KOTA BARU: For this group of bird owners, there is much pleasure in releasing the birds to fly freely before they return and perch on their hands.
Tuan Mohd Azrin Tuan Ariffin, who heads the Kelantan Free Fly Community group, said the free-flying method required intensive training and discipline to ensure that the bird would return to its owner.
Tuan Mohd Azrin, the owner of two blue and gold macaw parrots aged two years and five months respectively, said he was training the birds to recognise their names and his voice.
“There is no doubt that the kakatua is one of the most intelligent bird species in the world. It can even imitate the owner’s voice or any sound that it constantly hears.”
He provided an example of his pet bird, Bonny, who has been trained to fly freely and return upon hearing its name called.
“Another way is to bait it with food in the hand so that the hungry bird will see it and stop by it,” he told reporters near Kampung Seribong here on Sunday.
Another bird owner, Wan Haiman Rusdan Wan Hussin acknowledged that this method of free-flying could be risky as the bird could go missing or get stolen.
Wan Haiman Rusdan, who owns a red-winged macaw, told Bernama that if the bird is not properly trained, it would result in losses to the owner because the value of a parrot depended on the type of species.
It could fetch as much as RM100,000, he added.
“I have a crossbreed bought from a breeder worth RM25,000 and it is now six months old. I will make sure that my bird named Phoenix is well-trained before trying the free-flying method,” he said.
Rosli Abdullah said that taking care of these birds was a complex process that required ensuring their health and providing them with a proper diet. This includes foods such as broccoli, mustard, pumpkin, mango and papaya, as well as legumes and fruits.
“What is important is that the nails and feathers must always be clean,” he said.