shanlung (shanlung) wrote,

Karen Pryor//Jackie Mash 03//Sieben & Jackie // Nasty Nic


Karen Pryor is a very good friend that we both have had many quiet little laughs together in our correspondence over the last ten years.

I mentioned of Tsaoling Bird whisperer who opened my third eye into birdies and beasties.

The letters on that bird whisperer of Tsaoling are below in chronological order. They are all in Part 1 - Early Period of Tinkerbell.

The visits covered a period of time as can be seen from the date of the letters. You can see in between the 2nd and 3rd visits the additions to the birds of that bird whisperer.

He, that bird whisperer of Tsaoling, is the man that inspired me the most. If I had not the fortune to met and know him, I would not have the courage and inspiration to try with wild caught birdies at all.

If you have not done so, try to find the time to read
That was when he opened my third eye as to what keeping birdies were all about.

Karen Pyror was even earlier and she opened my technical eye as to clicker training. That was when I bought and read her Do Not Shoot the Dog.


Karen got to know of me when Melinda wrote her book Clicker training for birds using many of my photos of Tinkerbell in training with me, and that started the long correspondences between Karen and myself.

I never wrote of that long friendship with Karen in my Livejournal blogs as you might have noticed, other than the urging of folks to buy DO NOT SHOOT THE DOG in my
Tinkerbell Legacy - VH parrot and Clicker Training Rant 06

Karen Pyror is the Icon and Guru Emeritus of animal training in the world with her books and works in the major zoos.

But just a few days ago, I was honoured when Karen wrote publicly of her long correspondence with me in her newsletter circulated to thousands. The hits on my Livejournal resulting from her newsletter was mind boggling to me.

I was touched to read of what she wrote of me.

Above extracted into below with some links added by me for people who liked to know background behind the photos.

Far, far away

It's cold. It's winter. It's boring.

Let's travel, at least in our minds. Let me introduce you to my long-time pen pal, Shanlung, probably one of the best bird clicker trainers on the planet.

Shanlung and his parrot, Tinkerbell, exploring the
Nan Heng Gong Lu (Southern Cross Taiwan Highway).

A world-class bird clicker trainer

Shanlung is not his real name; this pen name means Mountain Dragon. Shanlung is an engineer who designs and builds huge projects—bridges, dams, harbors—in remote parts of the world. During assignments he often brings along his wife, his cats, and his birds. They do quite a lot of truly frightening sightseeing (frightening by my standards, hating heights) on motorcycle. Always with a bird.

Most of Shanlung's birds have been parrots, trained to free-fly, an elaborate procedure starting with the bird on a harness and safety line. If you prowl through his live journal you will see him flying one or another bird around Tibetan monasteries, Arab desert villages, and the abandoned wadis and ruins where he and his wife like to picnic on his days off.
Reading the bird-ish mind

Between assignments, Shanlung and his wife live in Singapore. This past year Shanlung has been experimenting with some of the native songbirds Singaporeans keep in cages as pets. (These birds are usually released in appropriate territory in due course.) Shanlung reports his findings through his live journal, findings that range from his very careful work on diet design, to observing, recording, and responding to social behavior directed toward the trainer.

04 procession (1)
Tinkerbell enjoying a ride on the front
of Shanlung's motorbike.
Tinkerbell - Rhapsody in Spring 2009

The interesting thing to me, and to Shanlung, I think, is not just the training successes— getting the bird to fly free around the apartment, come on cue, target, and so on. It is discovering, through the clicker interactions, how that species of bird thinks, and what is appropriate and interesting for it.

Clicker training doesn't just take away the fear and give you control. That's the utility, but that's not the key benefit. More exciting is the way it builds a real communication with the animal, whatever the species. Trainers become, to the animal, a sort of weird species-mate:

"I understand what you mean, and I presume you understand what I mean, too."

The animal is not "trying" to communicate; it is communicating, by giving you, the trainer, the same emotional information it would give another animal.

Shanlung with his bird, Riamfada (on shoulder) and
cat, Dommie, enjoying the tide pools of the
Sultanate of Oman in Southwest Asia.
Dommie final visit to ocean Ramadan 2010

Go adventuring with Shanlung

An excerpt from Shanlung's journal starts out with a complaint about his new cat (who has him perfectly trained, as you will see). What follows is a running account of his current bird project—Jackie, a wild-caught adult mynah that is proving to be a very strong-minded individual with a tempestuous, emotional nature. Again, as you will see.

