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Tinkerbell Legacy - Living with a flying parrot

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more on mind & tofu // Dommie at Omer//kitties// Riamfada and 3 turns on dime


I have started a few threads recently in some forums.

Some new letters into those thread from me.

Mentality of parrot

I forgot all about that piece that I have written in 2005. I do check now and then what were being read in my blog. I was surprised when
came out. I saw from the number that was written long ago and so I read it again.

To find notwithstanding I wrote that in some Internet cafe in Laos, that was such a key writing and might be useful to folks especially when I was reading about their problems in training and getting bitten.

So I packaged that into a thread I started.

I urge those who read this blog to read that
http://shanlung.livejournal.com/2187.html again.

Even if you read it before. There were a couple of followup letters I made in the threads that I felt I had to include.


Understanding the mind of your grey and other parrots


There were some letters that I added to above URL.

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(editted and added on 10 Aug 2010 - a couple of letters I wrote on 9 Aug 2010 when I revived this old writing. I think those couple of letters belong here as well)

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[AGPC] Re:Understanding the mind of your grey

Greys are intelligent and I really cannot see their biting in terms of mindless
viciousness from them at all.

Only humans are capable and demonstrate unprovoked viciousness and cruelty. Are
we right in extending that uniquely human trait to the animals in general and
greys in particular?

Greys resort to biting when they are frightened and afraid or if they felt they
cannot communicate anymore of their wishes and preferences.

I remembered the days when I was a tiny boy and a lot more cute than what you
have seen of me in my photos.

My sisters, and their friends, love to pet my cheek when I did not like it. At
that time, if I had known of greys and parrots, I would have turned around and
chomp them on the fingers.

To me, it was so easy to see if birdie is receptive to me or not.
And very often, if birdie is not receptive then (to head rubs or to train
together), just a few minutes later, the birdie will be ready and receptive.

Perhaps its because I do my best to see their moods AT ALL TIMES.
And because I want to see, I do see it.

Smart and intelligent as greys may be, shouldn't the onus be on us the humans
who are supposed to be even smarter?

Are we to blame the parrot because they 'cannot read us' (I think they read us
a lot better!) or should we blame ourselves for not reading them, and in many
cases, deliberately not reading them in the first place.

I think 'Alphas' pay a heavier price for assuming the role of alphas
than those who decide greys are equal and should be treated with the courtesy
and dignity due to fellow sentients.

And if 'Alphas' insist on what they think is God given role as 'Alphas', they
continue to pay the price until they learn.

To each the role they want to play, and the rewards and price they get for
playing those roles.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Far too often, because people do not see or do not wish to see the reason for
the biting, they rather conveniently say the parrot bite them without reasons at

Or they say its the Terrible 2 or 3. That hormonal changes came.
That might be the case. But even at that, the nuances of the emotions can be so
easily seen in them.

Blaming hormonal changes is another cop-out.

Even without hormonal changes, a parrot might get out of the wrong side of the
bed on that day.

I do not do to them what I done the day before because I can do that the day
before or even on the hour just before. That the birdie liked it then do not
mean the birdie like the same thing now.

The birdie showed so much of what they liked that it is so much easier to make
yourself more receptive to their moods there and then and act to them according
to their moods there and then.

That is just simple courtesy and respect to fellow intelligent sentient.


On 15 Aug. I wrote a letter elsewhere that folks here might like to read

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aa

Quote from: danmcq

'I agree 100 percent with you, that they do not bite out of just meaness or viciousness. They did it because we did not respect thier space or body language at the time.'

In this thread at another forum somewhere, there is this lady who love to say she graduated from a bird psychology course in almost everyone of her mail. Whatever that meant. Maybe that she became an expert because she got a printed certificate.

Her grey bite her about once a month, and that it was the fault of the grey. That greys are so individual. But of course! Greys are individuals.
I do not treat Riam the way I treat Tinkerbell. But at the very bottom, they all are the same, including getting out of wrong side of bed.

