Clipping a parrot’s wings prevents them from flying off during training. However, once the training has been completed, you’ll need to wait for the wings to grow back if you want your bird to fly around.
How quickly a parrot’s wings grow back after clipping depends on how close it is to its next molt. If the parrot molts shortly after getting its wings clipped, it could take 6-12 months for its wings to fully regrow. However, depending on the timing of the molt, it could take just 1-2 months.
Although wing clipping isn’t supposed to be permanent, mishaps can stop a parrot’s wings from regrowing. So, keeping a close eye on your parrot’s health after wing clipping is essential.
Is Clipping a Bird’s Wing Permanent?
Wing clipping isn’t permanent if done correctly.
All parrots can regrow their wings the same way we’re capable of regrowing our hair or nails. Some parrots will take longer to fully regrow all or some of their clipped flight feathers, but they’ll eventually grow back.
The only time wing clipping causes permanent damage is when the wing is harmed. If the parrot’s follicles were injured while the wings were being cut, the feathers might not regrow.
Do Secondary Feathers Grow Back After Clipping?
You may hear avian experts say that it’s important to never cut a parrot’s secondary feathers, but it’s not because they never grow back after clipping.
Secondary flight feathers are no different from primary flight feathers, so they shouldn’t be clipped because they allow the parrot to glide through the air.
Letting your parrot glide is important because it may try to fly off after getting its wings clipped. If it’s not able to glide at all, it may crash and hurt itself.
A parrot’s secondary feathers may not grow back even after the primary ones do because the follicles were damaged. The secondary feathers are shorter than the primary ones, so it’s easier to hurt a parrot when clipping secondary feathers.
Do Parrot Wings Grow Back?
Parrots’ feathers grow back when cut, but parrots’ wings don’t.
The wings function similarly to human arms in that they have bones, joints, and muscles. Cutting off a parrot’s wings is called pinioning. Pinioning is the act of surgically removing the wing, not just the feathers, at the farthest joint—the pinion joint.
Pinioning permanently removes a parrot’s ability to fly, and it’s not typically done to companion birds like parrots because it’s considered cruel and unnecessary.
How Long Does It Take for Flight Feathers to Grow Back?
Parrots’ flight feathers grow back when the parrot starts molting. Parrot species will molt at different times of the year.
|Parrot Species||Molting Frequency||Molting Time||Molting Age||Molt Duration|
|Conures:||Once a year||Spring||8-12 months old||1-5 weeks|
|Budgies:||1-4 times a year||Spring/Fall or once per season||3-4 months old||2-3 weeks|
|Cockatiels:||2-3 times a year||Spring or Summer||6-12 months old||1-2 weeks|
|Eclectus Parrots:||1-2 times a year||Year-round||12 months old||6-12 months|
|African Grey Parrots:||Once every 1-3 years||Spring or Fall||12 months old||1-3 years|
|Scarlet Macaw:||1-2 a year||Spring or Fall||9-12 months||3-6 months|
|Sulfur-crested Cockatoo:||1-2 a year||Spring or Fall||9-12 months old||3-4 months|
Once a parrot has removed its old feathers, it’ll grow new ones, including flight feathers.
How Long Does It Take for a Parrot’s Tail Feathers to Grow Back?
Tail feathers grow back when the parrot molts. The tail feathers, like flight feathers, won’t grow back if the follicles are damaged.
If your parrot’s tail feathers don’t seem to grow back, it could be because they were cut too short and the follicle was damaged.
Tail feather clipping isn’t a common practice and serves no purpose.
Why Won’t My Bird’s Wings Grow Back?
If your parrot’s wings aren’t growing back, it’s because your parrot is injured, sick, or breaking its blood feathers too often. Molting is a physiological process that’s more complex than what human beings go through when growing our hair.
When a parrot is molting, you need to feed it more often, as it’ll need the nutrients it can get to successfully endure the grueling process.
Without enough nutrients, your parrot’s feather-growing process will be much slower. Foods rich in calcium and protein are essential during the molting process.
Take your parrot to the vet if you fear that its feathers aren’t growing fast enough for its species. Because molting takes so much energy, any injury or illness will slow the process down.
As the parrot molts, it’ll grow out a blood feather. Blood feathers look like quills and are delicate at first. They’re easy to break off, so a parrot may be breaking its blood feathers too often, which deters growth.
Blood feathers are painful, so never try to pull them out if one breaks.
Can I Make My Parrot’s Feathers Grow Faster?
You can help a parrot’s wings grow faster using UV and UVB lights, food, and temperature.
According to The Condor, molting and breeding are resource-dependent events, so parrots will molt under specific conditions. You can easily trigger a molt if you change your parrot’s environment.
There are ways you can change to trigger a molt, such as:
- Exposure to UVB light
Check when your parrot’s species usually molts and replicate the environment the species is from while keeping them comfortable. This will trigger the molt and enable a parrot to grow back its feathers faster.
Can a Parrot Fly After Its Wings Grow Back?
Even after its feathers grow back, a parrot won’t fly immediately.
When a parrot doesn’t fly after its wings grow back, many owners believe that it’s because there’s something wrong with the new feathers.
However, after weeks and months of not flying because of wing clipping, parrots can lose their confidence in their ability to fly.
They may even be afraid to do so if they tried to fly with clipped wings and crash-landed. Fortunately, you can train your parrot to fly again after its wings regrow.