What To Consider During Your First Free Flight

Is Your Bird Ready?

Before beginning free flying your parrot it is essential
that you ensure you have taught your bird ALL skills possible indoors and have
done as much desensitisation as possible. Keep in mind that how much your
parrot can learn indoors does depend on the size of your parrot, however that
shouldn’t stop you from teaching your bird everything that they can learn
within your home. Your bird should be able to recall around distractions,
ascend, descend, fly by obstacles, and do blind recalls (should you have enough
space indoors to begin training this).

Do NOT be lazy with desensitisation. You need to take your
bird to many different places to truly have a desensitised parrot. If your bird
is only desensitised to your back garden and you suddenly take them to an open space,
they will likely freak out and this could potentially lead to a fly off. Please
do not rush the desensitisation process.


Are You Ready?

Once your parrot is ready you need to make sure that you are
also ready. Make sure you have a bag packed with everything you need for the
first free flight, this was discussed in Class 4. The last thing you want to do
when venturing out for the first time is rush around trying to prepare before
you go. This will likely result in you forgetting something. Trust us, we’ve
been there.

Make sure you also have enough time to go out free flying.
Keep in mind that during the first free flight your bird is at a higher risk of
being unpredictable. They may go into a tree if they spook and sit there for a
few hours while building the confidence to return to you. Have you compensated
for this? What if your bird has a fly off? Have you got anything important that
you need to attend the next day? Please ensure your schedule is free while your
bird is in the very early stages of free flight. Should there be the unlikely
event that something doesn’t go quite to plan you’re not stressing about other


Have You Found A Good Beginner Location?

By now you should have found a good beginner location, which
you learned about in Class 3. Your bird should have been to the location a few
times prior to the first free flight so that they aren’t freaked out when you
begin training outdoors there. If you have any concerns about the location
please do not hesitate to reach out to us!


Time To Go Out

It is important to remember that when going out for the
first free flight you want to go during the morning as this gives you the most day
light should something go wrong. We would typically aim between 10-11am.


Winds and Gusts

Remember that winds and gusts need to be kept to a minimal
when out flying while you are building your parrots confidence up. We cannot
obviously control the wind and gusts, however we can control when we go out.
Ideally wind speed should be below 10mph – the lower the better! Gusts should
be below 12mph – again, the lower the better!


Wind Direction

Although we will discuss this in full detail during Class 5,
please remember that your parrot should always be flying into the wind, not
with it. If the wind is behind your parrot, it could push them past their perch
resulting in your parrot becoming overwhelmed which could easily turn into a
fly off due to a confidence drop. When your parrot is flying into the wind they
can use the wind to help them slow down. Saying this, remember that the
wind/gusts should be as low as possible when out flying.



It is important to keep in mind that during the first few
free flights the weather needs to be free from rain for the day you are going
out, and the day after. This may seem very overprotective, but it is always
better to be safe than sorry. In the unlikely event of your bird flying off and
staying in a tree all night you will not be stressing about it beginning to
rain and potentially spooking your parrot.



Temperatures are important, and often not considered. The
best time to begin free flight is typically early summer as the overnight
temperatures and daily temperatures are typically perfect. You do not want the
temperature during the night to fall below 5°C (41°F) as this could be deadly for
your parrot. On the flip side, you don’t want temperatures to be above 30°C
(86°F). Typically, the best time to fly your bird is when the outdoor
temperature matches the indoor temperature.


Not Pushing Your Parrot Too Hard

Your parrot may not want to fly, and that is okay! Free
flight is all about having a beautiful partnership with your bird and if you
are forcing them to do something they are not ready for/not wanting to do their
trust in you will lower. This defeats the purpose of everything you have been
working towards. If your bird doesn’t want to fly then simply do some tricks
with them. Just let them sit on the perch and watch the world go by together.
There are still days that we go out for a fly and our birds do not want to fly.
Instead of forcing them to fly we just cuddle, do some tricks and let them be
birds. How would you feel if you were being forced to exercise?


Having High And Low Value Treats

It is very important to have your birds favourite treats
with you when you are out flying. Remember that treat value can change not only
with variety but also with quantity. We discussed a lot of this in Class 2. If
your bird likes all of the treats you have to offer then you can use larger
pieces as high value.


Trick Training 

If your parrot does not know any tricks, then that is
perfectly okay. As discussed in the early classes, trick training can be
helpful when your parrot is struggling to focus or becomes overly alert. Tricks
can provide a positive distraction that can redirect your birds attention back
onto you.


Back To Class 5