It was so obvious she relished her role as the Alpha and with her psychology course, that she could psycho the birdie to her will. (guess who I wrote indirectly to in letter of 9 Aug). That she carried the birdie everywhere (guess that she clipped the wings so birdie be less uppity)

Also obviously, I am a nobody to her. With none of those fancy certs to hang in my house and none of those fancy affiliations. So again

And if 'Alphas' insist on what they think is God given role as 'Alphas', they
continue to pay the price until they learn.

To each the role they want to play, and the rewards and price they get for
playing those roles.

I also cannot understand whats all those emphasis on birdie pinning their eyes to be watched out for as the magical precursor to biting.
Tinkerbell, and now Riamfada, they kept pinning their eyes (narrowing and then dilating their pupils) almost all the time when I play with them.

I like to think they pin their eyes even when I am not playing and watching them at all.
I never will know. After all, if I am not watching them, can one know if they pin their eyes then?

One might as well say parrot open their jaws before they chomp on you and watch out that opening of the jaws.

One other very special point I like to make.

I always asked them (by voice or by the very actions) and I watched them, as to everything I like them to do, or allow me to do.
My wishes were almost never rejected by them.

I do believe, the very act of asking them, was perceived by them.

And because I did the courtesy of asking them, they allowed me , and played along with me, because I asked them.

Simple opening of the heart, and courtesy and respect to them, gained me a lot more than a dozen beautiful certificates and affiliations.

Your graduation from my course is your better enjoyment with your birdie and having more magic in your relationship. And a lot less chomping from them.

Isn't that better than a beautiful cert and diploma hanging on your wall?

Do try that, and remember that cheque to Gerald Durell Wildlife Trust or to any nature conservation body of your choice on your graduation.

And tell your friends it worked for you and to try this course, so nicely stickied here for easy finding.

Warmest regards

山 龍


Soya beans

I saw this thread in "Think twice before feeding Soy Beans "

I continued and last letter below

To the only person that I know here that could not be written with the 26 characters of the alphabet.

I thought this thread had ended with tarm doing a steak for me and I bringing the beer.

I had to come back on some of the inaccuracies in your writing.

My name is not revered. More accurately , I think I am regarded with some sort of fascinated horror as a kind of heretical madman who needed to be tarred and feathered. Only question is if thats to be done now and then, or all the time.

I was cute , very cute in my toddling days. Not that anymore. In a dark night, if good folks are caught between me and a fragrant tofu stall, they turn and walk towards that stall.

The arguments against soybean/tofu rested on its estrogen content and phytates.

When I first entered this thread, I felt like a bumble-bee buzzing into a symposium of theoritical experts expounding away with calculations and graphs proving to beyond shadow of doubt that bumble-bee just cannot fly. Yet there I was flying about their charts, bodies and clipboard not knowing that I could not fly at all.

The estrogenic ickky stuff, causing low sperm count, little or no sex drive, should have caused the Chinese and East Asiatic races to have faded away. The East Asiatic people is among the largest component of the human race despite supposedly having the low sex drive and low sperm count from the evil soybeans.

Unless they take the fermented tofu, which alas, to those without elevated taste buds, might well prefer the curse than the cure.

The estrogenic iccky stuff is also supposed to cause breast tissue to form. I find it fascinating that Chinese women seemed to have about the smallest breast sizes in the world. When I was in Taiwan, the amount of adverts hitting the air on how to increase the bosom of your girlfriend, or to the women on how to prevent the boyfriend from wandering away, flogging potions made from bananas, snake oil , and everthing else but soyabeans.

Westerner women were the rage in the East. More for their lungs and not for the looks.
I could not believe those Westerner women had a fetish for eating tofu burgers and tofu hotdogs.

With all the unfermented tofus with estrogens in them, the saddest part of that is Chinese women have the least oogle-able bosoms.

The phytates article in Wiki is not a contentious issue. Some topics in Wiki are so contentious that what you see there depends on who decided to edit there last.

At any rate, it was clear lots of other food stuff contained enough phytates even if tarm and I could not exactly agree on which got what.

