BTT: Outdoor Freeflight Training Parrots

BTT: Outdoor Freeflight Training Parrots

 June 2nd, 2015
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We get so many questions regarding outdoor freeflight parrot training, we decided to finally answer all these questions in one video – while flying our camelot macaws Comet and Tusa in Bermuda!

Why do we even risk taking our birds outside just to watch them fly?

Why don’t we offer a DVD series teaching people how to do this with their birds?

How do we train the birds to do it?

What about predators?

Have we ever lost a bird?

And much more… plus, you get to have Comet and Tusa entertain you throughout this video with their antics.

For more freeflight videos, and our documentary on freeflight training parrots, check out the Freedom of Flight and our other freeflight videos on youtube.

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19 Comments on “BTT: Outdoor Freeflight Training Parrots”

Chris Armstrong  06/02/2015 2:14 pm

Really great video. Lots of great information for those following this week. The ultimate bird owner experience, I love to see my birds fly and play in the wind, and return to me when I call. The relationship with my birds moved to a very special level once we started flight training, we have a closeness and trust that almost feels spiritual. Thanks to Dave and Jamie for their help and continued advice on flight training maintenance with my birds. Looking forward to next year’s free flight trip already.

Denise Zmijewski Bunch  06/02/2015 2:49 pm

Hi, I am happy you put this video on and I want to flight train my birds but I have the problem of Red-tailed hawks in my area which one time came down after a new puppy we just got but realized it could not get her Well, last week I almost lost my 9mon old Umbrella Cockatoo Kiji. I did post this story to your FB page, but as it goes I always put a flight suit on her with a leash and thought I had the leash wrapped around my left arm. I was going to take her for a ride in the car and opening the door startled her and she went to fly off and I thought I had her but then she kept on flying up and landed in my neighbors tree. I was frantic and tried calling her down because she will come to me in the house from her cage or house perches, but she just looked down at me and fluffed her feathers as to say I am staying right here. The fire department would not help me but I was lucky enough to have a neighbor with a huge ladder who climbed up the tree and was able to get hold of her leash. I was so happy to have her back down and my greatest fear was the hawks that hang around and scared to death they would get her. I have your other training tapes, but I am going to get your flight training tapes if you have them. Thank you again. (I wish I could have you both visit to help with my little flock, but I live too far away)

Betsy  06/02/2015 4:33 pm

I appreciate your information. You need to tighten up your presentation… are boring

mohammad zeenni  06/02/2015 4:40 pm

Hello to everyone.
You are great and the best coaches explicitly i did not realize that there are risks in the free flight and there are advantages to him I do not know how to thank you for this great video . I also wish you further progress and success

Sue Yasinitsky  06/02/2015 4:48 pm

Love you guys! Always useful information, whether we have a place to free fly or not..the training is SO beneficial and helps build that partnership we have with our birds. Someday we’ll take that plunge and take a vacation out in Utah. Thanks again..from all of us for always giving us something to look forward to.. AND.. as well, for naming me winner last week. Happy to be part of the Birdtricks family 🙂

Julia  06/02/2015 4:54 pm

When you picked up the water bottle I thought it had water in it then I realized it was bird treats. 🙂 Anyways, I’ve always wanted to free fly my love bird but I probably will never be able to. It’s amazing how much your birds trust and love you all! How can I help my bird to relax at the thought of just staying on my hand? She will step up but only if she gets a click and a treat. You can just take out your birds when it is not a training session and they will just chill on a perch or walk around. How can I show my bird that when I take her out, it is not always for training? I just want her to be able to not be in a cage all day except for training.

Janis  06/02/2015 5:07 pm

I really like that you let your birds fly. I’ve always felt that it is too cruel to keep a bird in a cage or with clipped wings. I have a rescue bird, a cherry head conure, and for the first two years I kept her wings clipped because I was afraid she would hurt herself. However, after she got used to me (and actually now is almost too bonded to me), I stopped clipping her wings and let her fly around the house. All winter I trained her to come when I whistled, and by spring we were ready to go outdoors. She stays in my backyard usually, and if I’ve seen hawks (Cooper hawks mainly) around, she stays indoors. There have been three occasions when she was startled and took off, but she screams so much she was easy to find in the neighbourhood. I did find the first time that she did not know how to fly down and it took forever before she would try–she kept going higher in a tree, way out of reach, but after an hour or so, she took a chance, and flew down to me. I think it must be so much more stimulating for these birds to be able to act like they would in the wild, and I really encourage people to give their birds this chance.

