The fact that birds fly has been long held a mystery.
Did you know that flight and gliding through the air are not the same thing? Or that all birds do not fly? Since flight takes so much energy bodily changes, a bird will loose it's flight adaptations if it does not need to fly. Birds that live in places that have few or no preditors lose their ability to fly.
Initially, birds became fliers to escape predators. But, flight evolved since it is so useful in the search for food and finding nesting sites. Birds also fly to locate new habitats or relocate to a better seasonal climate.
But, how do birds fly? Well, flight requires a complex set of feathers; the primaries and the secondaries. The primary feathers are the outer wing feathers on parrots and other flighted birds. Primary feathers are moved forward and backward in a figure-eight pattern. This pattern actually acts as a propeller to produce thrust.
It is the secondary feathers that prodcuce lift as the bird's body is pulled through the air. These are the inner feathers on the wing.
Birds with smaller wings have to fly faster while birds with larger wings need more lift to get their bodies off the ground.
So, now, what is the difference between flight and gliding? Gliding is when a bird holds its wings out for long periods of time. Gliding helps to avoid fatique. Flighted birds have a tendon that runs along the back of it's ulna wing bone and attaches to the secondary feathers. Remember, the secondary feathers produce lift. This interesting tendon assures that a bird's feathers are spread at the proper distance to maintain lift at all times.
Most parrots are prey to many animals so wild parrots are adept at flight. That's why we often clip our parrots feathers with Wing Clipping Feathers. But as we are begining to how to offer these fabulous pets the enrichment they need, we are learning that flight may be an important component of enriching our parrots life. There are tradeoff's though. No one want's their precious parrot to fly away.
On the other hand, flight provides your parrot with a great workout and a stimulating natural experience contributing to it's happiness and decreasing common parrot behavior problems. You've got to decide if the experience of flight over-rides your personal desires for your parrots safety and it's ability to enjoy the great outdoors. Well, one way to manage this controversy is to get the Aviator Bird Harness
and Flight Line for your parrot. Talk about the ultimate enrichment!