February 2nd, 2005

Tinkerbell Legacy Preamble 2

What I do with Tinkerbell is dangerous and must be done very cautiously.

Tinkerbell goes out with me all the time, almost everyday, in her harness I designed after finding that those commercially obtained from the net are so terrible in their basic fundamental design.

Or again, there may be designed for clipped parrots but even then, they have fatal flaws in their design.


Tinkerbell was about 4-5 months old when she came to me. She stayed with me for about 3 years.

I made it a point to document all the training and mistakes I made so you never need to make those mistakes.

I rather believe that good training and bonding must eventually replace the clipping of wings on all our birds.

The relationship between me and Tinkerbell have been one of equal standing even if she thinks she is superior to me. If you decide that you are ' the one to be obeyed' and they are 'the one that must obey you', you set the tone that your relationship with them will never be one of friendship. The warmness of a richer relationship will never be yours ever to follow.

You know that you get what you put in, such as sport or golf or darts. That is between you and an inanimate object. How much more it will be when that object is an incredibly intelligent creature such as your bird who can and will respond and build up on the relationship that you are reaching out to him/her (I never can call animals it).

I used clicker training on Tinkerbell and on my cat and ferret. I thought I was great until I met on the internet a 14 year old boy who told us that he uses clicker training to train his gold fish to do tricks. (Instead of clicker, he uses a light to shine)

And before you think I am that superb, let me assure you all that there is one man I met in Taiwan that I felt my efforts were so pathetic in comparison to and who made me feel so humble and ended up very good friends. Our evening partings are normally with me staggering in a drunken state back to my hotel room.

You can read all about him in my written encounters with the
TsaoLing Bird Whisperer (a man who talk with birds). Read about him before you want to praise my efforts too much.

Unfortunately, his methods are not transferable to me or to you as we are mere mortals. What I wrote have been snapshots of those moments. I met him three times. To understand fully the extent of that Bird
Whisperer of Tsaoling, read my initial meeting with him, then the Tsaoling BW revisited and Tsaoling 2 bottles of Drambuie. You can see within the short time span of my visits, he trained additional wild birds to be at his beck and call.

Tsaoling Bird Whisperer

Some other readers felt that I wrote rather mystically of my methods. To me it is nothing mystical, and more a different outlook and mindset. What I have done can be done by you. WHat that Tsaoling BW does is beyond my comprehension all together.

As to what tricks Tinkerbell does, I really do not know. You see, the tricks I taught him was accidental, coming about more from an effort to keep her mentally challenged to retain her interests. I touched on that now and then in the letters as and when they occured as I never did classified that as tricks.

I was one of the earlier members of free flight group, a group of parrot lovers who consider allowing parrots to fly at home. Two years ago, I was the first who searched for a huge empty office space to take Tinkerbell out of just the small house environment to let her fly and documented that (and my mistakes) for the general public. Two years later, other members of that freeflight group (already leaders of all that want to have flighted parrots) decided to do that as well.

While we need the guidance of others, there come a time when one must strike out on your own. During a long ride up the Taiwan mountains after my disasterous totally free flight attempt with Tink, I decided I needed to take a new road where our fids can join us on harness. I did not realise I was going to be the pioneer as well. That is good and bad. I needed to clear more misconceptions than I ever imagined. People who never flown parrots or used harnesses (I suspect they never know what is a harness) seemed to be a much better expert on what they do not know. I feel sorry for them.

We need to expose our parrot to new conditions, strong shifty winds, let them know what is flying high and flying from high to low, impossible to duplicate in enclosed areas. That is when I parted from freeflight group. Now two years later, many of them agree with me now. With a good proper harness, Tinkerbell comes out with me almost everyday and get exposed and familiarised with all different conditions. After the initial jitteriness, she showed she relished new changes. You can see for yourself the series of photos as we rode through towns and forests and the way she looked at the surroundings. She flew with me in force 7 conditions when I had to lean into the wind. She saw the sun and clouds and the stars and twinkling fire flies with me at night. Deep in the forests or on the mountain tops where one can look and see forever in the distance. What that does to her mind, you will agree is a lot more than if she sees only the four walls of the apartment.

I wrote a lot on the training, how to do the training in the emails/articles in the webpage. I was just re-reading the introduction I wrote in that webpage. That contains so much more of the fundamentals as they were so much more immediate to me that time then now, and essential even before you think of starting clicker training.

For me to talk on those matters now, I can at best only gloss over them and the essential details may well be overlooked and left out by me now. It is in your best interests to read those earlier letters. Some are much shorter than the intro. But then some are much longer.

Of course, if you want to raise any points of what I have written and if I can answer, I will do my best.

If you find http://www.geocities.com/shanlung9 to be interesting and useful, please send it on to your friends who may be interested.


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