April 20th, 2005

a letter from Russian group

Tinkerbell - серый попугай свободного летания (Тaiwan)

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George Среда, 13 Апреля 2005, 20:00 Отправлено #21

Мудрый модератор

A letter from russian group - after the final rant and which expand on first flight

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Hi shanlung,

Thank you for your very interesting message. It was real fun to read about your poor HalfTail bombarded by Tink with color blocks!

The more I read about clicker training the more I feel excited about it, so probably in just a short while I will try it on my bird. My Roma already allows me to stroke his beak, neck, back, wings, chest and even massage his fingers on both feet. Just recently he has started letting me grab him from the back for a transfer to another place without a bite (though in the beginning I did get a few light "preventive" bites from my rather "polite" parrot).

I think what you write about this feeling that tells you of the intention of your parrot to bite you is very important and is largely underestimated by a lot of parrot owners. It really takes time to start understanding your bird and probably in most cases this understanding comes via your comprehension of the bird's body language, but I tend to think that sometimes it is more about this mysterious and hard-to-explain flash of mind-reading, rather than timely noticing the pinning of the eyes or some micro moves of the body.

Some of my fellow-forumists are complaining that their birds that could fly before getting wing-clipped after growing flight feathers start to hit the walls and windows for no obvious reason as they can turn in the air without any problem. I actually saw my Roma do the same on more than one occasion when he started to fly and I also felt very sorry for him watching him sliding down the walls. But I still cannot understand what made him take off from the cage and hit the wall just 2 meters away in a straight and very purposeful flight. However now that he can easily make U-turns he has completely stopped his attempts to fly though the walls.

I doubt that I will ever come to free-flight outdoor sessions but I find it very useful to learn how you have taught Tink to return on recall cues.

It is very good that you stay with us despite all the language problems. I still hope that you will be getting posted by our English speaking forumists and that soon we will see more non-Russian forumists who you could also communicate with directly without any intermediate translation. Anyway some of your posts have already been translated in short manually and others will be as I or somebody else finds the time.

Best regards,



shanlung Среда, 20 Апреля 2005, 8:04 Отправлено #22

не новичок

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Hello George,

I am happy that what I wrote is interesting to you. I hope that it is useful and can help you and all others to have a deeper relationship with your parrots.

The understanding of the parrot can only be made if you regard the parrot as a true friend. Then your observation of the parrot is made at at different level and there will be less misunderstanding and a lot less biting. I believe the parrot bites out of frustration. And before any real biting, there are so many signs made by the parrot. Pinning of eyes is such a final stage that I never bothered to look for eye pinning from Tinkerbell or from any of the other parrots and macaws and cockatoos I have handled. You may have seen from the photos that I have handled other very big parrots such as Black Palms and Moluccans. The biggest and most wicked beaks are that from keas when I was in New Zealand.

There is nothing to be afraid of in clicker training. I was very afraid when I started, but the main fear is fear itself. So do not hesitate anymore. The clicker training will be fun and rewarding for you and your parrot.

When a bird first start to fly, the flying is not difficult. What is very difficult is the control of the flight by the parrot or bird at the very beginning. That a parrot can turn does not meant it turned deliberately. Many people mistake those early turnings were made deliberately but more likely that was accidentally done by the parrot.
That parrot may just be as confused by the turning made accidently and not under its direct control.

That is why even if the parrot can turn in flight, it hit the wall at the beginning as that parrot was not able to turn in time to prevent hitting the wall.

This is the point where many owners became desperate and wanted to clip the wings.

The parrot will take a few days before it knows how to control the turning and its flight.

Then after two or three days, the parrot knows how to control the turning and not hit the wall or windows anymore.

This painful period is not avoidable. However, the early flights are normally very slow and the chance of injury is small. If a room with nets hung around the walls can be available, it will be very much safer for this beginning period.

Warmest regards


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