I purchased a new budgie a day ago and realised that it doesn't seem to be able to fly. It's a female, born 2017. She appears to have all her flight feathers, and her wings are not clipped. She does appear a bit big but I don't see how that would hinder flight. She was bought from a petshop, and my best guess is that she grew up in a very small cage, so she never had the opportunity to fly properly or develop muscles?
When we hold her she can launch herself into the hair and opens her wings, and flaps but she only goes downwards. We have other birds that fly but she can't fly after them, she prefers to walk on the floor. She is a good climber.
Does anyone have any ideas about the above theory or any other suggestions. I would like to help her learn/get stronger to fly if possible but i'm not sure how one goes about this except letting her out the the cage to walk around and perhaps holding her so she can practice using her wings to get to the ground??
I had a similar issue with a bird I got from a shelter about 5 years ago. Although I did not know his background I assumed that he probably was never let out of the cage because he had a difficult time flying and it seemed almost as if he did not know what to do. Little by little he did develop the ability to fly but to this day the sound made by his wings is different than my other birds and he is a bit slower. You said your bird was large, do you mean overweight?
If the bird is overweight and has not been flying it could very well be that she is just too heavy to get very far with the extra weight and underdeveloped muscles. Assuming she does not have any disability, in time, she will learn to fly. Do you have a gram scale that you could use to weigh her, that would be useful to determine if she is actually overweight.
Cody has offered you excellent advice and suggestions.
Some budgies will hold onto the perch in their cage and flap their wings very hard and fast to exercise them.
Depending on how tame she is, you may be able to encourage her to exercise her wings by holding her on your finger or on a perch and move her carefully through the air so she flaps her wings.
I'd be sure to but towels on the floor below the area where you are doing so and don't hold her up too high so if she lets go of your finger (or perch) and heads downward she doesn't injure herself with a crash landing.