A lot of bird specialists (zoo people, etc.) follow Shanlung for the aviculture wisdom. I follow him for training sagas and the careful thinking he puts into each interaction. I also follow him for the jokes, such as the two brief theater reviews in the blog excerpt.

I hope you enjoy "meeting" Shanlung. Be sure to browse the photography in his previous journal entries—awesome!

As said, I was really touched to read that from Karen.

I always felt I was stumbling about with my one step forward and two steps sideways and tripping over my shoe laces and never felt like a world class bird clicker trainer, and even more a student and a trainee of my birdies instead than their trainer.

I am touched to know my findings in the diets of birdies mattered, and might go to some good for the birdies.


Jackie Mash 03//

More photos in Flickr folder _ Jackie 01 -Bonding

The mash was running out with me. Especially when I noticed the kitties eating the rest of the mash around the kitty kibbles. I decided not to add kitty kibbles giving more mash instead.
To the 2 kitties
180 grams JM
40 grams raw mince meat
15 grams dried anchovies
15 grams chopped wheat grass
80 grams wet kitty food

All well mixed and squeezed together, 2/3 given as dinner and remaining 1/3 for breakfast. Kitty kibbles given now and then by my wife when I was home too late to fix dinner for kitties, or I too lazy to fix dinner for kitties. Pouring kitty kibbles from a box is truly so much easier and more convenient then all the weighing and squeezing and mixing.

And Jackie Mash batch 03 was cooked on Wednesday evening 15 Feb.

But first, a note of thanks to Mike Burton and his memory.

Kitty-Jackie mash is based on Tinkerbell Mash is based on the formula for Mike’s Manna Mash created and given to the world by my good friend Mike Burton. Mike is sadly no longer with us but never will be forgotten as long as people prepare his mash or Tinkerbell Mash.

All this is dedicated to Mike Burton. A friend who left us all too soon and
gave the world Mike's Manna Mash and on which Tinkerbell Mash in all its forms
has been based.

Original Mikes Manna Mash recipe here
The memory of Mike will live on in every bit of Mike's Manna Mash or Tinkerbell
Mash or kitty-Jackie mash regardless of the batch or who made it or feed on it.

Two days before that, the beans and corn were soaked for 4 hours (warmer in Singapore so less time) to start the germinating and then drained of all water. They were soaked a few minutes and washed periodically until cooking.

Full complete details of mash cooking should be referred to in
Morning with Harry & the decision// Sultan of Oman Palace// Tinkerbell Mash Batch 7

Because of the new fridge, I decided more mash could be done
Kitty-Jackie mash consisted of

1 measure (50 grams) of soybeans
1 measure (50 grams) of kidney beans
1 measure (50 grams) of garbonzo beans
1 measure (50 grams) of pinto beans
2 measure (50 grams) of blackeye beans
2 measure (100 grams) of Great Northern white beans
(I managed to find the GNWs, or something that looked like GNWs in Mustafa at Little India, Singapore a couple weeks ago)

1 measure (50 grams) of red beans
1 measure (50 grams) of green beans
1 measure (50 grams) of black beans
1 measure (50 grams) of baby lima beans
1 measure (50 grams) of butter beans (which looked like lima beans)
1 measure (0 grams)of corn
(I decided to nyet corn )
1 measure (50 grams) of peas
1 measure (120 grams) of human grade groundnuts(peanuts)

1 measure (200 grams) of quinoa
1 measure (200 grams) of brown crushed barley
1 measure (200 grams) of black glutinious rice
1 measure (200 grams) of red rice
1 measure (200 grams) of brown rolled oats
1 measure (200 grams) of brown rolled wheat berries
( I decided to use more cereal. Just my choice. I liked crushed or rolled grains )

1 measure (100 grams) of yellow millet

measure (950 grams) of sweet potatoes grated
measure (610 grams) of carrots grated

3 tablespoon of wheat germ

200 grams of dried anchovies
400 grams of mince chicken.

I parboiled the sweet potatoes and carrots for 5 minutes and cooled them for handling. I find grating parboiled sweet potatoes and carrots to be a lot easier.


