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Tinkerbell Legacy - Living with a flying parrot

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Idiot kitties // Riamfada free flights at home and outside villa
shanlung
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Idiot kitties

We have had Riamfada doing those free flights at Buwah together with our kitties. We drove by Wadi Fanja to shoot some photos of those flash floods that you seen in last report. Wadi Fanja was the first wadi we got to know and to take the kitties and Riamfada to and that place earned a soft spot in our hearts. So we would at least drive past there even if we stop going to Wadi Fanja for picnics the way we did in the past.

The light was falling fast when we went through WF and onto the highway back to Muscat. It was a very good day, with the morning spend with the Jabris and the afternoon doing all the freeflights. So instead of cooking noodles at home, we decided to take Riamfada with us for dinner. That was to be at Arab World restaurant, just a couple of klicks down the road from where we stayed. They also serve delicious mutton soup that I be happy to pay for. The strange part was that the soup was free with meals. As there was a chill in the air, and that day had been good, I wanted to have that soup.

But we have the 2 kitties with us. Dommie is a bully and a coward. He would stiff legged to any kitty smaller than him to growl 'Wwwuuuuuuu' and intimidate him/her. Should the other kitty be even the same size and look at Dommie, Dommie would turn tail and run and hide.

I cannot say Katie is fearless. More likely Katie is crazy and my wife said Katie is 2 sandwiches short of a picnic. I wonder what kind of books my wife read to come up with such corny saying. Never mind, wife and woman can only be appreciated without having to even try to understand them. That restaurant has its resident kitties. So taking Dom and Katie there would not be a good idea. Riamfada was always welcomed there. She delighted the staff with her flights and by just being there.

Since we had to pass by home before the restaurant, I told my wife we would drop the kitties off first and then go on to the restaurant. Our villa was in a kind of gated compound except there was no gate. The road into that compound was not very wide. Once you enter the road, you either go all the way back into your villa so you can turn around and get back onto the road again or you reversed all the way out to the main road. Villa 2 where we stayed was near the entrance of the road with only villa 1 before it. Just before villa 1 was a big piece of land with a low wall of about 5 feet (1.7 meters) high surrounding that land.

I did not care to drive back home, or later to reverse the car out. So I stopped before the entry of road leading into the compound, told my wife to open the door and toss the kitties out. My wife sitting at the back opened the car door. The kitties looked at me as if bewildered. So I told them “ Out Out Out! Go out! Get lost! “ They stared at me and turned to get out of the car sat on the side of the road looking at me. I told them they could jolly well go back home themselves. That was thirty odd meters away. This was also part of the almost daily neighbourhood walks where the kitties joined us. I had seen the kitties coming out of this land when I drove back home at other times. I expected them to go home, jump over the garden wall as they had always done in the past and get through the cat flap they created in the screen door to eat their kitty kibbles at home.

I turned the car to get back onto the road and drove on to that restaurant.

We went on to our dinner. Waiters, cooks and other people there were pleased to see us again. Riam did recalls to obliged them. Soon the food came, soup and humus and bread and nice tasty succulent ‘Manti meat’ (mutton) and rice. We enjoyed the dinner, Riamfada enjoyed the cucumber slices. Riam refused the small pieces of mutton or bones that I persisted in offering her. I am a carnivore and Riams persistence in trying to remain a Vegan offended me not withstanding from time to time, I added hard boiled egg yolk or cooked minced meat into her mash to ensure she got some animal protein as well.

We finished the dinner and we drove back. As I turned off the main road into the approach to the community road, we were stunned to see both Dommie and Katie sitting motionless on the top of the low wall like little ugly gargoyles. I was telling my wife how insidious and horrid those 2 kitties were. Doing their best to make us feel guilty at dropping them near home instead of at home. Sitting there just waiting for us to get back.

