My male gouldian is having trouble flying
(Miami, Fl, U.S.A.)
I have had a male gouldian finch for about 3 years, along with other finches, which has been normal and healthy all along. Recently, although he appears healthy, he sits on a perch and does not fly. When he flies off the perch because he gets startled he flies half way across the cage and goes down. Otherwise he looks perfectly normal.
Any idea what may have caused this? He does not appear to be injured.
You mention that this happens when he gets startled. This sounds like a "night fright." He may not visibly appear to be hurt. In the dark, startled Gouldians just take off flying and can't or don't look where they are going. They hit things and injure themselves internally. I tried to help my birds stay calm by covering three sides of their cage. I felt that when I did that they were considerably more calm and secure, especially at night. They no longer had to stay alert or fear danger or attack from all sides. They could just watch out for danger from the one open side. I would hang a ceramic heat bulb on the cage close to where he sits. If he is hurt, he'll probably stay sitting near the extra warmth so he can slow down his metabolism and conserve that energy for healing. Hopefully keeping him a bit warmer will help him recover.
Best Wishes, Jeanie
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