow-naped amazon - who suffered from chronic health issues that stemmed from poor nutrition and inadequate care. Melanie also served as president of Florida Federation of Aviculture, Inc., as a Board Member for National Parrot Rescue & Preservation Foundation, and on the American Federation of Aviculture Nomination Committee. Today, she works closely with aviculturists, retail stores, and companion pet owners, and attends all U.S. “Avi-Industry” conventions, including the American Federation of Aviculture, Avicultural Society of America, and Parrot Festival, on behalf of The Hagen Group.

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