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Tinkerbell Legacy - Living with a flying parrot

chewy centipedes and regaining confidence
A while ago, Abu Abdul Aziz,the nice moderator of an Arabic bird site (http://www.canaryfans.com/forum) wrote me at his site " I read a sentence that you mentioned you’ve ate crickets in Taiwan , to be honest I felt that was disgusting (sorry to say that) but were they tasty? :-) I know they are full of protein and they are nutritious for all soft bill birds :-)"

It took me a while before I tried the crickets after a lot of urgings from my Taiwanese friends, and the crickets tasted nice, like shrimps. That cricket
dish was expensive, more expensive than beef or lamb. But now that I am feeding crickets to YingShiong, I do not think I care to eat crickets any more.

In Asia, insects are often local delicacies. A few years ago when I was
travelling about in Guangzi, I saw live black shining beetles for sale by the road. They were about the size of half a thumb.

I thought they were sold as 'pets' until I saw some locals buying them.
Then they pulled off the legs and popped them into the mouth with great enjoyment. I watched that with such fascination that the local offered me
one to try and smiled at me. I just could not try and I declined with a counter offer of a ciggarette back to him. He shook his head in sorrow
and told me I missed one of the best snack in the world.

I located some photos I took when I was writing the Tinkerbell Legacy and
travelling around in Laos and Thailand. During that Songkrang water festival
in Chiangmai, I saw a street vendor selling more than just crickets.

Here is a photo


I recommend the bamboo worms above the grasshoppers next to the silkworm pupaes. I could not bring myself to try the others.

More photos in


Another reason why I came back to this topic is that my wife Joy just uploaded more of the photos she took when she was in Beijing on business. She was
at this night market WangFuJing that specialised in local stuff to eat and other delicacies.

She invite you all to see those shots in

So if you do not fancy grasshoppers or mole crickets from Chiangmai, how
about a skewer of chewy centipedes! out of this world scorpions! crunchy
black beetles! indescripable starfishes!

Yummy yummy yummy!!
More goodies for your tummy!


This morning YS was waiting on top of the cage. He greeted me, not in the joyful way he did before. When I sat on the armchair, he flew over and landed on the perch I lowered.

You know I smoke, and I got worried about my nicotine coated fingers affecting the worms and beetles that I used to feed by hand to YS. Also, when the worm dropped to the floor, it is not easy to pick them up with fingers. So two days ago, Joy got me a set of tweezers making it easier to pick them up. There is also this self retracting tweezer that I like, the tip automatically close unless you keep pressing the tweezer.

But apparently, YS did not seem to like me using the tweezer. After I feed him a nice white worm, he flew off to the high perch instead of hanging around for more worms and beetles that he did before. I still kept the small perches on the table hoping he would get use to that.

I still had the skewer stick food holders to hold the worms or beetles for YS to eat. If the holder is not tight, the beetle will wriggle off and they can move fast enough to hide themselves. If the holder is tight, YS cannot rip the worm or beetle free. And when YS cannot do that in two tries, he seemed to take fright and fly away.

Since YS flew back into the cage, I got worried enough to leave the flight room with the tweezer and skewer stick holders loaded with worms and beetle. I sat in the hall to be far away while watching YS through the dark glass door.

Even though I was not there, YS stayed in his cage. After a while, he went to eat from his dry food and did not even bother to go to the table to try to get at the worm and beetle left in the tweezer and skewer stick food holders.

One week ago, he was so friendly that I thought it to be easy. Instead of moving forward, I felt I moved backwards. If YS is that afraid to take the treats even if I was not there, it will be very difficult for the training process when I must be there as well.

I knew I had to get back to hand feeding and not use the tweezer or skewer stick food holders. I gave up completely now on the small perches I made for him.

I went back to the flight area and moved the small perches away giving him back the table. YS flew to the table.

I use my fingers to hold the beetle and stretched my hand to YS. He took the food from my hand and ate it there. When I use the tweezer, he would grap it and flew immediately back to the cage to eat it inside, as if the cage is his security blanket. He did not call to me chair chair chair the way he used to do before.

It is tough. He did not like the changes I made and I need to get his confidence back again. It may even be necessary for me to raise the perch I so happily lowered the other day. When that perch was higher, he would go there very regularly and would wait there for me to hand feed him his treats. This morning, he only went there once.

One step forward and two steps back. But all that were never wasted time.
I am learning more and more of YS and his nature. So painfully shy and timid, even more so then I realised.

Without getting back his confidence, and his diet fixed, that training cannot start. And I do so hope that as a companion and friend, he can join me outside too. But that required a lot of very slow gentle work and testing ahead of us.

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