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In issue 279 -
Why do parrots waste their food?
In issue 279 -
Starting out with Cockatiels, part 3
In issue 279 -
One woman's passion
In issue 279 -
Saving the Ultramarine Lorikeet

Complete Psittacine, by EB Cravens

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Free Flight Diaries, Part II

I cannot help it.  Since 1979, I have always assumed that owning a parrot in farmland country meant letting that parrot occasionally be out on the farm with me - fully flighted and obviously with all wing feathers intact.

So, how did I go about it back in those early days?  Hmmm. Crudely, I have to admit now.  Of course I was dealing with imported psittacines, ones my wife and I had acquired to be house pets.  Semi-wild they often were, but possessed of knowledge that most modern day handfed birds lack.  I was fortunate in one regard.  My first free-flying bird, after the white doves we kept on our lanai, of course, was a wild-caught Nanday conure named Pako.

As it turns out conures can be one of the safest parrots for beginners to allow outdoor time.  When raised to accentuate strength and conditioning, they are agile flyers, normally are very attached to keepers, detest being on the ground, and have a piercing contact call that can be heard as much as a mile away. These are all primary factors to consider when choosing a species candidate for free flight.

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