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Mowgli's Story


Replacing Clipped Flight Feathers - Mowgli's Story

If you want your new baby bird to fly, but it arrives with clipped wings, what do you do? Steve Hartman, from The Parrot University, explains how the temporary procedure of ‘imping’ can provide the solution until the bird’s feathers are naturally replaced. Here, Steve tells the story of Mowgli, and how imping proved a success.

The procedure of ‘imping’ comes from the Old English word ‘impian’, which means ‘to implant or to graft’ and has been used often in falconry and avian rescue facilities. This process requires molted donor feathers from other birds to be splinted to the remaining cut feather shaft of a bird that has been clipped.

Most people know that birds molt twice a year, and at most, it will only take a year for all the feathers on the body to be replaced by new feathers. Which begs the question, “Why would anyone want to do this?”

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