Jackie graduated. The graduation was convulated. Despite his graduation, Jackie refused to accept the graduation scroll, as yet.
I should start from the beginning, or rather, from where I ended in the last report, that he was going into touch target on the next day.
But first, I loved that TV culinary show called the Iron Chef. Iron Chef (料理の鉄人 Ryōri no Tetsujin?, literally "Ironmen of Cooking") is a Japanese television cooking show. If you have not watched that before, do yourself a big favour and try to see it.
In that show, there is the flamboyant host, Chairman Kaga. That show would start with him making grandiose speech on cooking and food. And he would chomp on a yellow bell pepper to make his point.
I am a carnivore, and not taken to veges. Perhaps I might have eaten bell peppers if cut into salad. The thought ran and ran in my mind should I buy bell peppers for Jackie. I did that last week. In honour of Chairman Kaga, I bought 2 yellow bell peppers and one red bell peppers. I chopped a bit of that up to bite sizes and mixed in the mash for Jackie. That ungrateful Jackie took a piece and spit it out. Jackie went on to eat the mash around the peppers, Jackie ate the regular hot chilis and the mash and left the bell peppers alone notwithstanding I bought that for him with love.
And I got loads more of that from the 3 I bought. I had the choice of throwing all that away, a real insult to Chairman Kaga. Or to get Jackie to get those bell peppers.
I had a baggie of thawed fruit mash puree, and about 150 grams of Jackie mash with pieces bell peppers already cut and chopped and mixed in, and a baggie of fruit mash still frozen. And the bulk of the 3 bell peppers with the seeds and inside removed. I wrote before I was glad Jackie took to the fruit mash puree as I could add anything later into that. It was time to test that out.
All that went into the blender, giving me 3 baggies of the new fruit mash puree.
And Jackie ate that. So he got to eating Chairman Kaga bell peppers in his regular diet.
You have seen in previous report how I placed that target about so Jackie would get used to the target.
You know the criteria that he had to pass to graduate from his flight room. That he had to fly to me on cue. I decided step up should not be a criteria. Birds smaller than parrots are less likely to do any kind of step ups. They so easily hop or fly or hover that flight for them is a lot easier than taking that step up.
I had planned to use that touch target to eventually induced Jackie to fly to me.
So on the next day, after Jackie was weighed and had his breakfast of 10 grams, I took the target stick towards him when he was perched on edge of table near me. I thought he would be used to that target. To my horror and dismay, when I brought the target towards him, Jackie immediately hopped back and flew back to his cage. I walked to him on top of the cage with the target stick and he flew away to the top of the small cage. When he flew to the door perch, I tried to approach him with the target stick. He acted as if I was going to smite him on the head and flew to hang from the window mesh covering.
Touch target was not going to work that way. In dismay, I sat back into my armchair. It was going so well with the conditioning of clicker until to this stage. Jackie flew back to the edge of the table and looked at me.
Trust should be well established before trying further. He was at the starting end of his side of the bridge of trust with one foot on it. I was trying to urge him across the bridge by clicker training and even the conditioning of clicker had ulterior motive of pulling him further on this bridge of trust.
I dropped that target. I raised my left hand and hold the clicker with my right to continue to condition the clicker and to continue to build up the trust and to think on later how to get him into touch target. He hopped on to the left. I clicked and he hopped off. When my right hand took the piece of bread, he hopped back to the left hand to snatch the piece of bread when it approached him. He flew off immediately back to the table, or to the cage.
I then thought I already had a conditioned clicker. With that, I would have to make him understand getting to my hand, and remaining on that hand will be essential for his click and treat.
I raised my left hand and he jumped on. I clicked for that and when he jumped off, I put both hands down and looked at him refusing to get that piece of bread for him.
After a few times of refusal, he remained on that hand for longer time. I then clicked and reached for the treat. He flew off my hand and I stopped.
He understood that very swiftly. In a couple of days later, he remained on the hand until the click and the treat was given.
