February 10th, 2005

Tinkerbell Legacy - - Ranting 01 (birdproofing of home)

10 Feb. 05

From a cybercafe in VangVieng Laos. Just reached into
town this afternoon from Vientiene. Evening time now
after a nice stroll by and in a shallow river with
crystal clear water. The sight of the jagged Kartz
type of limestone hills just breathtaking across the

To all English and non English groups

Tinkerbell Legacy - Having a flying parrot - Ranting

I presume at this stage you do want to keep a flying
parrot at home with you. Even if you do have a
clipped parrot now, you are interested in this

Not all people will be able to keep flying parrots
with them at home. I am not speaking of making an
aviary outside the home. This is about keeping a
flying parrot with you at home. This is of supreme
importance to the bonding that you will make with her
and to the training that you will be doing together

I am speaking from my experiences with Tinkerbell. I
will refer her. This may not apply to your parrot.
Even if you have a Congo African Grey, the temperament
of parrots may be different. Their background and
history may be different requiring a different
approach. I hope my experiences may be of use to you.

The last couple of weeks, I have been trying to set up
a framework so I can write systematically.
Unfortunately, much of the topics are so inter
connected. I cannot write on one matter without
drawing from experiences from another matter. So I
give up and will just be writing free hand and without
structure. Let us see how it goes like. Your
suggestions warmly welcomed.

There are many articles in the Internet in addition to
what I have written as to why it is much better and
healthier that your parrot be allowed to fly.

You can use
http://www.shynefoundation.org/articles.html to start

You MUST know more about clicker training. I will
talk more on this later. You can get more information
from two very good groups on clicker training for



We need to be realistic with ourselves. What we are
doing is a long term approach as we come to terms with
living with a flying parrot. However, we do change
with time. What seems to be difficult to do in the
beginning will be a matter of routine later on.

Let us consider first the home environment.

The safety and the security of our parrots will be the
paramount importance. In this matter, I refer to both
clipped and unclipped birds. Too many people felt that
by clipping the wings, their parrots will not be able
to fly away. Even if the clipped parrot will not
normally fly, they have not seen what a frightened
parrot is capable of. If the parrot is badly
frightened, that parrot will fly out of the house.

You must ensure total security of the flight envelope
at home, the space that she is allowed to fly in.
That if she is allowed out of the cage that she is
normally kept in, she will not be able to get outside
the area.

When I was in Taiwan, mosquitoes give us a lot of
problems. All apartments I was living in, and all
apartments and houses that I visited have mosquito
screens covering all windows and external doors. I
presume if you are living in areas where diseases can
be spread by mosquitoes, it is in your interest that
you have your exterior perimeter of your house or
apartment screened.

Do a safety check and ensure the sliding window screen
do not open. One morning I woke up to see a window
screen blown opened. I turned my head to see
Tinkerbell's cage door opened without Tinkerbell
inside (that was during the earlier days when she
slept in a locked cage). I nearly fainted thinking
Tinkerbell flown away until I noticed she was in a
corner of another room.

That screen was permanently sealed shut with duct
tapes to prevent it ever sliding open again. That was
done to all screens covering the window. I smoke at
home and it was important the screens must never be
opened as windows are left opened.

I also made all doors to be automatically self closing
with counterweights and strings and hooks.

I had no worries about the front door. The front door
open to a sealed corridor and lift lobby. But if the
front door open directly to outside, I would have hung
a curtian of linked chains that would automatically
prevent a bird from flying through. This linked chain
curtains can also be used to restrict your parrot from
flying into other rooms such as kitchen. Such
curtains must be used together with your close
observation of the bird.

If you can have a secure perimeter that your parrot
cannot fly away from you, you can keep a flying
parrot. For those with clipped parrots, this secure
perimeter is also very important for you.

It is a fallicy to assume your clipped parrot can only
glide and not fly. You never tested your clipped
parrot under spooked (intense fear) conditions. You
never know how much strength a spooked parrot is
capable of. I have seen that !

Within that flight area, you must check and ensure
that it is safe for your parrot. All toilet lids are
to be kept closed. Even better still is to ensure all
toilet and bathroom doors are always closed in
addition as well. You must get into the habit of
double security.

When cooking needs to be done with open pots of
boiling water, I place Tinkerbell back into the cage
until things are completed and the environment safe to
let her out again.

The most important factor is that you must have a
sense of humour. If you do not have a sense of humour
and can laugh at yourself, keeping a flying parrot
will become a nightmare for you. Our parrots have a
very wierd sense of humour. That can be very
enchanting and you will learn to laugh.

If you are those who need order and tidiness at home,
keeping a flying parrot at home will make you tolerate
and accept some disorder.

If you are untidy (like me), you will learn to be more
tidy and store things that must be stored to the best
of your ability.

You can take it as Gospel truth that you cannot make a
flying parrot ever to do what she do not wish to do.

The trick is to make the things that she likes to do
to be what you want her to do in the first place.

That training and how to live with a flying parrot in
the same home will be the next rantings.

Warmest regards


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