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Many people don't have an idea about how to tell whether a bird's wings have been clipped or not. How does a bird with clipped wings look? This question cannot be answered in one sentence because there are many different ways of trimming a bird's wing. In some cases only each second long feather (they are called primaries) is cut, in other cases five long feathers (primaries) are cut and sometimes even the smaller wing feathers, the secondaries, are shorted. Sometimes only one wing is clipped, sometimes both.

Below you can see a photo that shows a budgie who had a health problem concerning his left wing and therefore some of his feathers had been shorted. His right wing is fully intact as you can see on the other photo.

Clipped wing

Intact wing

As you can see the clipped wing looks somehow incomplete and shorter than the intact one. The following photo shows which feathers have been shorted:

Clipped wing

This means one can recognise a clipped wing by having a closer look at the length of the feathers. It's easier to see when you unfold the wing like the bird in the photo above.

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