I stopped the car and my wife opened the door. Katie jumped down looking at me. She melted my heart and I asked her to come in. She immediately ran to the car and jumped inside. You all know Katie is my kittie even though she tried to kill me with her figure of 8s weaving. Dommie then jumped down. I felt he was a traitor preferring to sleep with my wife instead of with me as he did before my wife joined us. Coward and bully though Dommie was, he was also the more steady of the 2 kitties.

I gave an evil chuckle, told my wife to close the door and I drove off back home. When I got out of the car, Dommie was already on the wall about to jump into the garden.

And instead of thanking me, those two evil kitties went to their kibble dish to munch and crunch away at their kibbles. Despite them being so horrid, ungrateful and bad, I think I will miss them very much when we have to go.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa


more photos in flickr folder "Free flight at home "
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157623102635133/

After the excitement of yesterday, we rather stay home and take it easy on Friday 15 Jan. I was happy the free flight at Buwah went well. Well enough for me to do that at home in the little garden of the villa.

I thought Buwah was a much better place to do free flights than in the garden at home. We lived in a villa among other villas with low walls of about 2 meters. But 2 meters would be enough to stop me from going after Riam should Murphy come along. And it was not just a wall. If she flew toward the back, I would need to go over 3 of those walls when one wall along could stop me. And a 2 meter wall would not nothing at all for Riam to fly over.

Against that, we had done so many neighbourhood walks. That was to get Riam used to the outside, AND, to fly the flag so to speak with the neighbours. That they all seen us together, enjoyed seeing us together, and know Riam should be with me even if she flew over to their garden. My worry was what if Riam flew out of our gated community. After all, Riam showed a kilometer flight for her was done easily at Seifa Al Sheik. Tinkerbell showed me she could fly 4 km without having to stop.

I know everything is a risk. But I know mentally I was not going to panic and prepared to get her back. Her recalls to me were done with military precision. Her hide&seek recalls were also very good. Even so, I was not just relying on recalls alone. I said before and will say again ‘When push comes to shove, recalls cannot be depended on’. But having recall trained bird helps. Just do not depend on it too much. People who think their birds flew to them before and therefore will fly to them forgot that the conditions had changed from inside to outside. A spooked bird will not ever respond to recalls. By time her spook is over, she might be too far away to see you. She might see you and still be too stressed to fly to you.

I am worried at the remarks made to my report Free flight at Buwah. I appreciate remarks. But please do not just see what you wish to see and extrapolate that to doing free flights yourself.

PLEASE DO NOT GENERALISED FROM WHAT I WRITTEN TO YOUR OWN PARROT

Riamfada and I trained intensely together. My reports are detailed, but it is not possible to write every tiny aspects that might be so important but taken for granted by me and not reported on.

AND HAVE YOU READ THEM ALL CAREFULLY?
NEVER FORGET TINKERBELL AT BANTIENYEN

Read what happened in Bantienyen
in 2007/2008
Tinkerbell at BanTienYen

The Agony
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/71760.html

and the Ecstasy
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/72611.html

Tinkerbell - Rescue at Bantienyen
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/73198.html

Tinkerbell - Bantienyen In Retrospect
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/73232.html


NEVER FORGET RIAMFADA DID NOT RESPOND EVEN THOUGH I WAS NEAR HER AT SIEFA AL SHEIKH. SHE WAS TOO TIRED AND PERHAPS SCARED. I HAD TO LOCATE HER ON SIDE OF A STEEP HILL, WALKED /CLIMB/CRAWLED TO HER TO GET HER TO STEP UP TO TAKE HER DOWN


Jebel Akhbar with Kat //Seifa Al Sheik - the Great Escape and recovery
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/103005.html

Replies & thoughts of Seifa Great Escape // Cyrus Oriole // An iftar meal
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/103233.html


Mash Batch 6 // Flying in Shangrila Muscat // Seifa Al Sheikh Revisited
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/103613.html

I much prefer you read my mistakes and learn from that too, that might be perhaps even more important to know what you must do if things go wrong.
MURPHY AND HIS MINIONS ARE ALWAYS AROUND.