As said, it looks like GNW, next to soya beans

black eye beans & germinating baby lima beans and green peas


kidney beans, germinating chick peas and butter beans

germinating pinto beans, germinating groundnuts, germinating black beans

All the beans & peanuts were brought to boil for about 5 minutes to parboil them. After cooling that, they all went into the blender to liquidise them. They were then placed into pot and water added to allow them to boil nicely and boiled for another 10 minutes or so. Part of that was cooled to add to blender to blend 200 grams of dried anchovies for the protein and the calcium.

Part of that liquidised bean mash soup taken out to mix in the grated sweet potatoes carrots , the chicken mince, 3 tablespoon of wheat germ.

They all got back into the pot and boiled. Just enough water added to allow boiling. Then all the quinoa, millet and cereals were added when boiling was good and strong. Stirred well for a minute or so until it got difficult to stir. Fire turned off and they left to cook themselves.

That got me 9775 grams of Jackie/kitty mash batch 03 into 25 baggies.


Sieben & Jackie

Jackie weight stabilised on 20 grams JM & 40 grams FP well mixed together. The early morning weight ranged from 169 to 171 grams when that mix given as 10 grams breakfast and rest through the day to late afternoon.

When that 20JM&40FP given in one shot in the morning, Jackie early morning weight became 163-165 the next morning as expected.

Jackie would be getting about 10 grams of bread as treats through the day.

In last report where I mentioned of the dastardly attack made by Sieben and how I wanted to inflict major hurting on Sieben. It was so frustrating to me that I could not call Sieben in the voice and tone that I knew he would come to me with. After all , Sieben was clicker trained. Sieben was even into touch target as well. So much so that I could not find my 3 target sticks. Sieben took to dragging the target sticks to hide them in nooks and corners that I could not locate, together with at least 3 clickers. My wife had to locate and buy a bag of little clickers.

I could only hunt for Sieben in fury to punish him. I could not call him to come to me to be punished as that would be too mean of me. Besides, if I did that once, Sieben would never come to me with that cue again.

That first week, I religiously hunted Sieben to lock him up prior to opening Jackie's door. Then it became a lot less religious as Sieben became harder to find to lock him up. I could call him, but decided not to if his coming to me resulted in his being locked up, he would just stop coming to that special call.

You all also knew my interaction with Jackie was also a function of TV commercials occuring. It was a lot easier to slid open the door for Jackie then having to hunt a Sieben down as well for locking into a room. By which time the TV commercial might be over with. Sieben can also be incredibly sweet and loving to me too, purring and rubbing me and my arm with his back.



In the last few days, Sieben was not locked down. He watched us from different angles. Sieben could be very fast. But I felt he was not really in killing mode, even if I could not put my finger what mode Sieben was in. I had to rearrange the furniture, especially the stools behind the sofa where he could view us from the back without me being aware. It was from there that he jumped to my back in the last report and straddled down my arm towards Jackie.

Just today, when Jackie was on my shoulder, Sieben jumped to the same shoulder from the stools behind the sofa. Jackie flying away a split second faster, before I could even shout. That gave me another shock. And then Jackie flying back to me a second later when my shouts chased Sieben away.

I removed those stools so Sieben could not used that any more as a launching area from behind me.

I was trying to extend the horizon of Jackie. To take him past the dining room into the kitchen, into the bedroom, into the computer room, or even into the spare bedroom that he flew into. Jackie was very wary of being too far from his flight room. I tried to block him with my body, but Jackie seemed to sense I took him too far away and flew back to his flight room. I needed him to trust me that much more to bring him to other rooms.

After all, if that is not possible, neither would it be possible to take him outside in a harness. Which was why I did not bother with conjuring up a Jackie size Tinkerbell UltraLite harness yet.

Keep fingers crossed and hope for the best.

Jackie moulting, I think

Jackie after a flying snatch from wife







I crossed the 3rd week.
I am still holding old Nic off.
Amazing how much money I used to burn off indulgling old Nic.

My Silkquit meter to date.
Three weeks, 23 hours, 9 minutes and 43 seconds.
1142 cigarettes not smoked, saving $542.53.
Life saved: 3 days, 23 hours, 10 minutes.

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 —

Tinkerbell Legacy - - Rant 03 (a flighted parrot mentality) & Understanding the mind of your grey
Above is probably the most important of all I have written, and the foundation to all that I have done.


(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

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