From my hand being an intermediate perch for him to take food from, my hand became a place for him to be on to take his food from. Instead of taking the treat to eat elsewhere, he ate that on my hand and stayed on for me to take more to give to him.
I added the COME cue to that. He flew to my hand on COME, to get his click and treat. I lifted my hand and did not give COME cue. He still flew to my hand. I thought for a moment not to click and treat. But heck! It was bonding, and if he flew to me, he should know that was a welcomed act whether I called for that or not. And clearly, he was trusting me more and more.
While technically he graduated, I could not feel he did so as he was not into touch target as that target stick will be very important to lead him to other things.
Then I thought what a fool I was. I have the conditioned clicker. All I needed was to use that clicker to teach him to touch target.
Jackie was on the table. I brought the target stick up slowly to him while watching his expression. Not easy to see expressions on a Hill Mynah. CAGs are so much easier to see until I know the nuances of their expression.
I had to learn again how to see expression of a hill mynah. I saw he was getting nervous and clicked and treated him for allowing me to bring up the target stick about a foot from him.
The next day, the stick was closer to him before he got nervous, about 6 inches. He got his click and treat. All that done in between the COME cues.
I never did more than 5 sessions each day, and each sessions about a minute or less.
The next day, the target stick was brought very near, but not touching his beak before that click and treat.
The day after that, that target stick was stroked on his beak before the click and treat.
Then on yesterday, the target was brought near him and I said 'touch target' softly. To my great pleasure, he turned his head and bite that target. He got his click and treat and more treats. He knew exactly what was wanted. He could move halfway across to me to interact with me. By the afternoon, he reached up to touch target, bend down to touch target, hopped nearer to touch target.
It showed in his behaviour to me over the last few days. I normally would have breakfast in living room. The moment he saw me coming to the living room, he would fly from his cage to the top of the armchair to peer at me and call out.
Yesterday afternoon, I opened the door wide as he truly graduated on flying to me on COME cue and touching target. I thought sitting where I was in front of the TV might be too much for Jackie to fly to me. I sat on the armchair next to the open door and with my hand up, cue him to fly to me into the living room. He flew in barely past the open door into the living room, hover in mid air for a couple of seconds, and then abruptly turned back into his flight room and refused to accept his scroll of graduation.
I tried that a few more times sitting on the arm chair, to get him flying and hovering at that invisible barrier and then turning about back to his cage.
I stood up and moved to a foot inside the living. Only then, he flew to my hand, got his clicked, snatched his treat and immediately flew back into his room. It will take a while more before he pick up his graduation scroll. I needed more time too to think about Sieben.
He graduated. It perhaps might be faster if I kept him hungry. I just cannot use the with holding of food. That demeaned him and myself as equals. I think he knew that in my heart. A wild caught, and very wild and spirited when he first came to me. He remained spirited, but I like to think he accepted my friendship and will be a good companion to me. And hopefully, to my wife as well later on.
The sad road from Kyoto to Durban
LiBai mash making.
About 300 grams of beef mince, with 200 grams of chicken mince and 150 grams of dried anchovies(for the calcium). That was all done up to the kitty mash formula I wrote about in
Pakistan//Tinkerbell Kitty Mash//Dommie at the beach Ramadhan 2010 //Villa walkabout 2
Instead of the almond and brazil nuts, about 100 grams of human grade groundnuts(peanuts) were used.
Making of Tinkerbell Mash
Morning with Harry & the decision// Sultan of Oman Palace// Tinkerbell Mash Batch 7
suri - Read "Conditioning clicker day 3 - and some tips on suris"
milli - read "Found the perfect treat and Yingshiong first "step up""
if you forgotten about clicker training
Tinkerbell Legacy - VH parrot and Clicker Training Rant 06
Some thoughts on clicker - The initial experience with Tinkerbell
Clicker training and bonding with Tinkerbell
To Shanlung-Charlie and clicker training
Charlie and clicker training - beyond touch target //LiBai on finger and in slow motion videos —
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.
(edited on 4th November 2011 to include below)
To Shanlung - How to do Free Flight Outside
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