DO NOT FOLLOW WHAT I HAVE DONE UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING.
THINKING THAT YOU KNOW IS EVEN MORE DANGEROUS.
MAKE SURE YOU DO KNOW AND HAVE THE APTITUDE.

YOU MUST NOT HAVE ANY FEAR IN YOU.
THE FEAR IN YOU CAN EASILY TRIGGER THE FLIGHT REFLEXES OF PARROT AS THEY ARE EMPATHS AND CAN SENSE THE FEAR IN YOU MAKING THEM FRIGHTENED ENOUGH TO FLY AWAY.


You must be prepared for the worse to have that mental strength , and your bird must be trained, and you must be well bonded, and you must have luck on your side (or at least Murphy to stay home) to handle free flights.

Riamfada was taken from her room. We did some simple exercises in the living room. Then with her on hand perch, I opened the front door and stepped outside the villa. My wife followed with her camera and her perch. She had protested strongly on my taking Riam outside the villa for free flights but she gave in at the end.

I was again very relaxed, but very vigilant on Riamfada and her demeanor. I was very watchful for any discomfort from her.

It is a very sick joke to tell people that a thumb on their feet would be enough to prevent a bird from flying away. Those people who tell you that have absolutely no experience and no clue at all on the power and strength a spooked parrot can generate. EVEN IF THAT PARROT IS CLIPPED. People who tell you that are criminally stupid at best.

DON’T YOU EVER BELIEVE THAT THUMB ON FEET CAN LET YOU TAKE EVEN A CLIPPED PARROT OUTSIDE.

The only safe way will be to use a harness, on a harness trained parrot who is also bonded to you, making sure the leash is clipped to you or you use a carrier or a cage.

I really wondered what went on in Riamfada's head. She was not even wearing the harness.

I got her to step up onto my wife's perch. I kept almost a non stop chatting with her to comfort and relax her.


more photos in flickr folder "Free flight at home "
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157623102635133/


P1130656

Then a step up to my perch, using all the familiar things we had done so many times before to comfort her and giving her favourite almond seeds. I cut those into half pieces.

P1130658

Then it was back to my wife. I moved off about 5-6 meters and gave recall. She flew immediately at cue.

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She landed on me and got praised to heaven from me.

There were birds about where we flew her. Partly caused by me and my wife. We decided to 'midden' uneaten foodstuff in the stretch of 'garden' and provided water for the wild birds. I decided to move to the patio/car porch area instead to get away from the wild birds. The patio provided an overhang, and together with that of the car porch, gave a bit of covered area in case of 'accidents'



more photos in flickr folder "Free flight at home "
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157623102635133/


P1130688

Riam was on my shoulder. She looked relaxed and I felt she was relaxed.

P1130689

I did another short recall. Patio too small for long recalls anyway.

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P1130695


P1130702


She landed on my perch. I praised her and gave her sunflower seeds and stood there a while with her. I saw her looking at the balustrade. I did not feel she was afraid. It was more like curiousity on her part to see an aspect of the house that she always seen from the living room through the glass door. She took off. I felt it was exploratory flight. Even so, I was happy I decided to come to this part instead of outside the main door.

She flew only a short distance as if 'checking' and landed on the balustrade. Still, I was so relieved to see her touching down.

P1130702

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She was not there for long. In a short while, she took off again. I was happy for the overhang of the car porch. She landed on my car. I called. She did not respond and stay on the car. I walked over. Step up was natural. I felt that was another curiosity flight on her part. I could not blame her natural exuberance for that.

P1130720

I felt it was still ok. Riam was placed with my wife and I walked off through the doorway to the garden to get more flight distance. And Riam responded immediately to my recall. Flying through the doorway to me on other side.

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I felt that was enough for the morning. And we went back into the villa together.


P1130741


more photos in flickr folder "Free flight at home "
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157623102635133/

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa


Free flight outside the villa

more photos in flickr folder "Free flight in the neighbourhood "
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157623103299453/

In the late afternoon that Friday, it was time for the usual neighbourhood walk. The harness was placed on Riamfada as usual. Except this time, I did not clipped on the harness line.

