February 28th, 2005

Tinkerbell Legacy - Training of Vernal Hanging Parrot Rant 05 (how to get step-up from parrot)

Tinkerbell Legacy - Training of Vernal Hanging Parrot Rant 05

At 4 pm today, I got back from the Plain of Jars. I should write about that,
but something else occurred today that I should write about first.

An hour before the tour bus brought us back to Luang Prabang, I was thinking
about the two vernal hanging parrots that I observed in Somjith guest house that
I stayed in. Later closer observations showed that one of the parrot is clipped
and cannot fly. But by climbing about on the plants and fence, I earlier thought
it could fly as well. With the other parrot flying in and out with lots of activities
between those two, I did thought both could fly.

Often, the clipped parrot would be in its tiny cage. The flighted parrot periodically
dropped by. There was one particularly touching moment. The caged parrot exhausted the
food in its cage. The flighted parrot flew to the cage and regurgitate the food and fed
his mate in the cage.

Riding in the bus, I thought I try to make some differences for those two parrots. That
determined I will stay in Somjith GH again. As I went in, the landlord son, about 25 years old
greeted me with happiness. He told me my old room is available as I told him I would be back
today. I accepted, he took my bag up, and I ordered a cup of good Laos coffee from her sister. I will call him as LS

I had printed namecards with different pictures of Tinkerbell on it. Later, I realised I could not give
the namecards away without losing those picutres to show other people. He had seen those
pictures of Tinkerbell flying to me and he was so excited before I left for the plain of jars.

When he came down to me again, I asked him if he like me to advise him. He smiled from ear to ear
and nodded his head vigorously up and down. I told him about Tinkerbell web page

I told him details of the harness design and how to make it is located there with training.

I was determined to start LS on the road to friendship with his parrots. I then asked
him if his clipped parrot respond to "step up" and I explained to him the importance of this. His
eyes opened wide and LS said he never did such thing. I expected that answer from him. I have studied his clipped parrot when I could earlier.

She appeared to be a brave girl. I approached her when she was out of the cage. She would allow me to within a certain distance and then backed off from me. I reached my hand out slowly, she moved off slowly leaving a 2 foot gap. When I retrieved my hand, she came towards me following my hand. I thought she will be a good candidate to do " step up".

He got her out of the cage as requested holding her cupped between his palms. I asked him to release her and she clambered out of the palm to the forearm. I was softly talking to her all the time. I took a good look at her, noticed her beauty, and while thinking of her as a beautiful parrot with rich green feathers, I moved my right hand slowly to her with my index finger under her breast. I pressed on to her and said 'step up'. I pressed on slowly as if to move my finger and scooping her up. She responded hesitantly but she stepped up.

I complimented her and told her what a good girl she was and continued to talk to her. After a while, I used my left hand and asked her to step up again. She responded immediately. LS smiled and smiled at me. I explained to him to place his finger below her breast and sweep slowly while telling her to step up.

I could see he was eager and yet frightened to do so. His finger came hestitantly, and withdrew , and came on, and withdrew. He had a fear of getting bitten, and I sensed she sensed it too. Her danger signals were so obvious to me. That tiny girl lunged and took a nip at his finger. He withdrew in shock.

I explained to him he MUST not fear her as his own fear may trigger that response. I explain explicitly what he must do. I played with her and after a few minutes , he tried again. His action was firmer and when his finger came with that cue, I also rotated my finger so she had to step up on his finger.

His eyes lighted up with that simple move. I watched LS and the parrot played. I knew I will definately let both of them become good friends. I watched LS interactions and that parrot response. I showed him how to recognise when the parrot did not like his attempts to stroke her head and he must stopped if the parrot did not like it. I got her to step up on me. I told her slowly that she would love head rubs and extended my finger slowly to her tiny head. I lightly touched her and let go. I slowly repeated that and she liked it, extending her head to my finger. LS took over and was so delighted to do that.

He then tried repeated cues of step up. I told him that should not be done. I took her and showed him to do a 'step up' onto my shoulder. She was so small that I had no worries of bite to my face. I also know she would not do that to me. He was very excited again with this. LS got her back and introduced her to his shoulder.

I took her back. I deliberately placed my right index finger to her beak. I wanted to induce her to bite me. At that time, my right thumb was close to her beak as well. When she gave me a nip, I loudly told her "NO!" and at the same time, used the thumb to push her beak away before any damage could be done.

I then explained to him that he must take her out everyday and spend time with her. That he must do it in the morning, the afternoon and the evening. I exxplained to LS the relationships between friends. No punishment to be ever inflicted on her. If she did things that friends should not do, she must be told immediately. Just like what I had done when she bite me. She cannot fly now. But if ever she does, it is important to spend time with her now. I then placed her on a rattan basket on the table. To show that she could be placed down and she stayed and played on that basket. I pointed out to him he could hang that rattan fish trap from my balcony and she could play there and be near him.

He smiled and spoke to me with conviction in his voice that he will be doing that.

I smiled back too. I believe his relationship with the parrot will changed and she
will never go hungry and neglected again

I will see what he will do tomorrow.


free webpage hit counter