Shall I Purchase A Bird Flight Harness For My Cockatiel?

bird flight harnessOnly recently did I find out that a bird flight harness actually existed, and I decided to do some research.

I thought it looked like a good idea if you want your bird to experience flight without actually flying away, but in actual fact, these are not meant for the bird to go for a fly, but to simply experience the outdoors without the risk of them flying away.

You can make up your own mind if a flight harness is the right thing for you and your pet, and I have included some that you can buy online at the bottom of this post.

What Is A Bird Flight Harness?

A bird flight harness enables a tame pet bird to be taken outdoors without the risk of them flying away.

It resembles a dog leash in a way, but it is made in various sizes to suit your pet bird. A bird harness, is available in most large parrot sizes, right down to a small budgerigar size.

A bird can even be given some limited flight outdoors, but take care in the beginning that your bird doesn’t become frightened, especially if it is not used to being outdoors.

A leash should always be fastened securely to the person holding the leash (such as by an elastic band around the wrist) to avoid the possibility of dropping the leash, as a dropped leash may become entangled in a tree or other object if the bird flies off.

A flight harness should only be used when the parrot is supervised and should never be used to tether a parrot to a perch or other stable object.

Bird Flight Harness Pros

  • Birds that are harness trained from a young age will accept the harness and will associate the harness with time outdoors. Some bird owners even report that their birds bring the harnesses to them when they want to go outside.
  • Parrots, cockatiels, and other pet birds can enjoy some limited flight outdoors, which is something that they rarely get to do in their cages, although, after looking at the cons, I would prefer to use the bird flight harness as a precautionary measure to make sure your bird doesn’t fly off and get lost.

Bird Flight Harness Cons

  • Some birds may not like to wear a harness and bite at it.
  • Some brands of flight harness can be difficult to put on, especially if one has to lift the wings to get them through openings. Birds don’t normally enjoy this.
  • Heavy harnesses that require assembly with metal buckles and clips can be uncomfortable for your bird.
  • You will need to watch those larger beaked birds, as their strong beaks can unlatch or break the harness with ease.
  • Injuries can occur so one must be extra careful. These include broken bones when the bird takes flight with a section of the flight harness wrapped around a body part, or if the bird takes off quickly and there is impact when the length of the harness runs out. This can cause feather loss, broken bones or could be painful for the bird.

The video above shows that parrots can be trained to fly freely without any harnesses. This would be the ideal solution in a perfect world.

How To Get Your Bird To Wear A Flight Harness

The best way to train a parrot to wear a harness is to use positive and negative reinforcement. Obviously, the younger the bird, the easier it will be to train.

Negative reinforcement is used to reward the parrot until it overcomes its fear of the harness. Food treats are used as positive reinforcement to reward your bird for putting on the harness. Some well-trained parrots will even put the harness on themselves by slipping their heads through the collar.

Flight Harnesses You Can Purchase Online

If you are interested in finding out more about any of the flight harnesses below, simply click on the link or the picture.

The AVIATOR Pet Bird Harness and Leash: X-Small Black

  • Xtra Small Bird Flight Harness for birds weighing 110-190 grams: Quakers, Senegal, Doves, Pigeons, Med. Parakeets, Indian Ringneck, Port Lincoln, Rainbow Lories, Rosellas, Noble/Hahns Macaw, Lg. Conures (Suns, Jendays, Nanday, Blue Crown Conure), White Belly & Black Headed Caiques, Plum Head. Guaranteed fit and free exchanges for correct sizes.
  • This flight harness only weighs10.5 gm. Aviator – Only bird harness designed for a safe flight so your bird can reach for the sky. Easy to use with no buckles or clips, only a slide to adjust the flight harness.
  • Escape-Proof! With other brands of harnesses, your bird can easily remove the leash and harness. The strong steel slide has been powder-coated black to make them unattractive as toys. No Stitching for your bird to play with.
  • Self-adjusting Elastic Leash: Automatically adjusts from the chest to the back as the bird climbs and flies and eliminates a SUDDEN IMPACT when he fly’s to the end. The efficient design has fewer pressure contact points on your bird.
  • Includes a 45-minute training DVD in 6 languages.
  • Optional accessories include Aviator Flight Line, Yard Perch, Leash Extension & Aviator T-Shirts. Custom Harness Sizes available for all birds, including Turkeys, Peafowl, Swans, Herons, Ducks, Geese, Pheasants, and all other Exotic Fowl.
  • Also perfect for other small animals like Rabbits, Bunnies, Ferrets and some reptiles.

The AVIATOR Bird Harness and Leash: Medium Blue by The Parrot University

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