We stepped out of the garden door onto the road. We normally would do a few flights before starting on our walk. Riam first had her sunflower seed. I did not just give that as treats. Perhaps that would be 'better training' .

Heck! Maybe I am just a lousy trainer. Riam is first and primarily my friend. And the thought of using food as 'reward' only demean her and me. If food is so important, why then she never flew to my wife even when my wife was tempting her with fistful of almond seeds. Yingshiong never flew to my wife even when she hold the food and I had empty hands.


more photos in flickr folder "Free flight in the neighbourhood "
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157623103299453/

P1130742


Dommie and Katie watched as I walked away, and gave recall. For Riam to fly to me immediately. I still hold on the rod/reel as that also doubled as a perch. And I got used to holding that and Riam also used to seeing me hold that even if the leash was not hooked onto her harness.

P1130750


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We did a few flights that way. I then fastened the Hawaiian clasp back to the swivel joint.

P1130812

And we went on the normal neighbourhood walks escorted by Katie and Dommie.




more photos in flickr folder "Free flight in the neighbourhood "
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/72157623103299453/

















aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa


FREE FLIGHT IS LIFE AND DEATH PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS YOURSELF UNLESS YOU DO KNOW.
NEVER EVER FREE FLY WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE AS THIS CAN LEAD TO LOSS AND DEATH OF YOUR BIRD.


If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.
Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust

I am a life member of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Do join us to do
whatever we can for the wildlife that shared our planet.


http://www.durrellwildlife.org/


or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice






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Another happy ending to the story. I know EXACTLY the way Joy must be feeling to have her heart in her throat when Riam is free flying. The fact that her photos are steady and show no motion of the hand, she has to have a great camera!!!

I am so pleased to read your remarks. And I know the warnings you give to others about not trying this without extensive preparation, you try your best to prevent folks from certain disaster.....

In my case, never fear. My boy Kimali flys around INSIDE the house, which I make safe for him. I lock the doors also, to prevent an unexpected escape route. A good healthy strong bird when spooked, is quite able to go places us mere humans are unable to follow.

My old Nanday Conure who died about two years ago had both wings trimmed. I took him for a walk across an unpaved parking lot when I was a boat captain down in south Texas. I had on a hooded sweatshirt with a big pocket in front, it was cold weather, and I had him tucked in my cozy pocket with both hands on him for warmth. Suddenly he convulsed into action, and came out of the pocket almost falling to the dirt. But NOT QUITE. Instead, he becan gliding like a kite on the winds always present, and he was heading toward our big boat about 100 yards away, tied up to the dock between two warehouses. He was no more than two feet off the ground, less than a meter, and he was GLIDING, not really flapping his wings. I was behind him in hot pursuit, with my heart racingfaster than my feet.

When he reached the boat, he could not rise high enough to clear the bulwarks and the boat was standing more than a foot away from the face of the dock. I got there in time to see him fall down down to the surface of the water. Totally salt water, and about 8 feet below the top of the dock. I did not stop to figure out the consequences of my actions. I went in after him, because to do otherwise was out of the question. His wings were both extended fully on the surface of the water, giving him good flotation. When I got close to him and reached out my hand and scooped underneath to lift him, he did what many drowning human beings would do, clambered to the highest point he could reach, which was the top of my head. HE felt safe there, but I had no control over him.

Getting out of the water up to the surface of the dock, was not something I could do without help. I could swim about half a mile to where the bulkheading eased off into a cattle pasture, but AB needed help and so did I. Thankfully, a crew member saw what was happening, and threw me a life ring. Then the largest and strongest man I ever worked with grabbed my extended hand and pulled me up to safety.

AB needed a good shower to remove the salt from his feathers. This story ended happily, but is always what I think about when someone thinks a wing trim makes it safe to walk around freely with a beloved bird on their shoulder.

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