First of all let me qualify myself for what my reply will be.
I have owned parrots for over twenty years.
I am a certified veterinary technician.
I am a certified avian (among other species) behaviorist.
I am the district manager of a large pet healthcare company.
I have personally "rescued" and rehomed over fifty parrots.
Until I moved onto the boat I fostered and educated for a 501 3 c avian rescue
I teach avian behavior and socialization classes
I think I may speak as an expert.
It doesn't matter what you call it a trim or clip the terms are interchangeable. This was not a thread on trimming vs flighted birds that is a very personal decision. That being said the average pet owner cannot deal with a flighted bird especially a large bird due to dominance and behavior problems. In addition more birds die and are lost
each year due to accidental escapes than anything else besides poor nutrition. I suggest most pet owners keep their pet birds wings clipped for safety
sake I do not suggest they do it I advise their veterinarian or an avian groomer do it since yes you are correct it can be done wrong and cause harm.
A properly trimmed bird can fly down and land without crashing but they cannot get good height and usually this prevents escapes. Cosmetic or vanity trims are popular but actually the outside primaries then do not have the support of the other feathers and can be injured.
Wing trims if done correctly rarely cause behavior problems. As to grounding most birds are not in good enough shape to fly anyway. This is sad but true.
All I am doing is trying to provide insight for those who do not wish to rehome their parrots and integrate them into living on a boat safely and comfortably. I have met very few people who have more than one bird on a boat and most are in a traditional cage in the cabin
or on a much larger boat. With the size of some boats or multiple big birds this isn't feasible. Being that my birds are outdoors 90 percent of the time they are absolutely trimmed I do not want to lose one ( I did years ago to an escape) nor have to climb somebody's mast
to retrieve a wayward macaw. I have retrieved birds from trees, roofs and telephone poles and had the fire department get me and a macaw out of a 90 foot tree. I also had to hire a tree trimmer to scale a tree to get a bird. I know all of the pros and cons of flighted vs trimmed birds. I advise trimmed for most people who have birds.
This also wasn't a discussion on keeping them as pets. No they aren't domesticated, yes they are wonderful but they are in captivity and that isn't going to change and since they cannot survive on their own in most instances and most of us cannot afford aviaries then we have to do the best we can.
Yes parrots can live on tiny boats, outdoors and cage free. They must have protection from predation and weather
, they must have their wings trimmed to prevent escape, they must be acclimated to outdoors and trained to self rescue
in the event of falling overboard
. Some parrots may not be able to transition just like some dogs
or cats. A very fearful or aggressive bird would have a lot of problems in close quarters. All this being said my parrots are happier than they were on land they get more handling and daily interaction and even my shy Amazon has become more handleable and out going. Above all they are healthy and as close to free as possible while still being safe.
I respect everyone who owns parrots and takes proper care of them it is expensive and can be challenging. However sharing our lives with them and enabling others to do the same is a wonderful thing.