Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Joy of Flight

Rigel flew across the room this afternoon. Twice. I was so proud.

Ok, so I guess people thought Rigel could already fly, because I've gotten two comments along the lines of "Um, so?"

When I bought him at EvilPetCo, he was about 3 months hatched, and already clipped and could only walk around the cage. This means he was probably never "fledged," allowed to learn how to fly before first clipping. They can clip a varying number of feathers on each side, in order to adjust the distance they can go and whether or not they can get real lift. Rigel would stand on the door of his cage, 4 feet high, jump, and only get about 3 feet before he "landed" on the floor.

He has been molting for several months, but only the last few weeks has he lost any of his clipped flight feathers. Four or five have grown in fully, and maybe 2 partially by today when he took his maiden voyage across the living/dining rooms. The first time, I swear, he seemed so surprised in mid-flight that he was still going! He even landed perfectly at my feet on the chaise lounge. The second time he didn't get as far, but he also didn't start from as high up.

Now I have to bird-proof the house. It's all happening so fast! My big fear today was that he would fly into the kitchen and into the sink full of dirty dishes and knives. Yikes. Also, time to bolt the door when he's out of his cage, so Michael doesn't come home and open the door before I have Rigel secured. It's a whole new world. My baby is growing up! *tears*

Yes, I will probably have him clipped again, but not to the extent he was originally. Also, there is something called the "Show Clip" or something, where they cut fewer feathers, but closer to the base. It is apparently less irritating for him, and we get to see his pretty blue outer flight feathers. They're gorgeous!

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