We agreed washing and soaking and washing and soaking get those stuff away sufficiently.

I love to take up your offer on steak when I am in your part of the world.

gave explicit directions to that restaurant in San Francisco that served that delectable tofu. After that steak with you, I will go with you to that fragrant tofu restaurant to let you know if they kept the standard up or toned that down for the Americans.

In Taiwan and Hongkong there are so many fragrant tofu stalls. Not all are the same.
The best I ever had was in Chiayi city where I stayed a couple of years with Tinkerbell and been back to even more years to be with my sweet Tink again.

That fragrant tofu tasted so delicious and meaty that you would have sworn it must be made from Kobe beef and the Spanish black pig combined together.

That stall could be smelled not just across the road, that stall could be smelled down the road as well.

editted on 31 July 2011
In my Tinkerbell Summertime2011, I made a visit to this special stinking tofu stall. So those who want to see those photos, click on URL below.

Tinkerbell Summertime2011 -Being with her Part 1 // 30th June - 2 July 2011

Warmest regards





More photos in flickr folder 'Close to the final chapter '

Dommie at Omer

I related how I searched for Katie 5 times in 5 days in
Pakistan & Russia//Village Harban & Omer // Shower for Riamfada &back to room

Sharon wrote to me that perhaps Katie might be making her way back home to me.
I hope with my soul that is not the case. She would have to cross 20 km of desert. Then there is this freeway of 6 lanes bothways of cars at 120 kph and 4 lanes of service roads that will be the death of her.

I rather hoped that Katie found a home in the intervening villages.

We brought Dommie yet again to Omer on 7th Aug.


He was let out. Dom stayed around for a short while. Soon he was on top of the wall and disappeared over the other side. My wife went inside Omer's house with all of them. I was queasy on Dommie and I stayed outside with Riamfada to try to keep an eye on him. Dommie went exploring. I called him to see Dom slinking off near a bunch of palm trees.

After 45 minutes in the heat, and losing sight of Dommie, I gave up and went back into the cool of the house and a welcomed cold drink.

I had fears of Dom getting lost and joining his sister. The last time Dom was here, he dissappeared. My wife called him and he returned.

Another 45 minutes passed by without Dommie. I thought of asking my wife to call for Dom as Dom is closer to her.

Just then, I saw his shadow in the bottom crack under the front door, and heard him meowing away in case none knew he was outside. I was so relieved. That was even better than calling for Dommie because what if we were not around to call for him.

Dommie showed he knew the area, went on a walkabout, recognised where Omer stayed, came back and called us all on his own.

He came in to be loved by all.



This was so important to me.

I love that Dommie. And I want Dommie to be part of Omer family and to live there happily.

We all went back home soon after.



My wife went out with bags of rubbish. She said she was going to the municipal bin a bit down the road to throw.

She came back with a tiny orange ball with 4 legs. My wife said that came running to her at the bin area.

I thought that was karma.

We lost Katie or I would not have allowed that.

That kittie looked on the verge of death. The intervention of my wife gave her life.
I do not want to give her a name. So we called her Noname.

In a few days, Noname got her strength back.
Still, I should have put my foot down. But I thought a life saved to atone for Katie.



Noname even joined us on the neighbourhood walks.


Then my wife went to throw rubbish again.

That was how Unnamed came.
I knew I should have thrown a tantrum on Noname, but felt what was done was done.

And my wife went to throw rubbish yet again.

And Nameless came. My wife promised me no more kitties. There were three that she saw. That the first kittie , Noname came when she called and the other two ran away.
Then a few days later, Unnamed came when she called. The third time, she saw Nameless who could barely move.


They all live outside the villa in our car porch.

Only Dommie was very unhappy. Spitting and hissing whenever any of those orange balls of fuzz came within a foot of him.

Guys, do be careful if your wife said she is going to throw rubbish in municipal bin outside. Never mind about what the cat bring back. What the wife can bring back is your bigger worry.