Doreen Umberger  06/02/2015 5:07 pm

I always loved watching birds in fre flight. It’s the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. One question I had asked is how do you get them to come back to you? I se that you fly your birds between the 2 of you. I’m alone and don’t have that help. I live in PA and we are loaded with Eagles and Hawks. Koda does free flight in the house. He will follow me to the bathroom because he can’t see me in that room but the other rooms he can see me. If he gets spooked and flies to another room how do I get him to come back without running after him? By the way he is a good hider. It takes time for me to find him. He stays still and very quiet. Can you address this question please.
Thanks for the Tuesday videos. I love each one. The elevator was the best part. My grey will give himself a kiss on the bathroom mirror. He does know it’s a mirror. I taught him that when he was. Very young. They can be very silly in front of a mirror.

Shirley Quillen  06/02/2015 8:27 pm

Glad you did this video. I was thinking about buying a flight harness for my Conure. Now, I don’t think I will. I will continue working on his recall and do a lot more descent training. He’s getting pretty good at the fly home and the recall when he wants to. He’s doing pretty well at negotiating corners and building up some stamina,. He’s also getting good at calling (screaming) if he’s flown to another room or I can’t find him and I call him. For now I think I’ll build him a flight cage outside. Any advise on that?

Lynn Murray  06/02/2015 8:42 pm

Have to tell you both how much I enjoy your videos, and all the info you pass along!! I really look forward to the Tuesday sessions.
My husband and I have most of your training videos. (We have a patagonian conure and an indian ringneck.) I also have the cookbook- it’s so helpful to get different ideas! (most of the stuff in my freezer is for the birds-lol)
My son recently gave us an awesome surprise… he purchased a baby african grey for us! (We don’t get her home until the end of July) we are so excited!! It’s going to be so much fun using the methods we’ve learned from you, this is the first time we have had a baby bird!! We are always checking out information on your blog as well, to do research on the right way to do things! We think by using the clicker right from the start, she’ll be a happy bird.
Keep up the great work!

Fred  06/02/2015 10:26 pm

Thank you guys! We appreciate everything you say and do!!

Pam Bless  06/02/2015 10:39 pm

Every training video and book talk about gaining your birds trust, but in this video Jamie said “she was so excited that we trusted her to fly off harness.” Trust IS a two way relationship even with our feathered friends.

Randall Miller  06/03/2015 12:54 am

Thank you Dave and Jamie for the information great help look forward to your next video.

nel  06/03/2015 2:18 am

is there any change of another lady talking in your video?
Children were bored with video and walked out due to the ‘put on aires’ in the voice of the lady.
All of us could not understand half the time what she is talking about , especially when she talks on her own!
We live in Australia and do speak English.
Would have loved to know what she was on about as we saw some eautiful birds on your video.

Nuzaik Mohamed  06/03/2015 5:23 am

Great work!
But I dont know how you do this. My cockatiel wont listen to me. I tried to train him to fly on call. He came to me with the harness. I tried it outdoors but he acts like he dont know what to do and starts preening.
I want to keep my bird healthy but I dont think it is possible. Can you please help me with some instructions to make him listen to me.

Michael and Cookie  06/03/2015 8:31 am

I love the viedos, although Cookie can’t fly, theres still usefull imformation there. I go on cruises all the time, about 21 so far and would love to see one of your shows and have been wanting to go on the Dawn but shes not in Miami right now. Don’t pay attention to the bad reviews, some won’t get it. The viedos are for helping us, not entertainment. Not for chilldren. And the subject of hitting came up again and I took great comfort in knowing that I wasn’t the only one. And thanks to Bird Tricks those days are over thank God. No more getting bit, and no more hitting her. It was hard not to after getting bit and blood running down my face. And if all that wasn’t enough, she would laugh at me. So keep em coming. A little more of the shows would be nice.

Tom  06/03/2015 6:39 pm

Hi guys, again a great video and a lot of fun to watch!

What also might be a very informative (and maybe life saving) topic is something about bird diseases and how you would handle a sick bird.
I’ve already been looking up a lot of information about this topic because one of my Lorikeets is sick for at least half a year now (she keeps retching after eating her food), but I found out that I knew very little about diseases amongst parrots until one of them got sick and I started researching.
In most cases this might be too late to rescue the bird.
Not a fun topic to talk about but (I think) incredibly important.
Thanks again for the video’s!

Yvonne Ringer  06/07/2015 11:41 am

I have an Umbrella Cockatoo, “Baby”. She is 11 years old. She has never flown. I have been wanting to teach her how to fly. Her feathers are grown in now and she is ready to fly. I would appreciate any instructions you can give me.

Thank you,


Jamieleigh  06/07/2015 4:29 pm

This week’s video (up on Tuesday) will go over this. Check it out on our youtube, it will be the latest BT Tuesday video – up in two days! (Or later today if Dave edits it fast!)