More photos in flickr folder 'Close to the final chapter '


Riamfada and 3 turns on dime

In addition to finding strange orange balls at municipal bin areas, my wife found also what we were looking for earlier.

She saw in Carrefour supermarket the aluminium thingy with address/phone inside.

Riamfada hardly bite the yellow thingy with our phone. Even so, bite marks were clearly seen on the plastic thingy.
Reflections on Riamfada at edge of the Empty Quarter and some rants

The aluminium thingy was what I wanted.


That yellow thingy was removed and the aluminium thingy substitued



One day, on our usual late afternoon neighbourhood walks when it was cooler, I did what I thought was a very routine recall from a short 30 meters away down the road just outside our villa.

Riamfada took off at cue. She flew in a straight line at me without zigzagging about. I instantly felt she was going to give me a fright with another of her parroty joke. The only question was how much of a fright would it be.

She powered her way at my shoulder level in a bee line to my left shoulder. Then at about 2 feet from me, Riam changed direction turning on that dime to head to the right. Just at about my right shoulder, she flared and twisted her wings to do a 180 degree turn still at same level. It was just a wing flap and she twisted her body right in front of my face and hovered for a second. Almost as if laughing at me at how clever she was. She then flew to my left shoulder and touched down there with her head down for her congratutory head rubs.

In a space just about the size of my hands placed in front of me with finger tips touching, she did 3 turns on a dime turning.

To amuse herself.

I was shocked, my wife was shocked. All that can only be written down as needless to say, the camera was still slinged from my wife's neck.


On the 8th Aug Sunday, it was a work day in Oman. But not for me as I need not go to the office as you all know I am in the draw down phase until my departure from Oman in late September.

We had been going to Jebel Akhdar during the Oman weekends on Thur/Fri. There were never that many people there even then. I thought on work day, there might be even less. Anyway, we all liked Jebel Akhdar for the beautiful place and the coolness of that plateau.

I was there in the shirt I bought in Amsterdam and wore on that night of the FIFA final with Spain, to find together with the rest of the world that Paul the mystic octopus prediction was correct.



More photos in flickr folder 'Close to the final chapter '

Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting started on 11th Aug 2010 Wednesday. By law, no one can eat, drink or smoke in the public until sun down prayers.

The neighbourhood walks had to be slightly changed. I smoke most of the time. I obviously cannot walk on the road with a ciggie in hand. If police caught me, I would be thrown into the lockup until sundown prayers before I am released.

So we decided to do that neighbourhood walks in our own private compound.

Recall flights were rather short in the compound. The neighbourhood walk inside our compound was also to allow the kitties without names to pad around following us. In the hope that they recognised the villa and to discover the garden and sandpit to do their toilet in in addition to the litter box.

I did some hide & seek around the corner recall with Riamfada. Which went very well around the corner of the villa.

Between the main garden and the car porch, there is a dividing wall and with a doorway through. So I thought I do a hide&seek recall. I went through that doorway. And I called. Riamfada was used to a corner of building. The doorway was not the corner of a building.

Riamfada flew from my wife towards me. She zigzagged about in the air, could not see me hiding behind that doorway, could not see any corner that I could hide behind. She then circled around, could not figure that door way,she flew right back to my wife to her shoulder level. I think Riam could not make herself to land on my wife's shoulder. But in the absence of me, Riam recognised my wife as the next best and landed on her tummy as can be seen in the video. I was rushing out, in a bit of fear and calling out what was happening.

But Riam landed on my wife, the first time she landed on my wife.

The video in youtube will be better than what I described.

That was such a fascinating hide&seek flight from Riamfada even if she had not flown to me. She knew of that doorway in the wall. In the free flights and other flights we have done there. But in all those cases, she had a clear line of sight to me.

To be fair to Riam, most of the time, recalls were done outside in true neighbourhood walks. No hide & seek ever through a hole in the wall.

I had to try again. I went back in through the door way and I called.

Riam flew towards me, but could not , or would not go through that doorway. She circled around, and landed on the dividing wall with the neighbour.

She waited until I came out. I watched her until I felt she was ready for the cue. I called and she flew down to me. Riamfada was so cool about it all.

I was so pleased to see she used her head. I think I was more excited about it than she was.

Again, I think the video will tell it better.


I knew we were here in Oman on borrowed time since the end of last year. Ever since early this year, I expected I have to leave Oman and all my creatures here. If you have not known about all that and wondered why I cannot take Riamfada with me, please read the following.

Riamfada foraging // 3 days 2 nights at Wadi Bani Awf and ending of this chapter

Closing this chapter//Buwah off Harban with Dommie// Beautiful Wadi Qurai

Dedication // Raining curses on Katie at Al Felaij Dam // Riam in cage at Jabri

Mystic octopus // Snake Tshirt and more hide&seek recalls //Countdown to chapter end

It is painful enough for me as it is. So please read or re-read above before you write to me wondering why I have to leave them. Please do not make it even more painful for me to reply and tell you things I have said above because you had not read that.



An important key in your relationship and understanding your parrot mentality from Tinkerbell Legacy
Tinkerbell Legacy - Living with a flying parrot - Rant 03 (a flighted parrot mentality)

Important old letters on harness
Harness for flighted parrots – To Nick and folks

August, 2005.

‘ cargo cult'

'Ramadan & Kitties on beach// Chess -1st Saturday IM Tournament // Tinkerbell Harness for Piper '

Making of Tinkerbell Mash
Morning with Harry & the decision// Sultan of Oman Palace// Tinkerbell Mash Batch 7


If you like the photos here, they are all taken by my wife and uploaded on my behalf by her.

She has her own sets of photos in her Flickr account here



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.

or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice


For those that through no fault of their own, or otherwise, and had to part painfully and unwillingly from their beastie or birdies, whether in the past, or the present, or in the future, I dedicate the saga of Riamfada that I had wrote , and continue to write to that final handover , to you all.


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flying through doorway

This may explain what happened when you were playing hide-and-seek...

We often play flying games inside, and also, since they are so comfortable in our house, our birds will sometimes try to fly in darkness.

What we found is when they first started to learn the house, when there was a change in light between two rooms, they acted as if they thought the doorway may have been a window, so they were reluctant to go through it (such as a hallway into another room).

Most important is what we learned about their vision. I have an optics expert here, and he has assured me that based on physics, any bird with smaller eyes than humans will have less light-gathering capability, so they won't be able to see as well in the dark, won't be able to see as well into dim areas, and won't be able to adjust from light-to-dark as quickly (is why owls have such big eyes). High-contrast lighting (rather than a gradual change) is worst for those smaller eyes--such as bright sunlight into a dark doorway.

So, that may explain what happened to you. Ours will initiate a flight on their own into a darker room, but when they get near, they can't see well and will often abandon.

They don't always abandon, which is how we know for sure they don't see well. If we walk into a dark room and they insist on flying in after us, they will sometimes run into things they know are there, or stumble as they try to land on us.

Maybe it wasn't dark where you were in the doorway, but it appeared to have that contrast.

Also, it was so wonderful to see Riamfada decide to land on your wife! Maybe all those females being around Riam, now, is doing her good??? LOL


Re: flying through doorway

Ha ha ha.

After the initial fear of everything being wrong, it was great to see Riam landing on my wife. You could hear her wings flapping away. After I rushed out of the doorway, I could see Riam hovering rather undecided to land on shoulder before flapping her way down to cling onto wife's tummy.

There are no contrast in the lighting on either side of the wall. There is no roof on the other side of the wall. Perhaps this photo of Riam in free flight

at villa can make that more clear.

I had thought she would either overfly that wall, or just fly in through that doorway.
At home, she never had any problem flying through doorway to kitchen, or to her room even if the doors were 3/4 closed. She wanted to be in the kitchen much as I prefered not to be there. I need to close the kitchen door at least 4/5 closed. Otherwise she would fly and time her wings to close just at the little gap and through the door.

Maybe I will try to take video of that some time later.


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